Sandra Dallas does her usual fine work with a slice of history by tracing the journey of the last of the Mormon handcart companies on their massive trek across the frontier to Salt Lake City. She focuses her story on four women, young and old, naive and wise, believers and non-believers. It is at times hard to keep all the characters straight, but the tragedies they endure along the way are very real. The author neither praises nor slights Mormons but attempts to reveal what made so many undertake this dangerous journey. The strength and solidarity of women, one of her recurring themes, rings out loud and clear. Though none of the major characters are historical figures, she does invent future lives for them once they reach the valley which I found satisfying. For those who enjoy stories of settlement of the west and the stuggles of women on the frontier.