A Shoshone woman, Sacagawea, leads Lewis and Clark to the Pacific at the turn of the 19th century. On her back is a tiny infant. He is her son, Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, the youngest member of the Expedition--a child caught between two worlds who is later raised by Clark as his foster son.
When the teenaged Baptiste attracts the notice of the visiting Duke Paul, Prince of Württemberg, Clark approves of the duke's "experiment" to educate the boy at court. A gleeful Duke Paul has Baptiste trained as a concert pianist and exhibits him thoughout Europe as a "half gentleman-half animal."
Eventually Baptiste turns his back on the Old World and returns to the New, determined to find his true place there. He travels into the heart of the American wilderness, and into the depths of his mother's soul, on an epic quest for identity that brings sacrifice, loss, and the distant promise of redemption.
- hold your left hand ahead of you, fingers together, right hand against your chest.
Strike your left palm with the edge of your right.
Christmas Eve, 1805
Sleet pierced the air like volleys of arrows. Having already eaten their horses and with packs nearly slack, the party looked like Romani in their rags as they stumbled up the crooked mountain trail. The little one, strapped to his mother's back, nestled his head into the curve of her neck. Needles of ice stung his cheeks, and the salty tang of the yet-unseen ocean that his mother called Paakate tickled his nose.
But Baptiste was not to giggle or cry, his mother, Sacagawea, whispered. He was to keep silent, be invisible - a lucky, if forgettable, witness to the great expedition to the Pacific.
He squeezed his eyes shut to hold his tears. The ground began to shake with the drum of approaching hooves. Suddenly his mother stopped short, and Baptiste opened one eye to see Captain William Clark ...
If you liked Museum of Human Beings, try these:
A deeply engaging new novel, set in both our time and the late nineteenth century. It centers on a California woman, half Indian, half Hawaiian, who became consort and confidante to the last king of Hawaii.
The secret double life of the man who mapped the American West and the woman he loved
Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!
Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only
Southern Gothic fantasy with a contemporary flare set in Savannah
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.
Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.