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RIVER OF SKULLS The Journey begins as the California breaks through the fog of the Golden Gate straits. Emily stands anxiously at the ship’s railing searching for her husband on the waterfront. Joseph isn’t there. Thrown into a chaotic and lawless Gold Rush frenzy, Emily is determined to survive and beat the odds against her; to find Joseph and save their gold claim in the RIVER OF SKULLS The Journey begins as the California breaks through the fog of the Golden Gate straits. Emily stands anxiously at the ship’s railing searching for her husband on the waterfront. Joseph isn’t there. Thrown into a chaotic and lawless Gold Rush frenzy, Emily is determined to survive and beat the odds against her; to find Joseph and save their gold claim in the Sierra Nevada foothills. But she is frightened when an old miner tells she is going to El Rio de las Calaveras, the River of Skulls. Arriving in Calaveras County, Emily fails to find Joseph, disguises herself as a man, and rides to El Dorado Camp where he is rumored to be. There she is befriended by young Aaron, who introduces her to a charismatic Frenchman, Marcel. When Marcel lies and tells her that he is Joseph’s partner, Emily begs him to help her and he leads her to Esperanza Creek. Needing help with the claim, Emily agrees to an uneasy partnership and they work the claim together. Later Emily is thrilled to find Joseph, and Marcel’s departure for a better gold strike in Australia frees her from concern about his possible theft of some of her gold. When Marcel returns as a gambler, the tension between him and Emily makes the reader wonder about their relationship. But Emily remains loyal and supportive of Joseph. As the saga continues, Emily draws on her courage and love to sustain her; she experiences both failure and accomplishment. She learns to love the peace and beauty of the foothills, which are as a major character in the story throughout. As mining technology advances, the family faces new challenges and setbacks, while the lure of gold grips Joseph and he persists against outlaws, lost gold, and tragedy.


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RIVER OF SKULLS The Journey begins as the California breaks through the fog of the Golden Gate straits. Emily stands anxiously at the ship’s railing searching for her husband on the waterfront. Joseph isn’t there. Thrown into a chaotic and lawless Gold Rush frenzy, Emily is determined to survive and beat the odds against her; to find Joseph and save their gold claim in the RIVER OF SKULLS The Journey begins as the California breaks through the fog of the Golden Gate straits. Emily stands anxiously at the ship’s railing searching for her husband on the waterfront. Joseph isn’t there. Thrown into a chaotic and lawless Gold Rush frenzy, Emily is determined to survive and beat the odds against her; to find Joseph and save their gold claim in the Sierra Nevada foothills. But she is frightened when an old miner tells she is going to El Rio de las Calaveras, the River of Skulls. Arriving in Calaveras County, Emily fails to find Joseph, disguises herself as a man, and rides to El Dorado Camp where he is rumored to be. There she is befriended by young Aaron, who introduces her to a charismatic Frenchman, Marcel. When Marcel lies and tells her that he is Joseph’s partner, Emily begs him to help her and he leads her to Esperanza Creek. Needing help with the claim, Emily agrees to an uneasy partnership and they work the claim together. Later Emily is thrilled to find Joseph, and Marcel’s departure for a better gold strike in Australia frees her from concern about his possible theft of some of her gold. When Marcel returns as a gambler, the tension between him and Emily makes the reader wonder about their relationship. But Emily remains loyal and supportive of Joseph. As the saga continues, Emily draws on her courage and love to sustain her; she experiences both failure and accomplishment. She learns to love the peace and beauty of the foothills, which are as a major character in the story throughout. As mining technology advances, the family faces new challenges and setbacks, while the lure of gold grips Joseph and he persists against outlaws, lost gold, and tragedy.

12 review for Historical fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Janet Langton

    5.0 out of 5 stars River of Skulls, November 16, 2012 By Howard Ray Lawrence - See all my reviews This review is from: River of Skulls (Paperback) Being a native of San Francisco, my knowledge of the Gold Country developed when I found that a branch of my own family from New York had been both early newspaper publishers and Argonauts (prospectors) in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Their travels, and successes in the nineteenth century gold rush, closely parallel those of the characters in River of 5.0 out of 5 stars River of Skulls, November 16, 2012 By Howard Ray Lawrence - See all my reviews This review is from: River of Skulls (Paperback) Being a native of San Francisco, my knowledge of the Gold Country developed when I found that a branch of my own family from New York had been both early newspaper publishers and Argonauts (prospectors) in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Their travels, and successes in the nineteenth century gold rush, closely parallel those of the characters in River of Skulls. Therefore, through this colorful book I could more fully empathize in some detail with their experiences. Such a book should be read by men and women of all ages whose ancestors contributed to the development of the West. It would give them a realistic sense of what their pioneer families experienced, bring them home again to an earlier context in California, and keep readers or listeners interested and drawn into its scenes. River of Skulls should be a best seller, and a film featuring it will be a beautiful and touching experience. What a great gift it will be to book lovers and film buffs.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melody Sims

  3. 4 out of 5

    BRUCE TUTTLE

  4. 5 out of 5

    DIANE FOX

  5. 5 out of 5

    Francois Guerrier

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carissa Ward

  7. 4 out of 5

    James R. Coriell

  8. 5 out of 5

    Debra

  9. 5 out of 5

    Linda Eshleman

  10. 4 out of 5

    Karen Bollinger

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joseph-Daniel Peter Paul Abondius

  12. 5 out of 5

    Willa

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