Popular novelist Gilbert Morris finds fresh romantic, history-based inspiration in Joelle’s Secret. This mid-1800s tale begins with seventeen-year-old Joelle Jones fending off unwelcome advances from her predatory stepfather just after her mother has died. When the man is declared Joelle’s legal guardian, she knows he will have his way with her, so in desperation runs away.
Pursued by the stepfather who offers a reward for her return, Joelle cuts her long beautiful hair, poses as a young man, and finds work as a stablehand. She meets a spiritually frustrated treasure hunter who—believing Joelle to be a male—invites her to join a wagon train to gold-rich California. But hard living on the trail makes it harder for Joelle to conceal her identity. When her traveling companion learns the truth, matters of faith and friendship become tense until Joelle helps him realize that God can indeed do all things, and that some things—like true love—are worth even more than gold.