Sharon Chance's Reviews > True Sisters

True Sisters by Sandra Dallas
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May 14, 12

Read in May, 2012

Crafting her novel from a historical standpoint, author Sandra Dallas documents the lives of four women on the Mormon trail with the infamous Handcart companies in her book, “True Sisters.”

The story follows Jessie, a hardworking farm girl and her two brothers, as they hope to build a successful farm in the promise land of Utah; Anne, a loyal wife following her husband, who is a devout Mormon; Nannie and Ellie, true sisters, who along with Ellie's husband Andrew are looking to start a new life in “Zion”; and Maude, an older woman, whose mid-wife and doctoring skills become a highly-valued service on the trip.

The novel focuses on the real-life Martin Handcart Company, a group of around 650 individuals who signed up to push handcarts from Iowa City to Salt Lake City, a journey of around 1300 miles - through scorching prairie, over treacherous rivers, and across frigid snow-packed mountains. The goal was an escape from religious persecution and the hope of a fresh start in a new land (most of the converts had come from England, Scotland, and many of the Scandinavian countries).

Although the journey itself was fraught with danger and physical and mental challenges, what makes this novel so memorable is the persistence and courage these women show in the face of so many setbacks. Sandra Dallas does a wonderful job of presenting an actual historical event in a captivating manner that is well-researched, well-written, and well-delivered.
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