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Across the Endless River

3.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  106 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
From the acclaimed bestselling author of The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, a historical novel about Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, the son of Sacagawea, and his intriguing sojourn as a young man in 1820s Paris.

Born in 1805 on the Lewis and Clark expedition, Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau was the son of the expedition's translators, Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau. Across the End
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 342)
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Sherri Huntley
Feb 16, 2012 Sherri Huntley rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I really enjoyed this book. The topic was interesting and the story line very good.
Oct 16, 2009 K rated it it was ok
i very much enjoy LT's Early Reviewers program, and i received "across the endless river" through it. i've been in a reading slump for over a month, since finishing "the shadow of the wind." i was hopeful "river" could pull me out of it. unfortunately, it did not.

"river's" subject matter intrigued me, as i know little about sacagawea, other than her association with lewis and clark (and her appearance in the ben stiller flick, night at the museum - sad, i know!). anyway, i also adore historical
Dec 29, 2009 Morris rated it really liked it
The first opinion I formed as I was reading this book was that the author must have done a lot of research before writing this. The level of detail provided about both life in America and life in Europe during this time period is staggering. Thad Carhart vividly recreates the contrasting societies and the citizens that comprise them.

Jean Baptiste is born from the union of parents from very different worlds. His struggles to fit in with both the Mandan tribe and the people of St. Louis prove frui
Oct 14, 2009 Janelle rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
I received this book through GoodReads' First Reads Program. I was especially interested to read it because I had recently read the author's other book, a non-fiction memoir called The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, which I had enjoyed. Here Carhart tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, the son of Sacagawea, as he grows into young manhood.

It seems obvious that this book is the author's first foray from the world of non-fiction to fiction. The historical details are clearly well-researched,
Little facts are known about Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau. He is the son of Sacagawea (Native American Indian translator on Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery) and French fur trader. He spend the first ~ 18 months of his life traveling from Fort Mandan, over the Bitterroot Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. At a young age, ~ 7 ish, he starts living with Captain Clark during the fall and winter months so he can be educated and spring and summer with his parents in the Indian village. At age 18, he tr ...more
Jan 01, 2010 Michelle rated it liked it
"I love historical fiction. It offers me a chance to learn more about a person or about an era or a culture while reveling in my love of reading. It's like a pleasurable history lesson without the boring teacher droning on about dates. I agreed to review Across the Endless River solely because of my love of historical fiction, and I am supremely glad that I did. [return][return]While I love historical fiction, I find myself not reading it as often as I would like. Mr. Carhart reminded me why I l ...more
Oct 16, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
From my book review blog Rundpinne... "Across the Endless River is a masterfully told tale of the life of Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, the son of Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau. The novel is told in such a manner that the reader is transported to the 19th century and one cannot help but feel as though one is transported back in time standing alongside Jean-Baptiste as he journeys, loves and ultimately must decide where he belongs. While historical in nature, the heart of the book is Jean-Bapt ...more
Beth Anne
Sep 19, 2009 Beth Anne rated it really liked it
won on goodreads giveaway!

i do love historical fiction...most especially when it's written as wonderfully as this novel was. the imagined story of the young life of Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau (son of Sacagawea) was just captivating. it's hard to believe that the author fabricated the majority of this young man's journey...the story seemed so real.

of course, the meaty portion of the novel, Baptiste's 5 year journey throughout Europe, was the most fascinating and elaborated part of the novel...and
penny shima glanz
Oct 01, 2009 penny shima glanz rated it really liked it
I received this book very quickly after I won the giveaway. The blurb indicated a book that combined elements I knew I could enjoy. Upon reading I found that and much more. This novel contains historical fiction, American frontier history, and European history in a delightful way by combining travelogue, epistolary writing, and journal entries into a novel which kept me turning pages. That it also raised thoughts on the servant/slave/whoami debate made me stop and think and want to read more abo ...more
May 11, 2014 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a few years ago when it was on the initial list of books to consider for the upcoming OBOC read. I enjoyed it. This historical fiction book was about the son of Sacagawea, the Indian guide for Lewis and Clark.
Oct 08, 2009 Bridget rated it it was amazing
Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau had a baby boy names Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau. His mixed heritage makes him feel like an outcast. When he turns eighteen, he befriends Duke Paul of Wurttemberg and together they travel around Europe. Jean Baptiste and Paul's cousin, Princess Theresa, begin a hot and steamy affair. When Theresa gives Baptiste an ultimatum, he's unsure of what to do. He travels to Paris and meets a woman named Maura. Now he's torn between two worlds and two women. What will he ...more
Mar 29, 2015 Amber rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this. I know little about Sacajawea, and thought it would be interesting to read about her son's life. I usually enjoy historical fiction. It was too text-book-like to really enjoy though. I just thought it was a boring read. :(
Sep 11, 2009 Liviu rated it really liked it

This is a pretty good novel about the European travels of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau in the company of a German naturalist prince from 1824-1829; leaving aside the relative lack of plot which is not a big deal since the novel works well as a travelogue/meeting of cultures, the main falling is that in following a relatively well documented historical person, son of the famous Native American explorer Sacagwea and her French/Canadian husband, who had the distinction of following his mother as almo
Sep 01, 2010 MJ rated it did not like it
Shelves: book-club
I ‘m still scratching my head after reading Across the Endless River, trying to figure out the author’s point in writing it? I happen to be reading The Count of Monte Cristo in tandem with Across the Endless River. They are of the same era, with some of the same themes, Europe after Napoleon, and the fascination with travel and all things exotic, and even many of the characters have the same names, but there is where they part company. Dumas is such a master of conversation, and Carhart just see ...more
Kelsey Anfenson
Feb 14, 2014 Kelsey Anfenson rated it liked it
It was slow. Interesting but slow.
Jan 10, 2015 Shelley rated it liked it
A bit dry. Kudos on the research.
Nettie Rosenow
Feb 03, 2011 Nettie Rosenow rated it really liked it
A good book for a cold, midwestern winter read. History is blended with what the author thinks might have happened to particular characters, much like " The Girl With the Pearl Earring". Not as good as his first book, "The Piano Shop On The Left Bank" but worth the effort. There is a factual book about the life of Jean Baptiste available which would be interesting to read. I noted that the author did not credit that book in his acknowledgements.
Michelle Griep
May 05, 2010 Michelle Griep rated it it was ok
Lots and lots of history and detail, which is great for a textbook but not so much for a novel. Yes, I'm saying it dragged. I found myself skimming over entire paragraphs, and believe me, I NEVER do that.
The other thing that really bugged me was that the main character is in love with a woman yet sleeps with a different woman. What is that all about? Made me want to slap the fella.
Definitely not a thumbs-up kind of read.
Oct 11, 2010 Marie rated it it was amazing
I read this in one sitting, I didn't have a choice it was so good! Anyone that loves history and the lives of the people who lived during the events that made the books, would love this book, it's a fictionalized story (based on the few facts that are out there) of Sacajawea's son, and his very interesting life, the end... well read it for yourself.
Oct 14, 2010 Kathy rated it it was ok
This book was about the son of Sacaqwea who was born on the Lewis and Clark expedition. It was intereting, but by the second half I had to half-skim sections to keep interested. At least I have a historical factoid in case a trivia question about Sacagwea or her son comes my way!
Sep 14, 2010 Cheryl rated it really liked it
I had always heard of Sacagawea & sort of remembered that she gave birth to a baby on the trip across America, but never knew anything about the child. This book sheds light on her son. Very well written & I enjoyed it a lot.
Peter Zingg
Apr 08, 2012 Peter Zingg rated it really liked it
An often-fascinating look at the cross-fertilization of the American wilderness experience of white explorers and native Americans with the European experience of post-Napoleonic princely scientific collectors and sponsors.
Apr 29, 2012 Cynthia rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012
Probably the worst book I have finished. I stuck it through because I just couldn't believe that someone could actually write a terrible book about something so interesting. I feel cheated.
Feb 05, 2011 stillme added it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
The author seems so condescending to his own main character that I can't continue reading. This, despite the fact that I find the historical aspects fairly fascinating.
Jun 02, 2010 Athena rated it it was amazing
Fabulous historical fiction about Sacagawea's son and his adventures in the Old World. Worth reading.
Dec 09, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Very interesting book, very well written, interesting storyline and timeline.
Christine (booktumbling)
review coming soon
Sep 21, 2014 Sue rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
3.5 stars
Débora Paias
Débora Paias marked it as to-read
Apr 28, 2016
Diane marked it as to-read
Apr 27, 2016
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Thad Carhart, author of Across the Endless River, is a dual citizen of the United States and Ireland. He lives in Paris with his wife, the photographer Simo Neri, and their two children.

More about Thad Carhart...

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