This debut historical novel is the first in a series of proposed stories set in mid-nineteenth-century America, a time when the nation faced many of the same challenges our contemporary society is facing. Politics, immigration, corruption, sluggish economic recovery, nativism, the beginning of the women’s movement, and societal outcry against the injustices of slavery all of which fueled western expansion and created the America we live in today.
Zephyr's Gantlet begins in 1849, when the whole country was intoxicated with California Gold Rush Fever, and is told in two voices, from two perspectives.
When a young Bostonian, Donovan O'Creigh, discovers a dirty, family, shadow business, he takes it upon himself to right these wrongs. In order to save his life from his father's wrath, he has to steal, lie and sneak out of town leaving his bride-to-be, Lillia Soilleux, with only a coded note of regret and explanation. Serendipitously able to join a winner-take-all, wagered race to the goldfields, one group sailing the Cape Horn route and the other striking out via the Overland route, Donovan has his escape route.
Once Lillia decodes the note, she is faced with a monumental decision for a woman of the time: become a spinster and face the pity of society or chase Donovan to California to right her own wrong.
Neither know how hard it will be to get to California nor if they will be the same people when they get there. And so the voyage begins…