This is a wonderful historical novel that will entrance the reader and keep him or her reading until the book is read.
It is 1911, and the coming of the railroad to the Canadian Rockies. It brings a parade of newcomers to the Bow Valley such as coal miners, scientists, runaway aristocrats, and remittance men. Among them is poacher Herbie Wishart.
Herbie reinvented himself as a trail guide in the town of Gateway and becomes an outfitter for a fossil-hunting expedition headed by a prominent American archaeologist. Rumour has it that the secrecy-shrouded Hodgson expedition could overturn all previous knowledge about early life forms.
Along for the trip are Hodgonson’s adult children, mopey Humphrey and the captivating Isabel, with whom Herbie strikes up a camp-side alliance. But when an early snowstorm hits and trailside grudges come to a head, the expedition mysteriously vanishes. Despite all efforts to solve – or bury – the mystery, it will haunt Gateway for the next century. Under the spell of the looming Three Sisters peaks, Herbie seems able to bring only a daughter, and more daughters, into the world.
This story is at once a sweeping and intimate story as well as bursting with heart, witt, and larger than life characters whose sheer brio rivals the dazzling the dangerous Rocky Mountains.
Katherine Govier is sure one of Canada’s Master story tellers with this ground breaking book!
Rating: 5 stars
Irene S. Roth