Shows B

In the story Jo is really Josephine, the tearaway younger daughter of a Boston judge. By the age of 17, Josephine has had a baby, left home to make her fortune, been robbed, raped and disfigured, and adopted a disguise as a man. Jo has to make her way in harsh world of silver mining, learning how to wield a pickaxe and to cope with the initiation rite of a being contest. Jo hankers after the handsome Jordan who is pursuing Sara, who fancies Jo! But all this is set against the sheer precariousness of staying alive and the rise and fall of the miners' fortunes. The troubles of the Irish miners who have been the subject of prejudice become prejudiced themselves making a local Chinese man their scapegoat when desperate Chinese labourers agree to work the mine for half-pay.