(From the publisher):
Diane Smith is carving a niche for herself as an author of literary historical fiction set in the American West that features strong heroines, eccentric supporting characters, and surprising revelations from the natural sciences. Her new novel, set in 1876 right after the Battle of Little Bighorn, features an expedition into the Montana badlands with a group of individuals who have all suffered a significant loss during the Civil War. Their stories are told through the remembrances of Eleanor Peterson, a scientific illustrator in her late thirties, who travels to the Territories with her friend and mentor, an aging and utterly fascinating portrait painter named Augustus Starwood, to document a dinosaur fossil dig.
What starts as a summer respite from the city is soon complicated by arguments over prevailing theories of evolution, by Indians' moving north after their defeat of Custer, and by rival scientists' attempting to steal what could be the largest dinosaur remains ever found. Ultimately, though, this is a novel of personal discovery, revealing the redemptive power of the land and the rivers that run through it. With humor and sharp insight, the novel reveals the potential all individuals have to discover love, however fleeting, and to rebuild their lives far from civilization.
Original title: Pictures from an Expedition
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ North America→ Pioneering & Westward Movement