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One More River to Cross

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  75 reviews
In 1844, two years before the Donner Party, the Stevens-Murphy company left Missouri to be the first wagons into California through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Mostly Irish Catholics, the party sought religious freedom and education in the mission-dominated land and enjoyed a safe journey--until October, when a heavy snowstorm forced difficult decisions. The first of many ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Fleming H. Revell Company
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  105 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Hallie Szott

In the 1800s, no trip to the West occurred without unanticipated hardship. The Donner Party, of course, remains infamous for what they endured in 1846-47. Lesser known is the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend company, which chose to make the same crossing through the Sierra Nevada—with much different results.

In One More River to Cross, Jane Kirkpatrick imagines the experience this group of people had, facing a dangerous snowstorm and difficult decisions to make. Her writing is
Allison Tebo
Sep 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
FTC Disclosure: Revell Reads gave me complimentary copies of this book. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts.

Did not finish. I’m afraid I couldn’t get past the first few chapters. The writing is really poor. It’s not only bland and stilted, it’s confusing, and I had to pause at the end of every paragraph to decipher the sentences I had just read. A lot of the statements felt utterly random and had no connection to the previous phrases. The characters
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Thanks to the publisher, Revell, via LibraryThing, for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

This is a story of survival based on true events in 1844 about a group of people from Missouri traveling through the Sierra Nevada mountains to find a better life in California. They encountered unimaginable hardships of starvation, cold, separation from loved ones, and birthing babies in the wilderness.

I am always interested in how an author gets an idea for a novel. Jane Kirk
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
So much as been written about the wagon trains going west and it seems as though we have romanticized those trips quite a bit. Jane Kirkpatrick though, lays it on the line and doesn't mince what it was like when the wagon trains ran into trouble. The hardships are everywhere in this story and it makes me think if I could survive such a trip. These women were strong and so were there children. They grew closer, as times got rough and formed a bond that couldn't be broken.

One More River to Cross
Abigail Harris
Oct 02, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
My Review of One More River To Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick: I promise I tried to read this book . . . Truly, I did, but I am a girl, eh, woman that believes that some women overreact with feminism, men should automatically be put in three categories; stupid/weak/needy, overbearing/controlling, or wanting an inappropriate relationship. Since this book has shown a lack of respect for the men, bitter woman that "was what women did" talking about taking care of a family, and I tried flipping through t ...more
Cathy Daniel
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a thoughtful, inspiring, beautiful book! I truly believe in 2019, people need instant gratification and action. That is why this amazing book is getting low ratings. This book is historical fiction based on real pioneers. It naturally happens and is authentic to the time. Yes, it's leisurely but it's exactly authentic and how a pioneer story should be. I grew up listening to my grandmother telling me stories of my pioneer ancestors. Jane Kirkpatrick sounds like my grandmother sitting at her ...more
Lisa Johnson
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Title: One More River to Cross
Author: Jane Kirkpatrick
Pages: 352
Year: 2019
Publisher: Revell
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
I am always amazed to read how various authors get started on a novel. Whether it’s a person of history or an event it just fascinates me. The novel One More River to Cross began when the author read a footnote, which you can read about in your copy, and from there she set out to learn more. Jane Kirkpatrick does a very good job of researching
Danielle Urban
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick is an interesting read. One that brings a story of traveling from one land to another, alive. There were so many dangers presented in this book. Many did not survive trips like these. Still so many treaded forward. Hoping for the promise of a new life. Loss, grief, fear, and hope were mixed on every page. The unpredictability was good. I kept on wondering what next. They story was well-written. Slow but steady was the pacing. I did feel like the plot w ...more
To be fair I won't rate this since I didn't finish it. It started off with a long list of character names and their relationships to one another. I mean a LONG list. OK, I thought, I've done this before, so I kept reading. But it didn't take long for my little brain to start spinning, trying to remember who was who. I've enjoyed other Kirkpatrick books, but this was just too much work. Sadly, I'm done.
Emily Yager
Sep 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This was an interesting read. It was fascinating to read about the pioneer families that traveled west and some of the struggles that they went through. The story itself is well written and had a somewhat slow and steady pace. The story was an enjoyable read. It's a time frame that i usually enjoy reading. Yet for whatever reason, I couldn't quite get into this book.
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Set in the American West of the 1840's, this novel is based on the obscure true story of a group of pioneer families who set out for and reached California, after enduring hardships, obstacles, and setbacks. Quite a contrast to the unfortunate Donner Party, this group all pulled together, helped each other, and were willing to separate into several groups, so that at least some of them would reach their goal and no one would hold anyone else back. I liked the author's note where she explained ho ...more
Sara Wise
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
** “ … I trust God is with us whatever choice we make. It’s what I draw on in the hard times. That I’m not alone and that God wants good things for us at the end.” **

Jane Kirkpatrick brings a story straight from true life to the page with “One More River to Cross,” a harrowing tale of a courageous group of people who make their way across the country in a wagon train, and the battles they face on the way.

Taking place from 1844-1845, “One More River to Cross” follows the s
Robin Willson
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Most of this is facts that the author found in research. One of the first wagon trains to travel this area.
In the epilogue Jane said she hoped that this story might celebrate the honor of self-sacrifice, the wisdom of working together, and the power of persevering through community and faith. She did that exactly. This story is set in 1844 as a wagon train is progressing across country towards Oregon first then changing to California, which was still Mexican at the time. A fairly easy trip
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it

This is my first novel by Jane Kirkpatrick and I’m now wondering why I haven’t already come across some of her previous novels. This newest work is set in 1844 and involves a wagon train that travels through the Sierra Nevada mountains en route to California.

Most of the settlers from the wagon train are Irish Catholics, but regardless of where they are from or what their religious views are, they are all searching for a better life in California.

Unfortunately, the journey
Maureen Timerman
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
All the while I’m reading this story, I had the feeling that I would never be warm again, or not starving.
The author made this story so real, and then I read her notes at the end of the book, and found out that this is based on real people. Along that note, I loved all the updates on these folks that we sure cared about.
As you are reading this you kept wondering how they ended up in these circumstances, and then you remember what happened to the famous party that came after them, and
Evelyn  Fonseca
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
One More River to Cross is based on the true story of a group of travelers heading west in the 1840s. It was a large group with 17 children. Forced to split up in 3 groups after encountering a brutal winter, each group must find a way to survive and fend for themselves.

I had never heard of the Stephens- Murphy- Townsend expedition nor the Donner Party so it piqued my interest. However, I was let down by this book. There are way too many characters and although I appreciate the character table o
Virginia Campbell
Acclaimed author Jane Kirkpatrick is known for the meticulous detail found in her inspiring works of historical fiction. "One More River to Cross" is her storytelling of the "Murphy-Stephens-Townsend Overland Party", which traveled from Missouri through the Sierra Nevada Mountains to reach California in 1844. Decisions of varying wisdom by members of the group. the twists and turns of Fate, and the undeniable force of Nature itself lead the travelers on an eventful, life-altering journey for whi ...more
Patricia Stoltey
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick is based on true events that happened when the first pioneers tried to take wagons over the mountains to California. A story of resilience, survival, and true grit, especially among the women. Highly recommended!
Angie Fehl
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

The year is 1844, two years before the tragic, fateful trip of the Donner Party. The Stephens-Murphy-Townsend wagon party, made up mostly of Canadian and Irish Catholic immigrants, travels from Missouri to California. Come October, they are trapped in a season of fierce snowstorms in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

After much discussion, the choice is made to split the party up into three groups (which later turns into four). One small group travels on horseback around Lake Tah
Kaitlyn S.
So, this book was one I chose for my younger sister. Since she’s writing a book on a figure from the wagon trail days, I figured this would make a good research tool.

I read it with mixed feelings. I enjoyed it — the writing style was wonderfully engaging, the storyline was clear, and the research was well done. Little known facts about the Stephens-Murphy party were revealed and the facts included about the era were incorporated in a way to keep the story interesting. Being that this
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The American history books are filled with stories of brave men whose dreams pushed them further and further west. What we too often ignore is the simple fact that they were almost always accompanied by women. Women who eagerly chose to move in search of a better life, but also women who had no voice in the decisions that forever altered their futures. Those decisions were made by husbands, fathers, and even brothers. Too often the females would soon find themselves alone as family members succu ...more
Conny Reviews
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
“That however we are separated, our Father will watch over us and unite us all in this land before the one beyond,” a prayer is offered in Jane Kirkpatrick’s novel, One More River to Cross.

~ What ~
Based on a true story, this three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those interested in a group of wagoners crossing the snowy Sierra Nevadas in 1844. With no profanity, topics of injury, starvation, illness, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginn
Alex Jacobson
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jane Kirkpatrick is known for her detailed story telling and deep characters. One More River to Cross by Kirkpatrick is no exception. The story is so historically rich and the characters both deep and diverse. This is a story of true heroism; families traveling, ultimately, as the first to settle into California in the 1840's. It's filled with exciting, dramatic moments and then also realistic moments of monotony and the daily grind of progressing through challenging terrain and even more danger ...more
Meagan Myhren-bennett
One More River to Cross
By Jane Kirkpatrick

In 1844, a group headed from Missouri to California. The Stephens-Murphy-Townsend party was determined to be the first company to take wagons into California via the Sierra Nevada. Wagons through the mountains would be no easy task add to that this wasn't just a group of explorers but families - men, women, children and laden down wagons. But as they approach the final leg of their journey there is a decision to make - which path to pur
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Individuals who enjoy learning about the pioneering days of American History
Until I read this book, I was unaware of this captivating snippet of American history. I had heard about the Donner Party (who hasn’t) but hadn’t heard of their predecessors who had also set out for the west as pioneers. The different personalities of each member of the traveling party emerge quickly. I could feel the weight of the decisions that had to be made and the enormity of the risks taken in pursuit of a better life. The harsh realities of life in the 1840s is exposed through the persona ...more
Wendy J.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you loved playing "Oregon Trail" as a kid, or are interested in pioneer life, you will enjoy this book. It gives great details on the hardships faced by these incredibly brave and hardy people.

The characters are colorful and fairly well drawn. The drawback is that there are so many characters, too many of them named James, John, or Daniel.....luckily there is a chart at the beginning listing all the characters because I had to refer to it constantly.

The author tells the story mai
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“They had gotten on a craft called faith and pushed out on the river. Sometimes the stream flowed calm and restful and sometimes it meandered and swirled the craft about. But it always took them to where they needed to go.”

I would say that Jane Kirkpatrick neatly sums up her book, One More River to Cross, in the quote above. Traveling across the country in a wagon train, the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend party learned that living on faith is a powerful thing. Faith is what got them throug
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In 1844, two years before the Donner Party, the Stevens-Murphy company left Missouri to be the first wagons into California through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Mostly Irish Catholics, the party sought religious freedom and education in the mission-dominated land and enjoyed a safe journey–until October, when a heavy snowstorm forced difficult decisions. The first of many for young Mary Sullivan, newlywed Sarah Montgomery, the widow Ellen Murphy, and her pregnant sister-in-law Maolisa.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Revell at Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own


Jane Kirkpatrick does a magnificent job of remaining true to the real story in her newest novel, One More River to Cross, creating a narrative that is both historically accurate and beautifully told with dynamic characters based on the exceptional pioneers of the day. 
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick does not disappoint the reader, if they are familiar with her old frontier stories. In this novel, we meet many young women and men are their trek towards Alta, California for Sutter’s Fort from Missouri. However, when they reach the Rockies in the late autumn, near Lake Tahoe, the weather changes for the worse. The snow becomes intense and the group of travelers decide they need to split up into smaller groups.

The group of travelers soon d
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Kirkpatrick brings us a story of one woman's restoration from personal grief to the meaning of community."