This novel is based on the journey of more than 5000 pioneers up the long valley of the Platte over the mountains to Oregon in 1847 and '48. Pungently flavored with the vernacular of early America --""'Sure do love ya, honey"" he began, feeling as awkward as all get-out"" -- the novel has the authentic aura of the thirst, fatigue, hunger, Indian scares , buffalo hunts, storms, wagon accidents, rattlesnakes and other harassments and tragedies of wagon train treks. The story concentrates on a young couple, Rod and Harmony Harrow, Rod's mother, a true plains harpy who's not averse to rappin' an Indian on the knuckles with her rifle, and their growing love and courage during the harsh trials of the journey. There are exciting incidents amidst the routine of close-chained wagons, hurried meals, ""nature's a callin'"" stops, and the author is adept at conveying the simplicity and warmth of the curious pioneers struggling together. She also knows her material down to how to skin a buffalo in stark detail. Good-healthy-reading for the whole family.