All Ruth Casper wants is to make her mark on the world, but in the post-Civil War South she’s considered a person of no consequence. After witnessing a speeding locomotive massacre a herd of wild elk, she conjures up the design for an improved railroad brake. It’s based on an invention that her husband, Henry, a tinkerer and a dreamer, has been unable to bring to reality. Ruth encourages him to construct the brake, and the two of them undergo a perilous trip north to Washington to have it patented. There they encounter Augustus Windom, the man-child heir to his father’s railroad empire, who’s obsessed with establishing his own legacy. When he decides that he’d rather steal Henry’s creation than pay for it honestly, the three of them set upon a collision course with each other that has far-reaching consequences. Rich in historical details, this novel will appeal equally to railroad enthusiasts and readers who enjoy stories about women who chase their dreams with boldness and grit.