Sierra: A Novel of the California Gold Rush
Two unlikely adventurers are snared by the promise of wealth in the streams and foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Ulysses McQueen leaves his pregnant wife, Susannah, on their Iowa farm to follow the arduous trails to the gold country. He escapes his domineering father and the responsibilities of marriage, but becomes entrapped by other forces: the perils of the journey, the hopelessness of his quest, and the guilt and loneliness he feels for the girl he left behind. Meantime, the New York cooper's apprentice Stephen Jarvis is discharged from the army in Monterey. On his way north to find work at John A. Sutter's fort on the Sacramento River, he falls in love with Rita Concepcion Estrada. Her prominent family's hatred for the conquering Yanquis stands unyieldingly between her and her beloved Americano. Wheeler weaves a harrowing account of the horrors and untrammeled beauty of the overland trails to California. He re-creates meticulously life - and death - in the wildly isolated gold camps, in the raucous new city of San Francisco, and in the fever jungles of Panama, where those Forty-Niners taking the sea route to the goldfields must slash their way to the Pacific and to the ships that will take them to California.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - hardlyhardy - LibraryThing
True gold can be found in the love of a good woman. That, in a nutshell, summarizes "Sierra," Richard S. Wheeler's entertaining 1996 novel about the California gold rush, which follows the trail of ... Read full review
SIERRAUser Review - Kirkus
With varying results, two young men seek their fortunes in California after America's successful war against Mexico—in another solid historical from the prolific Wheeler (Cashbox, l994, etc.). When ... Read full review