This is the story of a beautiful, gifted woman who leaves the magic mountains of her native New Mexico for the chaotic, extravagant New York of the 1870s.
Santa Fe Cameron, named for the place of her birth, is the child of a Spanish mother and a Scotch father and inherited from both a high degree of psychic ability. A Native American medicine man senses this and gives the little orphan a turquoise amulet as a keepsake; this turquoise, the Navajo symbol of the spirit, dominates her life.
For Fey, life is made up of violent contrasts: the rough wagon of the young Irishman who brings her East and the scented hansom cabs and carriages waiting before her own Fifth Avenue mansion; the glittering world of the Astor family and a dreary cell in The Tombs prison.
All the rich period detail which characterises Anya Seton's novels is here, together with one of her most unusual heroines.