White Feather, the child of Native American Sandwalker and renegade Navy Captain Henry Whitney, rejects her prearranged marriage in the Oregon Territory tribe to find her father's culture in pre-Civil War New York City. Using her birth name, Marissa Whitney, she discovers the evil within the human spirit as she rides the Oregon trail from the west to the east. Near Fort Laramie, Wyoming, she meets cavalry Captain William Harbison, and the encounter changes her life. Surviving cold, heat, thirst, hunger, stalking, and a brutal assault, she arrives in New York City and connects with her powerful Whitney heritage. Living in the shadow of her mother, Sandwalker, Marissa confronts social barriers and injustices associated with settlers, Indians, New York society, a corrupt politician, street orphans, and the impact of the Civil War. Catapulted to the pinnacles of wealth and power, her indomitable spirit is set free to love in spite of hate and to have hope instead of despair.