I’ve tried to recap this book like fifty different times, I’ve read it several times! At least three times I’ve read it specifically on airplanes! But I just cannot seem to get my act together to recap it.
Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, California Territory, 1849, Kristiana Gregory, 2001.
This is actually semi-connected to Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie, in that Susanna and Hattie are distant cousins (and her aunt Augusta is mentioned in this book), because Kristiana Gregory wrote them both. That has nothing to do with anything, it’s just an interesting fact.
Why can’t I seem to get myself truly interested in this book? Kristiana Gregory is a great author, I generally very much enjoy her books, her characters are interesting and the stories are engaging, but for whatever reason I just cannot with this book. It almost reminds me of another, similar book? But I can’t put my finger on what—maybe it’s that atrocious Hearts and Dreams book, Heart of Gold, that it reminds me of? Although the resemblance there is very thin. I could just be dreaming it. Tell me in the comments if I’m losing my mind.
This is a pretty sad book, too, because it’s one of those awful books where you learn that Adults Aren’t Infallible. The very first page starts out on the clipper ship outside of Peru, and there’s some vague faffing about loss and how seasick her mother was for most of the trip, and how distraught her father is, blah blah, then we learn a little bit about how sailing is super miserable and everyone in Peru seems to be talking about gold. Susanna and her sister, Clara, befriend a Peruvian woman, Rosita, who’s traveling to California with her brothers, but every time they come near land there’s hundreds and hundreds of men trying desperately to get on board their ship to go to California, too—because Polk has declared that there is gold there.