Leah Westfeld, a 17 year old girl living on the frontier in 1849, Georgia, has a gift. She can sense the presence of gold around her. She has done well to keep her ability a secret, but after a tragic accident, her gold thirsty uncle shows up conveniently with plans to take her to California. She decides to take matters into her own hands to get to California her own way.
Leah is a marvelous character. She represents the voice of the strong frontier woman that you want to see in literature. She’s as strong and brave as any man, and won’t let her gender define her. She meets an excellent cast of characters representative of the values and ideals she must go up against. The themes of racism and sexism are very prevalent and well executed.
Leah’s ability to feel gold around her is very well written. An interesting idea we dream about but written creatively and originally. I found this aspect, next to her strong character the most captivating part of this book.
What I found difficult about this novel, is that I knew going into it that it would be made into a trilogy. Knowing this, about two thirds of the way through the book, I began to wonder how this book was going to end. There was so much potential and promise for this, but the book I really wanted to read is what clearly will take place after the book, and what actually occurred was a lot less interesting.
Recommendations: All in all, I intend to continue the series. The writing is strong, Leah is a great character, and this gold reading ability fascinates me. If you’re looking to start the series, be wary that the book reads like a first in a trilogy, and is not a strong stand alone piece.