When Georgiana and her maid, Kitty, make the long sea journey from their native East Yorkshire to America, they are seeking a new life of freedom. But in New York, Georgiana encounters a man passing himself off as her brother-in-law Edward Newmarch, a local mill-owner’s son who has abandoned her sister and fled to America. Edward himself seems to have vanished.
Meanwhile, Edward, having escaped from a disastrous marriage in England, is now running from a bigamous union with the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner. His flight takes him through the Mississippi swamps, across arid desert and mountain ranges towards the gold fields of California. As Georgiana and Kitty journey to the land of the Iroquois and the hidden valley of gold mines, and Edward tries to flee his enemies, the dangers and passions of this new country and its people threaten to overwhelm them all.
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