In This Land of Plenty

In This Land of Plenty

by Mary Smathers

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"...truly a treat for the mind." --Readers' Favorite Five Star Review

" invitation to not just accept but cherish the value and beauty of diversity. In this ambitious work, Smathers imparts the wisdom of studying the past in order to move more fully and sincerely into the future." --Publishers Weekly BookLife Review

Selected as a Shelf Unbound 2020 Best Indie Notable Book

How do you know who you are if you don't know where you come from? In This Land of Plenty is an expansive, atmospheric American family saga set against the rich history of California. When Nicole discovers through DNA reports that her ancestry is far different from the white, northern European background she thought was hers, she enlists the help of her great grandmother to investigate their roots despite protests from her father. The search takes Nicole and Great Gram into the attic of their historic San Francisco Victorian where the family's true history unfolds. Slowly the two women unravel the mysteries of their 250-year family tree, from California's native inhabitants and its earliest European colonizers through the generations to the Gold Rush.

In This Land of Plenty is a meticulously researched and beautifully written historical fiction family saga that introduces a diverse cast of characters and the complex social issues that populate California's rich history while drawing a direct line to today's residents.

"In This Land of Plenty captures the complex dynamics of family, exploration and exploitation, and the necessary accommodation to circumstances without submission. Extraordinary accomplishment by the author." --Diana Y. Paul, Award-winning author, Things Unsaid

Fans of historical fiction will fall in love with this novel's:

*Strong research and vivid depictions of historic California

*Inspiration form the original Spanish soldiers on the Portola expedition to explore and settle Alta California

*Connections to the native Ohlone people and other tribes who populated the area for thousands of years, and to the De Anza settlers who walked eighteen hundred miles from Sinaloa to the San Francisco Bay

*Strong characters, and women, who are both relatable and fascinating

*Emphasis on the importance of family

In This Land of Plenty is perfect for book clubs or as a gift for the reader in your life.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940165311161
Publisher: Mary Smathers
Publication date: 01/21/2021
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Mary Smathers grew up in Los Altos, California and graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Latin American Studies. She earned a Master's degree in Education and another MA in Educational Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University. From 1983 to 2013, she worked in public schools throughout California as a high school teacher, administrator, teacher trainer, grant writer and educational entrepreneur, helping to found three education companies and a public charter school.
Since that time, she has focused on writing, reporting for a bilingual, regional Costa Rican newspaper and publishing her first work of fiction, Fertile Soil: Stories of the California Dream, in 2016. In This Land of Plenty, her debut novel, will be released in summer, 2020. She divides her time between California's Central Coast and the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, where she is at work chronicling the stories of subsequent generations in the Brennan/Castro family tree of In This Land of Plenty and a children's book series featuring tropical and jungle animals.

Table of Contents

Family Tree


The Sacred Expedition

The De Anza Expedition

California Presidios and Missions Along the El Camino Real

Nicole's Central and Northern California

Family Mysteries

Great Gram and the Historic House

The Ghost

The Sacred Expedition

The Great Bay

A Soldier for the Californias

The Village




The Little Adobe House

The Maid

From Hummingbird to Coyote

The Crusader

Changes in the Little Adobe

The Babies


The Wife

The Family

Rancho Castro

The Lone Survivor

Return to the Forest

A Ranching Woman


Captured Again

Family Trust

Los Californios


Abuelo's Secrets

The Family Trade


The Foreigner

Love and Sin



The Warrior


Return to the Old Victorian



Family Reunion

Endnote for the Reader


About the Author

Customer Reviews