Author: Jean Holbrook Mathews
With her family left destitute by her father’s recent death, Susanna Thayer believes her only hope is to marry life-long friend Jonathan Burnley. But Jonathan heeds the counsel of his father, an unscrupulous lawyer, to marry a cousin of greater wealth and position, and Susanna is forced to endure grueling labor in a cotton mill far from her remaining family. When she and her best friend, Jane, become involved with the Mormon Church and are thus dismissed from employment, they use their meager savings for travel to New York, where they join a company of Saints bound for California. Yet Susanna’s efforts to build a new life are marked by continued misfortune—and continued encounters with Jonathan. Now a wealthy widower, Jonathan offers Susanna safe haven for the future, but can she forgive him for abandoning her in the past?