Rest for the Wicked: A History Novel (Book 3, California Gold Trilogy)
“This is Naida West’s best book yet.” — Andie Sevier, founder of the Rancho Murieta book club
“With her strong academic background and her unique abilities as a story-teller, West delivers another novel set in California that is bound to please both her established fans and those who are meeting her world for the first time.” — Persia Woolley, author of the Guinevere Trilogy
Set largely in Sacramento City and County (1893-1910), with segments in Oakland, San Francisco, and a hard-rock mining camp in El Dorado County, this novel continues the family sagas of the Sheldons, the Donners, and Indian Mary, and introduces new historical figures as well as the fictional Mae Duffy.
Seeking fame and fortune during a severe national depression, Mae breaks free of the poverty of the played-out Gold Country, only to be captured and confined by a corrupt Sacramento policeman. She flees for her life and stumbles into the corrupt world of the State Legislature, where girls are political favors. Charlie Rogue, the only staff to the majority party, introduces Mae to tycoons, political power, and imperial San Francisco, as well as Sacramento’s underground where illegal activities abound.
Mae returns and hides in the rural backwater of Slough House. From two old women, Chinese and Indian, she discovers much about life, and with half-breed Billy McCoon she finds real love. Mae and Billy move to an industrial mining camp where he passes for white and earns a salary, but their past comes to haunt them. Ultimately Mae’s hard-won wisdom guides her to the good life and gives her the strength to fight for it.