The Desert between Us
by Phyllis Barber is set during the Gold Rush period and after the Civil war.
When the government decides to build roads in the desert regions of rural
Nevada to create easy access to the gold mines of California, it imports camels
to America. Geoffrey Scott, a road builder, leaves Kansas and travels to help
build the road. After completing the road works, Geoffrey Scott moves to St.
Thomas where he meets Sophia Hughes. The attraction between the two becomes
very strong, but their personalities are diametrically opposed. Can Geoffrey
Scott succeed to have Sophia to himself in spite of the obstacles that
stand in the way?
Phyllis Barber has written an engaging historical novel, offering a vividly drawn setting as she explores the countryside; the book navigates the world of the Mormon community as they build their lives in the desert. At the heart of the novel is a love story that is suspenseful. While Geoffrey Scott and Sophia share a strong attraction for each other, Sophia's heart is complex. She is already the third wife of an older man and Geoffrey might not even be enough for her. The beauty of Barber's work is in the author's extraordinary ability to bring the historical setting to life; the experience of the desert is wonderfully written and readers will find pleasure in following the relationships between the different characters and the camels. The Desert between Us features beautiful prose, a book that deftly examines love, human existence in difficult conditions, and endurance. You'll remember the key characters and the places they have been long after putting this book down.