This is a fascinating story of the Colorado Territory right after the Civil War. We see the burdens the women of the first settlements encountered through the fictional diary of Mattie Spenser This book was especially interesting to me because in my genealogy research I had several ancestors who left their homes to settle in Texas after the Civil War. I found many of the experiences realistic, especially the constant pregnancies of the pioneer women and the many deaths of their children. However, the author had Mattie experience everything that could go wrong. There were Indian attacks on the way to Colorado, an Indian raid on a settlement, spousal abuse, interracial marriages, constant killings, vigilantism, infidelity, abortion attempts, etc. It just got too unbelievable that one pioneer woman would experience all this in just three years!This book describes the early development of Denver, which I enjoyed. The book is a tear-jerker so make sure you have plenty of tissues around and DON"T read it on the bus or subway.