Uncertain Pilgrims



This story, a contemporary novel sprinkled with rich historical detail, centers on healing, fresh perspectives and starting anew. After tragedy strikes the life of Carla Bracato, she packs up her tent and camping gear, setting off on a journey down the old Santa Fe Trail to dispel her grief by indulging in her passion for history. At Leavenworth, Kansas, Carla encounters Dale Jackson, an older man who shares her interest in historical topics, and his son, Tom. Carla befriends the pair, and they meet at various forts along the Trail. Absorbed in the rich history of the area, Carla feels her pain begin to lift. Throughout the novel, the story flashes back to 1867, to the days of George and Libby Custer and their personal love story.

Although a bond of friendship develops between Dale and Carla, she comes to care deeply for Tom. But upon reaching Santa Fe, Dale becomes very ill, and her relationship with Tom crumbles. Love, learning, and hope combine to make the reader care for all of the characters.

Carroll, an author from Kansas City, personally visited all the places Carla does along the Santa Fe Trail. She also consulted staff and historians at the various forts to provide an accurate historical account of the settings in her novel.



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12 of the best stories selected from the 2012 Historical Novel Society Short Story Award






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