Kate's Reviews > The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride

The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown
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's review
Jul 02, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads
Read in July, 2009

The Indifferent Stars Above tells the harrowing tale of the Donner Party and in particular focuses in on Sarah Graves, a young and recently wed woman. Its an interesting read that quickly draws you in. Focusing in on one character helps make the story more personable and intensifies the tragedy of the story. The book goes beyond the basic story of the Donner Party to provide a glimpse of life on the frontier in the 1840s. Brown adds to the story by including modern knowledge on the effects of starvation, which allows the reader to more fully understand what Sarah was experiencing.

There were two real negatives to this book. The information in the book does not completely match up the Appendix, for example Wolfinger is not included in the appendix, although his wife is, and the date Halloran's death is off by a month. These discrepancies are distracting as I often referred to the list in the appendix to help me keep the characters straight.

The other negative is the lack of a map. The book would have greatly benefited from a map showing the normal emigrant trail and the trail that the Donner Party took.

Despite these minor negatives, this book id definitely worth reading particularly if you like period pieces or survivor stories, such as In the Heart of the Sea.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Caitlin (Ayashi) I'm not quite finished with the book but I definitely agree about wanting a map. It would have been really useful to be able to reference the map when they were at different stages in their journey, and to see the path they all took.


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