"I will carry that baby to Zion," I shout at them, "just see if I don't!" Well! I did it! I have left them all quite speechless. In 1856, 12-year-old Charlotte and her widowed father are members of a Welsh handcart company on the Mormon Trail, so poor they cannot afford wagons but must push carts from Iowa City to Utah. When a woman in the company dies giving birth, and her husband is too distraught to care for the baby girl, Charlotte grandly offers to care for the baby, whom she names Rose. But taking care of Rose turns out to be much harder than Charlotte expected. She's stuck; she can't give Rose back. As she struggles along the trail with the infant, she comes to love Rose, and to dream of life with "her" baby, even though Papa and others remind her that she will have to give Rose back to her father when they part ways at the end of the trail.
Twelve-year-old Charlotte, a Welsh immigrant, carries a motherless baby along the Mormon Trail in 1856.