During the winter of 1825, Richard Hamilton—a timid Harvard philosophy student—arrives in St. Louis on business for his father. Robbed and beaten, desperate to save his life, he reluctantly joins the crew of the Maria, a fur trader's keelboat. Bound for the beautiful, wild, and dangerous Indian country of the Upper Yellowstone River, the native Bostonian begins the education and adventure of a lifetime.
On a converging path is Packrat, a Pawnee warrior who captures a beautiful young Shoshone medicine woman named Heals Like a Willow. But slaves with ties to the spirit world can—and do—fight back.
As the Maria struggles deeper into the wilderness, Richard and Willow are cast together: seekers of knowledge and spirit, unwitting adversaries separated by time, space, and birthright. As inevitable as the collision of their two worlds, their love begins to unfold—and with it the terrible consequences of a forbidden consummation.
Morning River is the first novel in W. Michael Gear's Man from Boston series—a historical fiction saga of the dangers and possibilities of the American frontier.