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.