Book one of the sprawling Puzzle Box Chronicles. Victor Marius, an inspired scientist and budding entrepreneur, is lost in a shipwreck off the coast of Cape Cod in the summer of 1891. But before he disappears beneath the waves he manages to release a strange box that he hopes will protect his legacy. Amanda Malcom, a young woman enduring a troubled marriage, is about to make a discovery that will lead her on a dangerous odyssey - one that takes her across the country, and into the heart of a rapidly changing America. Along the way, she meets Plains Indians, ex-slaves, riverboat charlatans, and secretive workers who champion the U.S. labor movement. At a time when electric lighting is spreading across the country like a wave, she also meets inspired engineers and Montana miners who dig deep to feed the country's insatiable demand for copper. Amanda has survived many things in her short life, but it's not clear if she will be able to survive the first year of the last decade of the 19th century.
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