Book Review: The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown

the-indifferent-stars-above-coverBook: The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga Of A Donner Party Bride by Daniel James Brown

Published April 2009 by William Morrow|352 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: Adult Non-Fiction/History/U.S. History

Blog Graphic-What It's About

From the #1 bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat comes an unforgettable epic of family, tragedy, and survival on the American frontier.

“An ideal pairing of talent and material.… Engrossing.… A deft and ambitious storyteller.” – Mary Roach, New York Times Book Review

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 pioneers 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, starving and desperate, Sarah and fourteen others set out for California on snowshoes, and, over the next thirty-two days, endured almost unfathomable hardships and horrors.

In this gripping narrative, New York Times bestselling author Daniel James Brown sheds new light on one of the most legendary events in American history. Following every painful footstep of Sarah’s journey with the Donner Party, Brown produces a tale both spellbinding and richly informative.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

This book was an interesting read. I think a lot of people know the story, and I have to admit that that’s why I picked up the book.

It did focus on one particular woman, Sarah Graves, and her journey with the Donner Party. It did seem like it was hard to find information about her specifically, and that the author had to piece things together from what other people in the party wrote. It was also more about the events going on around her than her specifically. It was also about the time period and what life was like back then, particularly in terms of birth control and trying not to get pregnant on such a journey.

It didn’t take away from her story, and the horrors that she must have experienced. He really painted a picture of what things were like for her traveling out to California and the hope that she must have had when she started out on that journey. I can’t begin to imagine what it was like to lose family and friends, and to be the one in charge of her siblings once they managed to get off of the mountain.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

3 stars. I did the book was going to be different- I thought it was going to more focused on Sarah, and I was a little disappointed that it was more about the entire group and why they acted the way they did on that fateful journey. Still, it’s a pretty interesting read, and it seemed like it was a pretty realistic look at what happened, instead going for something more sensational, and that I really appreciated.

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