Kathleen and Josie Colby stand alone in the boomtown of Skagway. They are newly arrived and penniless amid the violence and greed of the gold miners and those who prey upon them. It is 1899 and the gold rush has transformed Alaska into the favored destination for the dreamers and desperadoes... read more
Sisters Kathleen and Josie Colby are alone in the boomtown of Skagway, newly arrived and penniless amid the violence and greed of the gold miners and those who prey upon them. The gold rush of 1899 has transformed Alaska into the favored destination for all the dreamers and desperadoes of the... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Sisters Kathleen and Josie Colby are alone in the boomtown of Skagway, newly arrived and penniless amid the violence and greed of the gold miners and those who prey upon them. The gold rush of 1899 has transformed Alaska into the favored destination for all the dreamers and desperadoes of the world.
Kathleen and Josie did not venture to Alaska to make their fortunes with a sudden gold strike. They have come seeking their father after their mother passes by a stray bullet meant for someone else; but they learn that he is already dead.
Strong and spirited Kathleen will do anything to protect her helpless sister Josie, a quadriplegic who seems to most people to be completely unable to communicate. Kathleen believes that Josie is perfectly aware of everything that goes on around her, and that she can communicate with anyone who pays attention, though she cannot make herself understood with ordinary words.
When it appears that her sister will be placed in an asylum, Kathleen turns to a handsome and plausible man for help. He tells her that he will soon marry her and help her care for her sister, and she believes him. But he is not to be trusted. In a drunken rage, he assaults her and leaves her bleeding on the muddy streets of Skagway.
Kathleen will need all her strength and courage to heal and to go on. She is resolved to take her sister home, or to such a home as they have, to their father’s family in New York City. Yet to reach New York will be a difficult and dangerous adventure. Their journey will change Kathleen from a naive and impulsive young woman to someone with the knowledge and understanding to take on the journey of crossing the Old West amid the growing pangs of a new century.
Sam Winslow turns up to help Kathleen and Josie as they travel. He is a quietly spiritual man, someone who holds beliefs that Kathleen can scarcely credit. Yet sometimes she feels that she nearly understands him, that she comes close to sharing the spiritual experiences that give meaning to his life. She knows that she cannot trust another supposed rescuer, that she alone must rescue herself. She is sure that she must learn to stand on her own legs before she can build a relationship with any man.
Kathleen is drawn to this strange and passionate man, but perhaps the brutal assault she endured in Skagway has closed off her heart to the possibility of faith in someone else. Can she someday learn to trust again and begin to learn to love?
“"When giving up is not an option,you survive at any cost"”Kathleen Colby
““Dreams strengthen the soul.””Sam Winslow
“"I can assure you your reading has no use in this house. Stick to your pots and pans!"”Mr. Davenport
“"You’re a lady. It’s written all over you, but the West doesn’t forgive any woman - unless she’s got a man.””Laurette
““Life is just a delicate balance between dream and reality, Kathleen.””Sam Winslow
“"You keep away from my sister and me or you’ll end up with a bullet between your eyes!””Kathleen Colby
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