The novel tells the story of Lyman Ward, a retired professor of history and author of books about the Western frontier who returns to his ancestral home in the Sierra Nevada. Wheelchair-bound with a crippling bone disease, Ward embarks nonetheless on a search to rediscover his grandmother, now long dead, who made her own journey to Grass Valley nearly a hundred years earlier.
Winner of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
“Brilliant . . . Two stories, past and present, merge to produce what important fiction must: a sense of the enchantment of life.” Los Angeles Times
“Cause for celebration . . . A superb novel with an amplitude of scale and richness of detail altogether uncommon in contemporary fiction.” The Atlantic Monthly