In 1856, when the US Army imports camels to Texas, the young Galveston debutante and her family are uprooted to accompany the camels to San Antonio. On the trek, she makes three improbable friends: Alex, affable nephew of the Yankee commander; Hassan, handsome Egyptian camel handler; and Nate, restless grandson of the Matagorda lighthouse keeper. The camels' antics amuse and astonish, but tensions rise between those who envision a Camel Corps defending the West and others who find the beasts too foreign. Elizabeth worries as her new friends become embroiled in the conflict. Far removed from her sheltered upbringing, she suffers tragic loss, confronts the horrors of slavery, and finds love. One thing is certain: her fate is firmly linked to the camels.
A fictional account of actual events, this cross-cultural adventure gives voice to an ensemble of feisty women, Muslim camel men, African-Americans, immigrant Germans, and colorful Texans, all brought together by the great American camel experiment.