Washington, DC, 1866.
Josephine Cain is waiting for her Papa to return from two months in Nebraska territory. Today is the day he is expected! She is prepared with her list of reasons to ask if she can go with him when he leaves again. With the death of her brother and cousin in the final days of the war, her mother and aunt Bernice continue beyond their year of full mourning. What a drab existence. However, he says no! He will be overseeing the building of the railroad connecting the West, beginning in Omaha, with the Central Pacific line coming East from Sacramento. So much promise and excitement as they meet! And... work for the men returning from the war.
With the news that Union General Reginald Cain will be taking over the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, Hudson Macguire and his youngest brother, Raleigh, join the work crews in Omaha. They are finishing up the glass skylights on the roof for the Union Pacific bunk cars. So exciting that the railroad is providing sleeping quarters now so they can advance the rails without having to stop and pitch tents using their energy to set up camp along the way. It was General Cain's invention idea.
To appease his daughter and return her to some semblance of society, General Cain invites a young illustrator home from the newspaper office with him for dinner. The editor offered the general two tickets to the opera. Finally, Mrs. Cain says yes to Josephine going when she is reminded how much their son had enjoyed the music. All is not as it seems with Mr. Lewis Simmons. His good fortune, actually, as he has admired General Cain's daughter from afar. Splendid to make her acquaintance over dinner in their home. Quite opportune to see the general entering the building while he was going there himself to try to sell his illustrations to the editor! Now he is taking their daughter to the opera. He will have to get money for the frills around it. Just the beginning of other outings, the general suggests to him. The Marriage of Figaro ~ a tale of deceptions and counter-deceptions.
"What about going out west with your father?"~*~
She had considered this. As the evening progressed, and the old feelings of romance and hope and possibilities wove a warm cocoon around her, she'd thought, What about going with Papa? She hadn't allowed herself an answer then, and only reluctantly allowed herself an answer now. "I think―I think I would be all right staying here."
--The Journey of Josephine Cain, 43
Josephine receives an invitation to join the Union Pacific excursion trains to celebrate reaching the one-hundredth meridian ~ two hundred forty-seven miles west of Omaha. With her mother and aunt declining travel, two others are chosen to accompany her. Lewis and her companion, Mrs. Frieda Schultz, her Papa's cousin and lady's maid to her mother until Josephine's birth. Frieda was completely with her from that day on. It takes a week to arrive in Omaha to board, after train and steamboat adventures taking them further from home ... on toward General Cain as their destination.
Further adventures await.
When a socialite from the nation’s capital embarks on a journey to the Wild West, her life is changed forever.
A setting populated by hundreds of laborers, outlaws, and Indians is hardly the place for a wealthy general’s daughter. But Josephine Cain is determined to visit her father, who supervises the day-to-day work involved in the grandest ambition of post-Civil War America: the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Life with the railroad is far from the proper life Josephine is used to, and she faces deadly gunfights, harsh weather, and vigilante uprisings. She is torn between the West and the East; between her privileged upbringing and the challenges of a new frontier; between the pull of the suitable beau her parents approve of and an attraction to a rough but charming Irish railroad worker. But if Josephine is willing, she just might find a new life, a unique purpose . . . and true love.
NANCY MOSER is the best-selling author of more than twenty novels. She is a winner and two-time nominee of the Christy Award, and her latest novel was named to Booklist’s “Top 10 Romance Novels of 2011.” Nancy and her husband have three grown children and three grandchildren, and they live in the Midwest.
***Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group for inviting me to be part of the tour for The Journey of Josephine Cain and for sending me a review copy. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
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