Hermann Reinhardt, a successful Prussian linen mill operator in the era of the ’49 California Gold Rush, decides to leave for America, where he establishes a successful business in New York. He and his wife Frieda enjoy the amenities of the city until he again gets wanderlust. Acquaintances, equally mesmerized by gold, elect him leader of a company headed for California. He packs up his wife, two young sons and daughter, and with no research and minimal knowledge, the company sets out on their journey. The story is told from Frieda’s perspective – well done, geographically and historically correct, and amply descriptive of the miserable situation they, as well as a host of others, encounter while negotiating this grueling trip, which is mostly a result of city-bred naivety and utter lack of effective preparation. Hermann’s arrogant, stubborn, headstrong attributes simply exacerbate the situation. This is a depressing tale, but its strong points make it an interesting read. Publishing note: the selection of a larger font and/or page would have made the book much easier to read.