Julie runs away from her step-father after he tries to seduce/rape/marry her. She disguises herself as a boy and travels to Oregon with her two black servants. On the way, she finds her cousin, Jim Reno and convinces him to accompany them. However, Reno doesn’t know that Dooley (Julie’s boy name) is a girl.
Ride the Wild River was definitely my favorite so far because Reno wasn’t the main character. I cared more for Dooley and her struggles. One major plus is that there is a TON of tie-in with the previous book. I never had a WTF moment. Reno and Lee (the boy Reno kinda-sorta adopts at the end of book 2) are back. Reno has become a drunk (because of reasons that would spoil the end of the second book) and goes through his own soul searching transformation process.
This book was full of everything I love: a wagon train to Oregon, altercations with Indians – albeit stereotypical Indians, mutiny in the wagon train, a jail bust and a daring escape, and a girl dressed up like a boy who is in love with Jim. They ride the wild river in a pretty epic conclusion.
Overall, Morris is at his best with Ride the Wild River. Pure entertainment for those who are addicted to the West, like me.