A sweeping tale of adventure and danger, innovation and corruption, and two women whose lives intertwine in unexpected ways on America's first transcontinental train trip.
May 1870. Crowds throng the Boston station, mesmerized by the mechanical wonder huffing on the rails: the Pullman Hotel Express, the first train to travel from coast to coast. Boarding the train are congressmen, railroad presidents, and even George Pullman himself. For two young women, strangers until this fateful day, it's the beginning of a journey that will change their lives.
Sensitive Louisa dreads the trip, but with limited prospects, she's reluctantly joined the excursion as a governess to a wealthy family. Hattie is traveling to San Francisco to meet her fiancé, yet she's far more interested in the workings of the locomotive than she is in the man awaiting her arrival. As the celebrated train moves westward, the women move toward one another, pulled by an unexpected attraction.
But there is danger in this closeness, just as there is in the wilds of the frontier and in the lengths the railroad men will go to protect their investments. Before their journey is over, Louisa and Hattie will find themselves very far from where they intended to go.
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About the Author
Jodi Daynard is the author of the bestselling trilogy that includes The Midwife's Revolt, Our Own Country, and A More Perfect Union. Her stories and essays have appeared in numerous periodicals, including the New York Times Book Review, the Village Voice, the Paris Review, AGNI, Fiction, and the New England Review. She has taught writing at Harvard University, at MIT, and in the MFA program at Emerson College.