When mail-order bride Juniper's husband vanishes, she writes to him--but fears she's waiting for a ghost in a ghost town. A century later, Johnny Sutherland discovers her letters while restoring her abandoned farmhouse. Can her loving words from the distant past change his present?
1902: Upon arriving in Kenworthy, California, mail-order bride Juniper Cohen is met by the pounding of the gold mine, an untamable landscape, and her greatest surprise of all: the kind and charming man who awaits her. But when the mine proves empty of profit, and when Juniper's husband, John, vanishes, Juniper is left to fend for herself and her young daughter in the dying town that is now her home.
Juniper pens letters to her husband but fears she is waiting on a ghost. Perhaps worse, rumors abound claiming the man she loves could be an outlaw. Fighting for survival, she befriends the few people left in Kenworthy and refuses to leave, resolving to be exactly where her husband left her in case he comes home. Surviving in a ghost town requires trusting the kindness of a few remaining souls, including the one who can unlock the mystery of her husband's disappearance.
Present day: Trying to escape the heartache of his failed marriage, Johnny Sutherland throws himself into raising his children and restoring a hundred-year-old abandoned farmhouse in what was once known as Kenworthy in the San Jacinto Mountains. While exploring its secrets he uncovers Juniper's letters and is moved by the handwritten accounts that bear his name--and as a love story from the past touches his own world, Johnny might discover yet that hope and resilience go hand in hand.
With The Gold in These Hills, acclaimed and beloved author Joanne Bischof returns with an absorbing masterpiece of faith, perseverance, and love that changes the course of history.
- Sweeping, Inspirational fiction with historical and contemporary timelines
- Stand-alone novel
- Book length: 93,000 words
- Includes discussion questions for book clubs and a note from the author