A Synopsis

Although based on McCutchen family history, Betsy is first and foremost a work of fiction, with romance, adventure and suspense.  It’s set in the Missouri frontier, circa 1850, where preachers and doctors are scarce and feelings are strong.  Betsy’s fiancé goes off to the Mexican-American War and comes home a hero, only to jilt her for a New Orleans heiress.  A city girl, Betsy finds solace on JD McCutchen’s farm where she becomes fascinated by JD’s fascinating stories of family history.

Alfred McCutchen, or the Judge, is a magistrate in a small frontier community.  He looses his wife and asks that Betsy come help him with his children.  Her trip to his frontier community turns into a fear filled adventure.  Eventually, the Judge asks Betsy to stay as his wife. While she finds him exciting and handsome, she dreams of a marriage filled with mutual love.  Therefore, even though she has grown to love the children and will miss them terribly, she is determined go east and train to be a teacher.  Then a surprising event changes her mind. 

Jim, an introspective teenager in this story, was the author’s grandfather.  The book ends with Jim starting his own adventures as he heads west.  In The McCutchen Saga, you will soon be able to read about him and his adventures which include experiences on the Oregon Trail, vigilantes in Montana, the Civil War in Missouri, and ranching in Nevada.

Back Cover

In 1849, Monroe County, Missouri, was still the frontier, where preachers and doctors were scarce. With statehood, Mexican grants of thousands of acres dwindled into hundreds of acres for the lucky landowners; unlucky ones received nothing.

The Mexican – American war was over. Men who left their sweethearts to fight with their hero, Doniphan, became heroes themselves, feted, and offered chances they’d never had in Missouri.
The lure of the far west was beginning to have its pull. Even tragedies like the Donner Party disaster wouldn’t dissuade adventurers for long, especially when the discovery of gold in California became known.

Betsy Sloan, an auburn-haired city beauty, came to the Missouri frontier with a broken heart. But the engaging smile of her employer lured her back to life.

Gerald Termaine, a dashing young corporal in the Mexican-American War loved Betsy since they were children. But he jilted her and left her for an heiress who gave him a hero’s welcome in New Orleans.

Alfred McCutchen, “The Judge,” needs Betsy to care for his motherless children. He’s handsome, and exciting, but does Betsy want to settle for a loveless marriage?

Cal McCutchen, the wild first son whom Betsy rejects.

Jim McCutchen, the intuitive second son left to pick up the pieces.

"Like water going over the mill wheel, we can’t stop change but we can choose how we deal with it"
Mary Barnett McCutchen, 1813-1848