When Josephine Bell discovers how quickly one can descend from middle-class Victorian comfort to the slums of Liverpool, she makes a fateful decision.
Seeking escape from desperate poverty, the girl joins a community of kindly strangers and embarks on an epic journey across a treacherous ocean and into the wilderness, pulling a two-wheeled handcart over the Rocky Mountains to a remote desert kingdom.
In her new home, a Mormon settlement in the Utah Territory, Josephine is pressed into a polygamous marriage with a man almost four decades older than herself. Against a backdrop of rising violence and haunting tragedy, Josephine’s struggle to find her own path takes her to unexpected places.
The Gates of Eden explores the timeless mysteries of faith and doubt, fear and love through the eyes of a girl on the cusp of adulthood.
The Gates of Eden is a sweeping tale rich in historical detail … LeCheminant is a gifted storyteller, her prose elegant and finely crafted.
The author’s stunning imagery and command of Mormon history lend power to a gripping story. I was mesmerized.
— Jane Parnell, author, Off Trail: Finding My Way Home in the Colorado Rockies