Deep Trouble is the fourth book in the Baker Family Saga. The Baker family is living in the Willamette Valley – Ferndale, Oregon to be precise. Way back in 1842 when Alice Mae was only four years old, Donna was two years old and Rose was not even old enough to walk, their grandfather, Jonathan Baker, decided his whole extended family needed to move to the west coast.
He bought, what he thought was, a house big enough to house them all (he was wrong, it turned out to be a shack) and began the work of convincing his children and their spouses his plan, to plant a town with them in Oregon Territory, was a good idea. That was before Oregon was even a proper Territory; it belonged to the country that could populate it first.
Jonathan and Margaret Baker had five children and ten grandchildren when they left for the disputed part of the Louisiana Purchase. The family didn’t want for money or land but Jonathan had always been an adventurer and being among the first families to settle in the west coast would be his ultimate adventure.
Not all of his fellow travelers were as fortunate as the Baker family and didn’t possess the biggest and best wagons for traveling. Most of the families either had nothing because of the crash or because they just had never had anything go right for them.
The Thomas family was an example of the later families. But Mrs. Thomas had a scheme that was surely going to pay big dividends – this time. She wanted Jonathan to join her but he wasn’t interested. She took his attitude as a personal insult and had a life-long grudge against “that snooty Baker family” She used one of her sons, the “poor Chester” mentioned in the first chapter of this book, to get even with them but so far the only plan that had succeeded was the slow murder of Jonathan.
*That wasn’t much of a victory since the Baker family didn’t even realize their beloved patriarch hadn’t just died of old age. But Chester kept trying until, in Angels, Eagles and Fire, the third book in the saga, his obsession drove him into a mindless deviant who did nothing the rest of his life but suck his thumb.
*It was in the second book, Day by Day that Mr. Ed, as he told the girls they could call him, came into the story. Eduardo was the law in the Spanish town in Californio where Sam robbed and killed a business man. The lawman tracked Sam to Ferndale and was there when Chester and Sam kidnapped one of the Baker girls. When Alice Mae followed, with the intention of saving her cousin somehow, Chester tried to shoot her and the lawman got there in time to save her.
*In The third book, Day by Day, Dianna gave birth to her first child, Joseph, Chester Thomas tried to kill Alice, and Richard returned to the valley with his future bride.
*The family has grown and expanded and the town Jonathan established has attracted other families so Ferndale is now a good sized town for that day and time. The boys in the family are all encouraged to go back east and finish their education so they get a taste of cultured society but the girls are not so fortunate.
The Baker family decides to remedy the situation by exposing three of the oldest girls, Alice Mae, Donna, and Rose to the culture they have heard is in California.
The other two girls, who are old enough to be exposed to society, will be going east with their mother to find husbands in another year so they are not allowed to go to California with the others.
No one would have believed, in their wildest dreams that Alice, Donna, and Rose would end up in a desert, or as potential wives of a kind Mormon - or doing washing from a boiling pot, over a fire and bouncing a fretting baby on a hip clothed in itchy wool instead of the satin and silk the girls are used to.