Distinctly distaff fare, despite its backgrounding in the era of the West of the Gold Rush. From a Tory home, small, rich chaste Keziah Denridge, learning of her father's pending second marriage, tries to run away to school, and ends by finding herself on one of her father's ships, married- she hopes- to Jedediah Blaine, who sets out to teach her the distinction between passion and prudery. Hoping to bring him to heel, to assert her own superiority over her body's weakness, to win the whip-hand in their marriage, Keziah works out her resentment with restrained impudence. She follows Jedediah through the California gold rush, sees his star rise through gambling, fighting politics and the coming of the railroad. A woman's angle on the adjustments from an authoritative home to the open West.