Robert H. Fowler earned critical acclaim for Jim Mundy, his classic bestseller about a young man's journey to manhood during the American Civil War. Now, in a new novel set in the turbulent American West, Fowler seizes our imagination once again with his tale of a headstrong young girl.
Annie Mundy's story begins in North Carolina in 1856, on the eve of the Civil War. The eldest daughter of a prosperous and pious magistrate, Annie is sixteen when scandal forces her westward to Oregon as an indentured servant. Thus begins a strange and wonderful odyssey that takes her to the gold fields of California and into the lives of: a down-at-heel English acting family; a pair of fleeing slaves; a vengeful gambler; a trio of raucous miners; a mean-spirited brothel owner; and two Mexican War veterans who will have a profound influence on Annie's life.
As a young nation is bitterly rent by a war that turns boys into hardened men and cherished friends into traitorous enemies, Annie follows the western trail and the dictates of her own peripatetic heart on an exhilarating journey fraught with wonder, sorrow, discovery, and joy.
A novel that introduces one of the most unforgettable heroines since Scarlett O'Hara, Annie Mundy takes readers on a rollicking adventure that crosses state lines and cultural and racial divides. As seen through the eyes of a young woman forging her future in a young and violent land, and informed by Annie's unique world view, her tale unfolds as a sweeping panorama that brings the 19th-Century west...and the men and women who endured hardship and calamity to settle this vast, unyielding wilderness...to vibrant, irresistible life.