Prize-winning writer, Christine Power,
has written a “riches to rags” tale.
Leigh Russell, (author of the popular DI Geraldine Steel Series) commented: "A very well-written novel," ... "...has a terrific cast of characters," ... "Excellent scene setting - so evocative of those times..."I love novels with historical facts woven in. Learned something new today! I did not know that British Columbia in Canada was once known as ‘New Caledonia’. Maybe I was taught this in school and maybe not. The name New Caledonia is still used in British Columbia today in official and commercial names.
Now….are you ready for a suspense thriller?
Against the backdrop of the fever and fanaticism of the Canadian gold rush, arrives a widow in black; the duplicitous Mrs. Angelica Thomas, mastermind of a gang which deals in sex-trafficking, ransom and murder.This is a very well-written tale with a terrific cast of characters in a setting that is evocative of life in the frenzied gold rush.
It is 1858 and the flotsam and jetsam of the world as well as canny entrepreneurs are drawn to New Caledonia, soon to be called, British Columbia. They are enthralled by the rumours that gold nuggets may be “plucked from the Fraser River by hand.”
Emily Byrne, a spoilt and privileged young Englishwoman, is also newly arrived in the primitive colony. After a violent row with her father, and determined to make him sorry, she stows away on a sternwheeler carrying “brides” to lonely prospectors in the remote gold fields.
Lovestruck Emily decides to follow the handsome but deceitful Royal Engineer, Lieutenant Jamie Ryder who has been posted upriver. Believing his pledges of love, she is certain that he will marry and protect her.
Emily’s naivety and obstinate nature lead her into many disastrous escapades as she ventures deeper into the rugged wilderness which is inhabited by the indigenous Indians and by desperate and avaricious fortune seekers.
Crossing her path at each point of the trail is the widow with offers of help and friendship.
On her hazardous journey through the spectacular but remote and rugged wilderness, she is taken under the wing of Rosie, an Irish girl fleeing the Irish famine and befriended by an escaped black slave. However, she repeatedly spurns the attempts of the half-breed Red who tries to warn her of danger.
Emily ignores his counsel at her peril.