Publisher description for An ordinary woman : a dramatized biography of Nancy Kelsey / Cecelia Holland.

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With her stunningly realistic and exhaustively researched novels, Cecelia Holland has earned unanimous acclaim as one of the finest historical novelists of our time. Her subjects range from the dawn of prehistory and the turbulent middle ages to the rough-and-tumble pioneer days of her own native California, chronicled in such sweeping epics as The Bear Flag, Pacific Street, and her most recent novel, Railroad Schemes. Now, in An Ordinary Woman, Holland gives us an intimate portrait of a remarkable woman who played a crucial role in the settlement of the West--Nancy Kelsey, the courageous young pioneer who was the first American woman to set foot in California. Drawing upon Nancy's own accounts of her harrowing journey, as well as the writings of those who traveled with her, Cecelia Holland has crafted a stunning biography of this amazing woman that is filled with all of the action, passion, danger, and determination that have made her historical novels bestsellers around the world. Married at the age of fifteen to Ben Kelsey, a restless young Scotch-Irish pioneer who eked out a meager living on the Missouri frontier, Nancy Roberts Kelsey was a strong and capable woman who could milk a cow, skin a deer, make hew own clothes, plant a field, drive a team of oxen, and shoot a rifle. The child pioneers, bred to courage and risk, she had grown up in the wilderness only a few miles from the great Missouri River that was, in 1838, the border of the settled United States. But when the lure of a new life on the farthest edge of the frontier beckoned to Ben Kelsey, Nancy was determined to be at his side. Together they embarked on an arduous odyssey across thousands of miles of uncharted wilderness, crossing the Great Plains, the Rockies, and the High Sierra to reach their promised land. Braving hunger, disaster, illness, betrayal, and death, Nancy Kelsey and her family would play a crucial role in American history, becoming the first wave of a great tide that would transform a nation.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Kelsey, Nancy, -- 1823 or 4-1896 -- Fiction.
Overland journeys to the Pacific -- Fiction.
Frontier and pioneer life -- Fiction.
Women pioneers -- Fiction.
California -- Fiction.