After unearthing her great-grandparents’ diaries, Mary Ann Hooper set out on a journey to retrace their 1871 trip across the United States on the newly-opened Transcontinental Railroad to the Golden City of San Francisco. Filled with rich details of time, place, and culture, Mary Ann’s compelling narrative is both a re-creation of a family journey and a thoughtful account of how the American West has changed over the last 150 years, including the scary implications for the environment. Mary Ann’s adventurous and determined voice fills the pages with entertaining encounters on the train, escapades on her folding bike, and her reflections on her birth country and her own life story.
Mary Ann Hooper grew up in an old farmhouse in Brattleboro, Vermont, and now lives in Wirksworth, a small town near the British Peak District. She is a Harvard graduate, a former journalist and also a social worker. Now retired, she is a trustee on a local Community Land Trust and helps edit her town’s website. Across America and Back is her first book.