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306 pages : map ; 22 cm
Victoria (Tory) Blaisdell longs to live a life as adventurous and independent as that of her heroine, Jan Eyre. When Tory's father loses his job and decides to seek a share of the newly discovered gold in California, Tory stows away on the westbound ship carrying her father and younger brother, Jacob. Though San Francisco is mud-caked, frenzied, and full of wild and dangerous men, Tory quickly finds friends and independence until her father leaves for the gold fields and the care of Jacob falls to her. Then Jacob vanishes, kidnapped, perhaps hidden among the hundreds of ships - called Rotten Row - that have been abandoned in the bay. If he is there, Tory must find him in a treacherous search. Tory comes close to losing everything in her quest for her own and her brother's freedom.