Sean O'Brien and his sister Annie leave their dying mother in famine- and plague-stricken County Cork to head for America. As protection, they carry their mother's prayers, the cloak of a kindly British dragoon, and a gold torc (necklace) that's been in the family for "1000'' years. Before reaching their father in California, Sean and Annie meet a sampling of late 19th-century America's best and worst: two good-hearted Bostonians (twin sisters); a black man, born free, and his bossy wife; an evil bounty hunter; a charming riverboat captain, a former Civil War colonel; mutinous pioneers; a gold prospector who is a fellow Irishman.
Written in 1983 by the acclaimed author of Warhorse, this is an ex-library book, previously the dust jacket has been protected in clear plastic which has left a couple of places where there is a trace of adhesive tape residue. The front free end paper bears a library date sheet and the rear one an identification stamp, there are two further stamps on the title page. There is also some colour bleeding on the back end papers, otherwise, the interior is in very good condition, all text is clear on clean pages. The colourful jacket illustration looks like the work of Victor Ambrus, although there is no information about this.