Author Francine Rivers skillfully weaves together a light-hearted, gentle romance with an exploration of social justice issues in this Christian fiction novel geared toward a female audience.
In 1875, 20-something Katherine Walsh is sent away from her Boston home to claim the inheritance left to her by City Walsh, an uncle she never knew. In the small mining town of Calvada in the Sierra Nevadas, Katherine settles in her uncle’s neglected newspaper office, the unused press covered up in the corner. As Katherine navigates a treacherous, lawless society peppered with saloons and brothels and populated by drunken men, many of whom use and abuse women, she resolves to bring about changes and seek justice for the prostitutes and the oppressed miners’ wives and their children.
With courage and conviction, Katherine resurrects her uncle’s newspaper, the Calvada Voice. She is undaunted, though she faces opposition at every turn, including insinuations about what a woman’s role entails. But Katherine is “sick of men telling her where she belonged and what she should do with her life.” And she’s tired of the myriad marriage proposals aimed at her. Katherine knows that women have few enough rights without handing them over to men through matrimony.
Two prominent businessmen—Matthias Beck, owner of a saloon and hotel, and Morgan Sanders, owner of a successful mine—pursue Katherine’s hand in marriage. Neither is prepared for the young woman’s fearlessness, tenacity, passion for justice, and compassionate spirit. Each works tirelessly to earn her affections; only one succeeds.
In an author note, Rivers reveals the question that motivated her book, “Can one person impact an entire community?” In the character of Katherine Walsh, readers hear a resounding yes to that query. (Tyndale House Publishers)