Sam Morgan, once a young runaway from Philadelphia, now a seasoned fur trapper and mountain man, faces the most daunting task of his adventuresome life. It is 1827 and he, together with the trapping brigade commanded by Jedediah Smith, has been expelled from Mexican California.
To his unending sorrow, Meadowlark, Sam’s beloved Indian wife, has died in childbirth and he has been forced to leave behind his infant daughter, Esperanza.
Sam is determined to reclaim his baby and take her to Meadowlark’s village on the Wind River of Wyoming.
In Santa Fe, Sam meets a beautiful widow known as Dona Paloma and the two become lovers. Then, after the herd of horses belonging to Sam and his companions are sold for a healthy profit, he returns to California to reunite with his daughter only to learn she has been taken captive.
Sam’s desperate mission to rescue his daughter, their escape in a frail craft down a rampaging river, and their long trek to Santa Fe, is a harrowing tale told by a master of the historical novel.
“Spur Award–winner Blevins adds this fourth volume to the developing epic of western mountain man Sam Morgan (last seen in Dancing with the Golden Bear). Following a brief synopsis of the first three books, young Sam travels in 1827 with legendary trapper Jedediah Smith from the Rockies to the California desert. Sam pines for Meadowlark, his Crow wife who died in childbirth, and his missing baby daughter, Esperanza (who was kidnapped with his sister-in-law in the last book). Sam hopes to find his daughter, reclaim her and return her to his wife’s Wyoming tribe.
“He barely survives a Mojave ambush, evades Mexican authorities who want him for homicide, has a torrid love affair with a beautiful Spanish widow, is exposed to the brutal Mexican slave trade, and does a lot of his own killing. …The action is sharp and exciting, and Sam’s companions are colorful and eccentric, including Hannibal, a half-white and half-Delaware Indian man who speaks Latin and Greek, and Grumble, a talented con man with a trunk full of surprises.” — Publisher’s Weekly
Praise for Win Blevins’ Rendezvous Series:
“Blevins has done his research and knows the mountain men as well as anyone could–to read this tale is to get a true sense of what their ordeal and adventures must have been like….”–Library Journal on Dancing with the Golden Bear
“…A rousing installment in a fine epic of the American Frontier.” —Publisher’s Weekly on Beauty for Ashes
“His gritty fiction brings to mind the fur-trading novels of Frederick Manfred(Lord Grizzly, 1954) and Vardis Fisher(Mountain Man).The glory years of frontier life, fresh and rich” –Kirkus Reviews on Beauty for Ashes
“Win Blevins’ novel about venturesome Sam Morgan and the fur trade and mountain men of the 1820s is both authentic and entertaining. It will be a welcome addition to any collection of Western fiction.” — Dallas Morning News on So Wild a Dream
“Author Blevins, an expert on early American fur trade, introduces his rendezvous series with this entertaining, vivid portrait of frontier America as seen through the eyes of an impressionable youth.” —Booklist on So Wild a Dream
“Strictly a non-western book about the West. Slave trade among the Indians, overcoming racism that was/is part of every group–I’ve never read these topics covered so vibrantly.
“Working to build a life, getting lucky, meeting catastrophe and facing challenges: these are not only what we consider to be the strength of the American character, they are the strengths of any human fully living his or her life. Then, as now, life was complex, bringing about complex choices. Those that are the most difficult often place another’s welfare ahead of our own. That brings out the finest in us–finding strength in many situations, that’s what Heaven is a Long Way Off is all about. A terrific read for anyone.
“High adventure with the history of old California.” — Meg Mathews, Boston, USA
“Takes me to another time in the state of California. I’m enjoying this story very much and plan to buy more of this author’s books.” — C. Gray
“BEST YET. This is the best read so far in the series. I can’t wait to read what happens to Sam and company next.” – Donald Mock