Based upon actual events that occurred in Utah in 1857, Virgin River is the destination for a small wagon train of seriously ill people hoping to be healed by the dry, mild climate of the southwestern desert. Barnaby Skye, along with his two Indian wives, leads these people on a quest to find the promised land. Faced with hardships and distrust, especially from people that fear the contagion of the consumption plaguing the travelers, they must protect themselves from the Mormons, who own the land they wish to occupy, other travelers, and Indian tribes they encounter along the way.
Virgin River is the sixteenth book in the Barnaby Skye series. Richard Wheeler has won several Spur Awards for his Western writing, along with awards for lifetime achievements in Western literature. I haven’t read the previous books in the series, but after reading Virgin River, I plan on adding his series to my reading list. The author’s knowledge of the Western locale, the descriptions of the landscape and, above all, his characterization of Barnaby Skye make for a memorable read. Highly recommended for Western lovers.