The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride (P.S.)
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 emigrants 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, starvi...more
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“The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride” tells the story of the Donner Par ...more
Maybe someone more fascinated by or familiar with the Donner party would be able to follow this, but it felt overloaded with information. I wish it had simply focused on Sarah Graves. Instead, there was such an array of people involved, it was near impossible to keep track of them all. I wouldn't say it was poorly written; just not the book for me.
This account is a little different in that it does not focus on the Donners, but another family that was traveling in the party. Franklin and Elizabeth Graves, their married daughter Sarah, her husband, and their eight children left Illinois on their fateful journey. The story r ...more
I knew very little about the Donner party and now know more than I ever wanted to know. (Why did I think this would be less gory???)
What I really found fascinating and appreciated about the book was all I learned about the life and trials of the pioneers: the lice, the lack of water, the dust... I would have to be of stronger stu ...more
Overall, it took me to the 25% mark to really get invested in reading this book - up to that point, it seemed to be dry, general facts about the Oregon Trail. But once I hit the 25% mark and the real story began, I couldn't put it down. ...more
I don't know how many of you played the computer game Oregon Trail, but it was all the rage when I was in elementary school. You'd pick your family members, head off with a wagon, a number of oxen, yokes, supplies, etc. Then, you'd head off on the Oregon Trail, praying for balmy conditions as you travel ...more
My husband and I often drive I-80 from Utah to California, and we have spent a bit ...more
But, Daniel James Brown does a good job of stringing this all together into a coherent whole, to present how the trek to California, and the nightmare in the Sierra, probably looked from her eyes.
He also does a good job at looking at things like PTSD, survival psychology and more. Excellent read., ...more
Before reading this I knew what I guess most people know about the Donner Party. The author focuses on one member of the group, but manages to humanize almost of the people there. He outlined the unfortunate decisions that led to them to their tragic fates, as well as the physical effects of what they must have experienced. It's hard to imagine what these people went through, especially now as the mother of a young child, in hopes of a better life. ...more
Well, (spoiler) they were right. But I felt this book was well written and very carefully researched. It you ever thought the idea of pioneering was romantic, you probably should read this book. That'll set you straight.