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The story of one woman's quest to carve out a life for herself in the liberal and bewildering society that emerged during the California gold rush frenzy.
Elisabeth Parker comes to California from Massachusetts in 1849 with her new husband, Nate, to reunite with her father, who's struck gold on the American River. But she soon realizes her husband is not the man she thought--and neither is her father, who abandons them shortly after they arrive. As Nate struggles with his sexuality, Elisabeth is forced to confront her preconceived notions of family, love, and opportunity. She finds comfort in corresponding with her childhood friend back home, writer Louisa May Alcott, and spending time in the company of a mysterious California. Armed with Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self-Reliance, she sets out to determine her role in building the West, even as she comes to terms with the sacrifices she must make to achieve independence and happiness. A gripping and illuminating window into life in the Old West, Prospects of a Woman is the story of one woman's passionate quest to carve out a place for herself in the liberal and bewildering society that emerged during the California gold rush frenzy.
Author Bio: Born and raised on the American River in Sacramento, Wendy Voorsanger has long held an intense interest in the historical women of California. She started her career in the Silicon Valley, writing about technology trends and innovations for newspapers, magazines, and Fortune 100 companies. She currently manages SheIsCalifornia.net, a blog dedicated to chronicling the accomplishments of California women through history. She earned a BA in journalism from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and has attended Hedgebrook, the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop, and Lit Camp. She is a member of the Castro Writers' Cooperative, the Lit Camp Advisory Board, and the San Mateo Public Library Literary Society. She has also worked as a lifeguard, ski instructor, and radio disc jockey. Wendy lives in Northern California with her husband and two boys.