Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Kalifornische Sinfonie” as Want to Read:
Kalifornische Sinfonie
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Kalifornische Sinfonie

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  1,728 ratings  ·  218 reviews
The history of California in the mid-19th century comes alive in this captivating historical novel. Garnet Cameron, a fashionable young lady of New York, is leading a neat, proper life, full of elegant parties and polite young men, yet the prospect of actually marrying any of them appalls her. Yearning for adventure, she instead marries Oliver Hale, a wild trader who is ab ...more
Leather Bound, Lizenzausgabe, 702 pages
Published 1956 by Bertelsmann (first published 1950)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Kalifornische Sinfonie, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Alice I just read the following in another user's review and I think it answers this question perfectly:
PG/PG-13 Some PG-13 elements put over in a PG way if…more
I just read the following in another user's review and I think it answers this question perfectly:
PG/PG-13 Some PG-13 elements put over in a PG way if that makes any sense. Ds and Hs are fairly regular, one B and characters are said to say a string of swears, without us having to hear them. One character is a prostitute, but that is more her past, (now she is just a barmaid and we don't go into her work) and a fair bit of the book is in a bar. Burlesque dancing is mentioned, but we don't get any colorful images of it, thank goodness. There are several murders, I'm not telling you if I was pleased to see that some people were no longer walking about. Otherwise it's not objectionable. I'd say 14/15 years old and up. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I thought this book was going to be like many of my grandmother's old books: a cheesy romance novel from the first half of the last century. They're always amusing books because the"romance" part is so mild compared to today's books, and the proper behavior of "ladies" is so hilarious by our standards (a lot of nastiness couched in polite language).
But while this book had the romance thing going on, it also was quite a history lesson! I spent all day finishing the 2nd half without putting it dow
Apr 20, 2015 Tweety rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, especially those who like characters real-to-life
Recommended to Tweety by: Misfit
As pretty much everyone can see from my billions of updates on Jubilee Trail I hands down loved it. The story was so simply put over that you never felt like the author was trying to impress you with her knowledge of the times. But I felt like I was there every minute of the way with Garnet.

In New York Garnet felt like she was a doll wrapped in tissue paper and set in the closet for safety, but the closeness stifled her. When she met Oliver, he represented everything she didn't have, adventure,
Kate Quinn
One of the first adult historical fiction books I ever read, and a book that still fascinates me. Gwen Bristow is not a well-known writer of historical fiction, but she deserves to be: her characters are interesting and flawed, her settings are meticulously researched, and her writing style is as clear as a pane of glass. Jubilee Trail is the best of her books, centered around the two-tiered society of California as it was just before the Gold Rush, where proud Spanish rancheros existed side by ...more
Talk about destiny! I had just read a book by Sandra Dallas and Nancy Turner so to pick up "Jubilee Trail" and see that both of these ladies had written a foreword, just seemed meant to be.

What a story. I felt like it was a fantastic history lesson. Florinda and Garnet were two of the most interesting characters I've met up with in a long time. I loved Florinda and found her complex, lacking and wonderful all at the same time.

291: She understood why John loved the earth. The rocks and mountain
Are you serious? This is horrible, horrible, horrible! This book pretty much lost me when they helped their friend escape from the hotel in New Orleans. Let me suspend any intelligence I might have and just believe that their plan might have worked. And on the trail to what was it - Arizona?? No Indian attacks along the way? No problems dealing with, hmmmm, womanly issues on the trail? She doesn't get pregnant? It was UNrealistic every step of the incredibly long way. I gave up before GARNET eve ...more
Miss Garnet Cameron has just finished at her fashionable young ladies' academy and now she's expected to marry someone in her New York Society social circle, for it's 1844 and that is all young ladies like garnet are expected to do. Yet, Garnet wants so much more. She wonders at the gaudily decorated theater she sees well-dressed people go into; she wonders what's out there besides New York and longs for adventure. When a prominent local merchant is murdered, it sets off a chain of events that w ...more
This is the story of just out of finishing school Garnet, who meets and falls in love with Oliver Hale while he's visiting New York from California. Garnet has an adventurous spirit that Oliver indulges and they're off to California via the Jubilee Trail. Along the way they meet up with Florinda, the "bad" woman with a heart of gold and Garnet and Florinda become great friends, and support each other during the good and bad times as they cross the country and come to California before it is gove ...more
Jul 09, 2011 Janice marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
By Amberly:

Jubilee Trail is a great story, the writing itself is not especially incredible but the story is incredible. I should mention it felt a little cheesy to me at first - very prim and proper and some other quality I'm not sure how to describe. Once I got a little ways into the book and was used to the writing style it didn't feel cheesy anymore. I did not have a lot of time to read when I started this book. As I moved further through the story I found it harder and harder to put it down.
I had such a fun time reading Jubilee Trail and found myself savoring every word. It was written in the 1950's and it is quite obvious from the writing style, but I found that it added to the charm. It just "felt" old fashioned to it's core. The character's were beautifully written with so many layers, and I found myself in love with so many of them. Or hating them passionately...depending. There were so many individual and deeply personal stories interwoven in this book that will stay with me f ...more
This is not a book to grab you and not let go but one that sort of seeps into your consciousness and sort of settles in. It didn't always feel like a 4 star read but as it came together at the end I knew it was a good read. It definitely gives you the feeling of what it was like at that time with the sparseness of California, the roughness of living on the trail and the political flavor of the times. But it's more than that, it's about friendship and brave souls. I think Gwen Bristow set this on ...more
After I read These Is My Words (and the two books that followed) I went looking for more books by Nancy E. Turner. One busy day while ordering some books from amazon I typed in Nancy's name and this book pulled up so I stuck it in the cart and placed my order. When the order arrived I was very surprised to see this book, whose forewards are written by Nancy E. Turner and Sandra Dallas, was authored by someone I was unfamiliar with. So onto the shelf it went for someday when I didn't have a book ...more
My friends and I all passed this book around in high school, and a few years ago I was lucky enough to find a copy at a library book sale (prior to this 2006 edition). This is a great book about the settlement of California, from the eyes of a young woman raised in New York society. Longing for adventure, Garnet marries a man she barely knows, wooed by his stories of magical California, a land that isn't even on the map yet. But the path to California is hard, and Garnet encounters many unpleasa ...more
Rebecca Huston
This turned out to be quite an adventure, and very much an improvement on most of the historical fiction/romance being churned out to day about the American West. The characters are not dull at all, the descriptions vivid, and the history great fun to read without being boring. Those looking for the over-the-top sex should look elsewhere; this book doesn't need such cheap tricks to keep it moving. Very much recommended.

For the longer review, please go here:
Gwen Bristow knows has to write about women. She gets us. Garnet and Florinda aren't anything like each other and yet they are true friends who stand by and help one another through whatever comes. They don't completely understand each other, but they value the differences they see in one another. As life gives them hard times, they both face it with grit and determination. My favorite quote from the book comes from Garnet, "She had thought freedom meant simply the chance to have her own way, wi ...more
Sep 28, 2014 Zora rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Edna Ferber
Recommended to Zora by: goodreads list
I really liked this 1950 novel about a proper New York girl longing for adventure mid-19th Century, getting married, and taking a trek with her new husband along a wagon trail to the nation of California--which wasn't even on the globes out east yet--where further adventures await her. In style, it's of its era, and I mean that as a complement. (Would that the average popular novel today were written this well, or as well as Mary Stewart's Gothics. But the "middlebrow" novel disappeared in about ...more
I LOVED this book. It was extremely detailed, which made for long reading, but I don't think I would have wanted it pared down at all. The lengthy telling provided fascinating insights to pioneer life on the Jubilee Trail and emotionally connected the reader to the characters in a very vivid way. I felt all of Garnet's emotions as my own- my heart ached with her, I felt disappointment, grief, fear, her wonder at the beauteous landscapes, her yearning, and her jubilation and thrill.
The unlikely f
This book was published in 1950 but it is truly a timeless piece of Western historical fiction. Garnet, a New York socialite meets and marries a western trader/ranchero and travels with him on the Santa Fe Trail to California. It is a tough go, but she meets all challenges head first as she is a true pioneer at heart, always trying to make the best of her circumstances. She meets a showgirl on their stopover in New Orleans and fate intervenes so that they travel the trail together and in the int ...more
I totally loved the language in this book. “Hell for breakfast!” was used all the time instead of “dang it!” Maybe back in the 1840s the words ‘dang it’ hadn’t been invented. I wish we still used ‘hell for breakfast’. But, I must go on with my review. Oh hell for breakfast!

Another thing I liked about this book: no one else in Weber County wants to read it so I was able to renew it about 32 times. That was handy. This book was first published in 1950, so I think most of the people who have heard
Melissa T
I dearly loved this book. I loved traveling across the Jubilee Trail (and farther) with these characters, and was so sorry to see the book end! I felt like it was unpredictable, and although I was surprised by the turn of events, I really liked it as I went along. Somehow it seemed more true to life than many "romances". I loved the friendship between these two women, despite their entirely different upbringings. I also really enjoyed the writing style--when I read it I could tell is wasn't writ ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a great historical fiction novel. While I have read better, this book accomplishes everything the author sets out to do. It's really a coming-of-age story, as Garnet slowly realizes that her husband is not perfect, that even "soiled doves" can be good people, and that her true soul mate just might be a man who doesn't believe in love.

While I really enjoyed this book, it definitely has its weaknesses. Bristow wrote Jubilee Trail in the 50s, and at times it seems a bit dated in terms of ph
I am very glad that this is the first book I have finished in 2015. I am not familiar with American History and I cannot comment on the historical background except by feeling that Indians were not justly described. But it was a very enjoyable book and one that I am sure I will reread soon.
Delightful story. Writing style is much different than our more modern novels but loved the characters and storyline.
I devoured all of Gwen Bristow's books back in high school, so this ranking is admittedly biased because of the nostalgia factor. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed a recent re-read of her work. Yes, her writing is clunky at times, a bit too dramatic and historically questionable in parts. Yes, the dialogue is often right out of the 1950s rather than the appropriate time period and the book drags in parts...but there is something about her writing that keeps me coming back every decade or so. ...more
{If I had read this book at another time in my life I may have given it a lower rating. But it was the right book at the right time}.

While Jubilee Trail had plenty of dramatic things happen in the story, it never felt stressful or overwhelming (does that make any sense??) It was written in 1950 and reads like a book written in 1950. Not sensationalized or overly dramatic, but easy to engage in and enjoy. It was an epic novel (reminded me a little of Gone With the Wind) and I felt like I learned
There are few books that you feel you can open and jump into. I found myself in a quiet room laughing out loud, as well as clenching my teeth in painful places of this novel. The historical aspects of this novel entwined with friendship and a sprinkle of romance made this a five star novel for me.
Angela Faye
I really enjoyed this book! It really reminded me of Lonesome Dove but the more I read I felt like it was a little of that and a little of "These is My Words". It was such a good book, but I so wish she had extended it a little bit least to talk about them getting married. Highly recommend.
What a fun book. It was implausible in parts, had a fair share of stereotypical characters, made me roll my eyes more than once, but also would not let me put it down for almost the whole last third of the book. Plus I got a history lesson on California's journey to statehood in the most painless method possible!
New York society girl Garnet dreams of a life beyond her staid 1840s upbringing. What does go on in those music halls? What would happen if she told one of her oh-so-proper suitors how s
When I was young, I loved this book to pieces. The five stars are a tribute to having read this book so many times and still loving it each time. I just read it for my book group, and enjoyed it once again.
I thought this book was the most beautiful and outstanding book I've ever read.

This books contains a story you won't forget soon. Gwen Bristow created a whole new world, I loved to live in and even though she surprised me with plot twists I didn't expect, I fully understood the decisions Garnet had to make. It's a book about life and it's flaws in full glory, but it's also a book about love and friendship.

Technically, this book is a great historical book, which describes the standards and value
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Son of a Hundred Kings
  • The Diary of Mattie Spenser
  • The Water and the Blood
  • The Tailor's Daughter
  • Lydia Bailey
  • The Proud Breed
  • Dawn's Early Light (Williamsburg, #1)
  • Tisha: The Wonderful True Love Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaskan Wilderness
  • Devil Water
  • A Catch of Consequence
  • Oh, Kentucky!
  • Sara Dane
  • Hannah Fowler (Kentuckians, #2)
  • Ride the Wind
  • The Vines of Yarrabee
  • Shadowbrook: A Novel of Love, War, and the Birth of America
  • Open Country (Blood Rose, #2)
  • The Magic of Ordinary Days
American author and journalist. She studied at Columbia University and afterwards wrote for a number of literary magazines and journals. Eventually she moved to New Orleans, and worked at the Times-Picayune. She became interested in longer forms of writing—novels and short stories—through her husband, screenwriter Bruce Manning, and published her first novel in 1929.

Bristow reached the pinnacle o
More about Gwen Bristow...
Celia Garth Calico Palace Deep Summer (Plantation Trilogy, #1) The Handsome Road (Plantation Trilogy, #2) This Side of Glory (Plantation Trilogy, #3)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“That” 0 likes
“actresses. But when he got married, he told this fancy woman he was done with her, just like a high-minded man ought to do. But she wouldn’t let him go. He was her last chance, you see. She was through at the Jewel Box. Not that them girls at the Jewel Box are supposed” 0 likes
More quotes…