The Gates of Eden is a girl’s coming-of-age story grounded in three of the most tragic and colorful years in the history of the American West. Between 1856 and 1858, several hundred impoverished Mormon immigrants perished on the handcart trail. Many arrived in Utah to a fiery Mormon Reformation, with its teaching that plural marriage is a requirement for entry into the Mormon heaven.
The era also saw federal soldiers marching on Utah, determined to abolish polygamy and the prophet’s political theocracy, and the brutal Mountain Meadows Massacre in southern Utah, where much of the story is set
CHARACTERS AND EVENTS
Although the story was initially inspired by the life of my great-great-grandmother, the primary characters in The Gates of Eden are wholly imaginary. The public characters, however, are real; they are directly quoted or abide by generally known facts about their lives and personalities.
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