An action-packed novel, The Life and Times of Samuel J. Groo follows one man's journey from his polygamist upbringing in Utah to the wilds of Alaska during the late nineteenth century.
Born in Salt Lake City in the mid 1800s, Samuel "Sam" J. Groo retreats from his faith, leaves the land of Zion, and follows the "All-American Route" to the Klondike gold fields during the great Alaskan gold rush of 1898. But en route to Alaska, he gets caught up with outlaws from Butch Cassidy's wild bunch and becomes a wanted man. Sam makes his escape, but is the target of swindlers who offer an easy way to the Klondike goldfields.
Sam eventually boards a steamer bound for Port Valdez, Alaska, and finds a steadfast friend in his bunkmate, Irishman Tom Clancy. Armed only with a makeshift map, Sam and Tom arrive in Port Valdez and travel a treacherous, unexplored path over vast glaciers in search of gold. The exhausting life of a prospector begins to discourage him, and Sam attempts to make the arduous journey back to Valdez alone. But on the way home, Sam discovers more than gold. He rescues an orphaned child, and together they make their way along the grueling miles to return to Valdez-and an unexpected rendezvous.