From the #1 bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat and Facing the Mountain comes an unforgettable epic of family, tragedy, and survival on the American frontier
“An ideal pairing of talent and material.… Engrossing.… A deft and ambitious storyteller.” — Mary Roach, New York Times Book Review
In April of 1846, twenty-one-year-old Sarah Graves, intent on a better future, set out west from Illinois with her new husband, her parents, and eight siblings. Seven months later, after joining a party of pioneers led by George Donner, they reached the Sierra Nevada Mountains as the first heavy snows of the season closed the pass ahead of them. In early December, starving and desperate, Sarah and fourteen others set out for California on snowshoes, and, over the next thirty-two days, endured almost unfathomable hardships and horrors.
In this gripping narrative, New York Times bestselling author Daniel James Brown sheds new light on one of the most legendary events in American history. Following every painful footstep of Sarah’s journey with the Donner Party, Brown produces a tale both spellbinding and richly informative.
Love the historical facts about the Oregon trail.55
I could not put this book down. I loved it not only from a historical perspective but I felt I was with the travelers every step of the way.55
I thought about it for weeks after I read it. So hard to imagine anyone surviving any PART of that journey, and who knows what extremes we'll go to in order to survive or insure that our loved ones survive. Tragic and uplifting at the same time, and you will absolutly think about your day to day life in a different way! When I finished, I went back and reread parts of it again.55
The author gets off on tangents that do not add interest to the main story. It is a well- and thoroughly-researched book but reiterating the same types of foibles over and over again makes for a tedious read.35