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In 1847, Marjory Turner struggles with the difficult journey west to the Oregon Territory, recording her feelings in her journal. On the cusp of womanhood, she is ill equipped to deal with the hardships after her father dies in an accident midway through the journey. The already-strained relationship with her mother grows worse as her mother's behavior becomes more mysteriously irrational and Marjory is forced to take on the responsibility of her much younger siblings. But the trials strengthen Marjory, as she quickly matures into an independent, patient and compassionate young woman. She is faced with some difficult decisions when her mother dies, and Marjory must find a new destiny for herself and her family. With the help of Walter Wilkins, the young man assigned to drive their team, Marjory must find a courage equal to the task ahead of her and the strength to accept what may be the hardest thing of all–true love.