Seeing Indians in Queen Elizabeth’s court, young Lady Catherine Archer is enthralled by Sir Walter Raleigh’s reports of his New World colony and by Sir Walter himself. But when poems from Sir Walter are found in her room, the orphaned Cate is sent away from the court by the jealous Queen, who keeps Raleigh close by her, not allowing him to even visit the colony that he raised money to establish.
Locked in the Tower of London, Cate worries that she will die alone and forgotten. But after weeks in prison, her fate is announced – she has been banished to Roanoke Colony in Virginia, never to return to England! For a 14 year old girl, raised to be a gentle lady, the long sea voyage (where pirates or the enemy Spanish are sure to attack the English ship) and the primitive conditions of the Colony are more likely a death sentence than any mercy from the Queen.
Cate is determined to see for herself the wonders of the New World that Raleigh’s captains reported, as she completes the voyage which brings the first women colonists from England to Roanoke. But they find the fort’s walls destroyed, the planted crops withered away, and the Roanoke soldiers dead or missing…
Will the colonists be able to survive with only the supplies in their ship? Did the friendly Indians kill the soldiers or are there other enemies beyond the trees? Will the Queen let Sir Walter visit his colony at last? And will city girl Cate let go of her dreams of Raleigh and find a happy ending in this wilderness? 336 pages
Contributed by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA