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A Jewish girl of nine, Zoe-Esther Zundelevich gives in to fancy and secretly visits the village matchmaker before leaving Russia with her papa, Yitzhak, for refuge in Amerika. The matchmaker gives Zoe-Esther the name of her promised match, when she is of age. Zoe-Esther dreams of him, carrying her dreams across the ocean and into womanhood.
Times are hard but Zoe-Esther manages the impossible and becomes one of the few women to graduate from medical school in 1867 Philadelphia. Afraid for her papa’s life when he’s stricken with tuberculosis, she moves him to the Colorado Territory in search of a cure. All she holds dear, Zoe-Esther can never jeopardize her papa’s health and happiness. That is precisely what she faces when rugged, handsome Jake Whiskey comes into her life. She must not give in to her attraction to a rake, a gambler, a non-Jew! It would kill her papa, who wants her to marry “nice Daniel Stein.” But the name given Zoe-Esther long ago wasn’t Daniel. It wasn’t Jake either, no matter how much she might wish it.
It’s not easy to find work, shelter, or enough food in Golden City, where people don’t want a woman doctor and can’t say too much good about Jews either. Zoe-Esther has faced hard times before, but never with so much at stake. When she at last meets her match, can she risk losing the man who now has her heart? Can she sacrifice her own happiness for her papa’s?