When she was a young girl, Narcissa loved nothing better than to read heroic tales about brave men and women risking their lives to bring Christian ideas to ''barbarians'' in far-off places. In 1831, her dream of doing the same was about to come true. That's when some Indians arrived in St. Louis, Missouri, looking for the ''White Man's Book of Heaven.'' Their quest was the answer to Narcissa's prayers: She would bring salvation to ''those wandering sons of our native forests.''
Narcissa married Marcus Whitman, another aspiring missionary, and they headed West. She spent her honeymoon riding side-saddle some 2,000 miles across the vast, often perilous trail to Oregon Countrysomething no other white woman had ever done. Then she and Marcus lived happily ever after singing hymns and teaching the Indians about the Bible, right? Wrong. Readers will find out what really happened when East met West at the end of the real-life, legendary Oregon Trail.
"Ms. Harness has done a wonderful job pulling together both the Whitman story and the story of the Oregon Trail. This will be an excellent addition to children's literature about the history of the Pacific Northwest."Roger Trick, Chief of Interpretation & Resource Management, Whitman Mission National Historic Site