Pretty Abigail Whittaker, pert daughter of a small town bank president, elopes with a muscular Irish-Catholic pig farmer who has only two bits on deposit and gets what she asks for: poverty, starvation, malaria, and swell orgasms minutely described. It's an exciting life. In Missouri Territory earthquakes occur ""every few minutes"" as do the sort of spread-eagle forcible rapes that have not entered the fantasy of any woman over thirteen since 1951. Abigail and her husband miraculously survive one disaster after another--pillage, murder, rapine--until he is killed and she carried away by Indians into fourteen humdrum years of marital monotony among the dreary savages. Luckily, all the main characters die swift, unpredictable, Welcome deaths, and the novel flips from lurid frontier saga to lurid Indian saga. Then ensue more pillage, rapine, and murder With a little pseudo-incest and scalping for good measure. All this nonsense is portentously inscribed in painfully familiar lines: ""it seemed an eternity."" Ho hum hokum. White woman write with fork.