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The Sound of Her Own Voice
Lena Benjamin is an 18 year old Jewish woman on her way to the California gold rush in 1849 with her new husband. They travel by clippership to Panama, and overland across an exotic jungle. Lena's intrepid nature supports her through the hardships of travel and her husband's frailties. In Panama City her husband takes ill while waiting with the...
Lena Benjamin is an 18 year old Jewish woman on her way to the California gold rush in 1849 with her new husband. They travel by clippership to Panama, and overland across an exotic jungle. Lena's intrepid nature supports her through the hardships of travel and her husband's frailties. In Panama City her husband takes ill while waiting with the thousands of other 49ers for a steamship to San Francisco. Under the protection of a gambler friend she travels to California disguised as a boy. Alone in San Francisco she explores the city while waiting for her husband and an uncle who was expected to meet them upon arrival. She faces her fears and experiences prejudice, but discovers herself to be resilient. The second half of the book follows Lena while she tours the 'diggings' as a singer with a troupe of entertainers. She meets dozens of eccentric people along the way and becomes reacquainted with many people from the earlier journey. She reunites with the gambler and they become lovers. Her husband returns and the lost uncle surfaces. This is a tale of one young woman's travels through an adventurous time. Lena is based on a composite of many women who made a similar journey and are lost to history. The story of a fearless woman in a dangerous place during an exciting time has not been told like this before.
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