An early American adage proclaimed, “The frontier was heaven for men and dogs—hell for women and mules.” Since the 1700s, when his name first appeared in print, Daniel Boone has been synonymous with America’s westward expansion and life on the frontier. Traces is a retelling of Boone’s saga through the eyes of his wife, Rebecca, and her two oldest daughters, Susannah and Jemima.
Daniel became a mythic figure during his lifetime, but his fame fueled backwoods gossip that bedeviled the Boone women throughout their lives—most notably the widespread suspicion that one of Rebecca’s children was fathered by Daniel’s younger brother. Traces explores the origins of these rumors, exposes the harsh realities of frontier life, and gives voice to the women whose vibrant lives have been reduced to little more than scattered footnotes within the historical record. Along the path of Daniel’s restless wandering, the women were eyewitnesses to the clash of cultures between the settlers and the indigenous tribes who fought to retain control of their native lands, which made life on the frontier an ongoing struggle for survival.
Patricia Hudson gives voice to these women, all of whom were pioneers in their own right. The Boone women’s joys and sorrows, as well as those of countless other forgotten women who braved the frontier, are invisibly woven into the fabric of America’s early years and the story of this country’s westward expansion.
PRAISE FOR TRACES
“Patricia Hudson’s lyrical yet riveting debut novel is an exceptional work of historical fiction, an intimate portrait of the forgotten women in Daniel Boone’s life, set against the vast backdrop of the American frontier. I couldn’t stop turning pages, both spell bound and enlightened.”
-Amy Greene, author of Bloodroot
Patricia Hudson has been a freelance writer for more than 30 years. She’s written for magazines ranging from Country Living to Women’s Sports and Fitness, but her favorite assignments focus on historical topics. She was a contributing editor at Americana magazine for more than a decade, writing about historic preservation, folk art, and travel destinations for history lovers. As a frequent contributor to Southern Living magazine, she traveled extensively in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, profiling people whose passion for those regions matched her own. She’s a long-time member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Her book credits include: Inns of the Southern Mountains, and Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia, as well as The Carolinas and the Appalachian States, a volume in the Smithsonian Guide to Historic America series.