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In 1806, Isobel Gunn disguises herself as a man to sail from Orkney, Scotland, to work as a labourer in the Canadian fur trade. In Québec, Marie-Anne Gaboury falls madly in love with a coureur de bois. Eighteen hundred miles inland, the "Orkney lad" delivers a baby on the hearth of a fur trade post, while the young French wife discovers why her husband didn't want to bring her back with him. The women's journeys land them together fighting for their lives in the Canadian wilderness.
The year is 1885, and Abigail Peacock is resisting what seems to be an inevitable future -- a sensible career as a teacher and a marriage to the earnest local storeowner.
But then she buys a rifle, and everything changes.
Set against the dramatic myths of the Canadian wilderness and the American Wild West, Abigail's adventure introduces her to some of the most infamous characters of her time -- Annie Oakley and Gabriel Dumont--and brings the high stakes of the New World into startling focus.
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