Once again Tracy Chevalier, New York Times bestselling author of "Girl with a Pearl Earring", has come up with a winner. In this new novel she explores the period of history covering the American frontier. Beginning in 1838 she describes the life of a family living in the swamps of northwest Ohio struggling to survive as they plant an apple orchard. The story then fast-forwards to 1853 as the youngest son of the family strikes out on his own to explore the wilds of California. There he eventually begins working for a naturalist who sells plants from the new world to be shipped back to the gardeners of England. This novel is a beautifully written tale which keeps the reader riveted with its excellent characterizations, dialogue, and descriptions of the landscape. One is naturally transported back to that time and place in a way that can be called almost magical.