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Portland, 1868. It isa rough hewn place, an exploding trading post that has dreams of becoming a metropolis.
Horace Stratton, oneofPortland's wealthiest heirs, has decided to come home for good after amassing yet another fortune in Shanghai. With him comes hiswifeEmily, a shy daughter of missionaries, and their teenaged son. On the brink of that happy return, Horace suddenly falls ill and dies in San Francisco.
Emily and her son bring her husband hometo Portlandand they try to settle into this new culture.While they look as if they should belong, Portland is a strange and unsettling place for them.
Emily is guilt-ridden, but sorrow is one of the few emotions she didnt feel when told of her husband'spassing.For Emily had learned more about her husbands past than anyone would believe. And she discovers thatall of his schemes did not die with him.
His partners very much want Emily and her son to go away... by whatever means necessary.Emily will have todelve into her husband'sseedy and painfulpastand set things right so that she can make a life for herself and her son in this strange land.