Black Bonnet: An Adventurous Trek Though California's Gold-Studded Days from 1854 to 1859.

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Bee, a spirted young woman desperate to save her family from financial ruin, dons a widow's protective garb as a disguise to venture into California's hostile gold country. She hopes to assist her uncle in working a claim, but finds only abandoned diggings, no gold despite her labors, and friendless surroundings.

Lost in unfamiliar territory, she connects with a cattleman driving a herd into the Mother Lode hills. There she finds a new life with actors, miners, pioneer women, and many of the colorful giants of California history. How Bee copes with the successes and defeats in her new surroundings is the heart of this novel.

Iris Roth's tale of how romance can grow almost unnoticed provides lessons for those still learning life's truisms. Fate can play cupid's role and a "strictly business" arrangement can mellow into a relationship that will last forever.

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