White-haired and beautiful, Toni Rodden, is saved from a life of prostitution by a group of settlers heading to Oregon. Already shunned by many in the wagon train, things worsen when Cheyenne war chief, Swooping Eagle, sets his sights on her.
After trying to buy her from the wagon master and getting nowhere, Swooping Eagle decides to kidnap Toni. While some of her fellow travelers are angered by the attention she's drawn from the Indians, she has a champion in Sam Two-Feathers, a half-breed wagon scout who preaches the gospel.
Through hardships and infighting Toni and Sam are drawn together. But each feels unworthy of the other and when a pregnant Indian squaw ends up traveling with the group, Sam wonders if God sent her to him for marriage.
Distant Heart follows a wagon train as it travels through Indian country. The characters and dialog are terrific as well as the well-described and historically accurate setting. Ms. Bateman has captured a slice of historical America in this inspirational romance.