Catherine M. Wilson lives in a redwood forest in California. An avid reader from earliest childhood, Catherine searched in vain for the book she wished she could have read as a young woman. The first line of that book would have been: “Once upon a time, a young woman set out to seek her fortune.” Having passed her half-century mark without finding the book she wanted, she decided that she would have to write it herself. But her first line is a bit more chilling: “All the women of my family had gone to war.” Catherine’s mother did in fact go to war in 1942, so there is more than a ring of truth to the line, as there is more than a ring of truth to the story, its setting and its characters. All are rooted deeply in the author’s experience and in her lifelong study of myth, legend, fairy tale, and folklore.