Tessa McMillan


Excellent, Intermediate, Young Adult, J. Anderson Coats, Historical Fiction, Women, Frontier Life, Washington

Document Type

Book Review


After losing her father in the Civil War, Jane Deming gives up her friends and schooling to raise her baby stepbrother while her young stepmother works in the mill. Unexpectedly, Jane’s stepmother enlists the three of them in an expedition to bring unmarried women to Washington Territory. Using the expedition’s pamphlet as a textbook, Jane works on developing the social and educational skills she needs to survive in the Pacific Northwest. During their sea voyage, Jane’s stepmother tries to keep Jane from improving her abilities for selfish reasons. Luckily, Jane’s new friends and passengers come to her rescue. When they finally arrive in Seattle, Jane and her stepmother discover that it is a wilder place than they expected. With only one suitor, a shy mountain man called Mr. Wright, Jane’s stepmother marries him and all four trek to his secluded homestead. With Mr. Wright’s influence, Jane becomes more self-reliant than she ever expected and she flourishes in her new home.