A Love Story

 The Sutter Creek ChroniclesA New Orleans psychic and a good day in the stock market lead computer whiz Julia Mooney to the little town of Sutter Creek, where, in a fog of compulsion, she buys an old house she doesn’t need, for reasons she doesn’t understand. The quaint community, with its Duck Races and rodeo, its haunting Memorial Day services, its Italian parade and eccentric expatriates from metropolitan life, gradually draws Julia ever more tightly into life in Sutter Creek-past and present. Is it chance-or destiny-that leads to the discovery of what lies mysteriously hidden within the old house? Is coincidence and intuition but a juxtaposition of things not seen, nor understood, but inevitable—like love that, despite time and circumstance, will not be denied?



“This is a work of fiction, a flight of imagination. Its events and characters exist only on these pages, and any resemblance to persons living or passed on to the world to come, is simply coincidental. Well, mostly coincidental.

For the story’s genesis I am indebted to Mara French, who knocked on my door fifteen years ago, and told me how the predictions of a New Orleans psychic brought her to Sutter Creek. I was so entranced by the story I thought it must have significance for someone and thus I told and retold it to friend after friend, all of whom found it fascinating but none of whom found it personally meaningful. I was convinced the story must be meant for someone, and eventually concluded I was that someone. I asked myself, Why would a psychic predict a woman would buy a house, with a specific description, in a specific location? Why?

Imagination launches itself on this simple question: “Why?”



by JoAnn Levy



Praise for JoAnn Levy’s Work

THEY SAW THE ELEPHANT: Women in the California Gold Rush (University of Oklahoma Press, 1992)

“One of the best and most comprehensive accounts of gold rush life to date.” -San Francisco Chronicle

DAUGHTER OF JOY: A Novel of Gold Rush San Francisco (NY: Forge Books, 1998)

Winner, 1999 WILLA Award for Best Historical Fiction

“Levy’s story does the era a service.” – San Francisco Chronicle

FOR CALIFORNIA’S GOLD: A Novel (University of  Colorado Press, 2000)

Winner, 2001 WILLA Award for Best Historical Fiction

“vivid and affecting…commands the reader’s awe and deep sympathies…a fine work of historical fiction.” – Dallas Morning News

UNSETTLING THE WEST: Eliza Farnham and Georgiana Bruce Kirby in Frontier California (Berkeley: Heyday Books, 2004)

“Unsettling the West is a compelling, eminently readable portrait of two remarkable women, who found in the California frontier not just some freedom from standard notions of propriety but inspiration for even greater reforms.” – San Francisco Chronicle


Find out more about these books on Women in the Gold Rush