A group of young women are sent from England to the Jamestown colony in 1620 to become wives of the settlers.
As a daughter of the landed gentry, Diana Falstaff is expected to make a good marriage to recoup the family fortunes. The adventurous Diana would like to go to America, but it is her friend Sara Wakefield whose parents are willing to send her. After she joins Diana’s family on the coach ride to London, a tragic accident kills everyone but Diana. Diana is rescued by Sallie Mae Pigee, the child of a poor family, who has disguised herself as a young boy in order to ship out as a sailor. Prudence Plumleigh is also headed for Jamestown, and her younger sister Faith schemes to join her. A little judicious lying gets them all aboard. Diana pretends to be the dead Sara, Sallie Mae presents herself as a cook’s helper and Faith grabs the papers of a girl who refuses to go. During a wretched sea voyage, Prudence, who is hiding a pregnancy, walks off the ship in a storm. Once arrived, the other girls are housed with local families until they choose a husband. Hard-working Sallie Mae, now a woman again, marries the man of her dreams, a prosperous cooper. Faith falls for the wealthy Indian trader Noah Colton, a man with a shady past. But Diana cannot make up her mind. As the girls struggle to come to terms with life in the New World, the secrets they uncover put them in danger.
The information on the ill-fated Jamestown colony is the best feature of this follow-up to Clay’s first Jamestown novel (Deceptions, 2010), which is otherwise a run-of-the-mill historical romance with very little mystery.