It is the story of a beautiful, gifted woman who leaves the magic mountains of her native New Mexico for the piratical, opulent, gaslit New York of the 1870s—only to end her search for happiness back in the high, thin air of Santa Fe.
Santa Fe Cameron, named for the place of her birth, was the child of a Spanish mother and a Scotch father and inherited from both a high degree of psychic perceptivity. Natanay, an American Indian, saw this and gave the little orphan a turquoise amulet as a keepsake; this turquoise, the Indian symbol of the spirit, dominates her life.
For Santa Fe Cameron, life is made up of violent contrasts: the rough wagon of the gay young Irish medicine vendor who brings her East and the scented hansom cabs and carriages waiting before her own Fifth Avenue mansion; the glittering world of the Astors and a dreary cell in the Tombs. All the color, excitement, and rich period detail which distinguish Anya Seton’s novels are here, together with one of her most unusual heroines.