We listened to this on a long journey - it is the story of a long and ill-starred journey. The inevitability of the tragedy that befell these pioneering families is painful. It emphasised for me the huge risks taken by our pioneering families in the opening up of our countries.
This book taught me a lot about this time era of the pioneers and the harsh stuff these people went through. Amazing what they did and has made me very greatful I haven't had to travel on foot and live through the conditions they had too.
Mom, birdwatcher, and online teacher
Yes, it is one of the few audiobooks that I have already listened to several times. Once you reach the end, the information about the main characters at the beginning becomes more interesting. The imagery that is evoked by the narration is powerful.
Tamsen Donner was my favorite character. She tried to keep the semblance of a normal life for her daughters, telling them stories and fixing their hair, amidst great tragedy.
Inspiring story about all aspects of human nature.
Yes if they like history. The whole first half is nothing but history. It takes forever to get to the story.
I didn't realize that they endured these conditions for sooo long.The least interesting part is you get a way too detailed history lesson before they even get to Donner's Pass.
There weren't any character performences except in the places where letters were read.
No , because it's a nonfiction book.
If you like history then you will like this book, but it takes forever to get to the storyline. Once you finally get there, ,and I mean it takes several hours, it gets really interesting. I didn't know anything about the Donner Party so it was really interesting to learn about. I was in snow storm Nemo and it made me feel very fortunate for what I have. I went 24 hrs without power and being cold but these people went 3-5 months. The conditions they endured were terrible and each family's story was touching. I didn't realize there were so many people that were in the Donner Party. It is sad because most of the families stuck by themselves. I think if everyone had of pooled there resources and come together that things would of turned out differently and alot more people would have survived. It is truly amazing how many people did survive and at the very end of the story you get to find out what happened to alot of them after their horrible ordeal. The narrator did a really good job and kept me engaged through the long drawn out history lesson. Overall this one could either be worth or not worth your time.
I didn't know much, just the basics about the Donner Party tragedy, and found this audiobook to be riveting, and I gained new respect for the pioneer western settlers. This book is based on actual diaries and other accounts of people who were involved, so you get the real story, or at least as much as can be had.
yes - puts you back in history
Just seeing how people used to live.
liked them all.
I really enjoyed how detailed the book is, even though it is terribly depressing to hear what the people went though.
The details of the living conditions and different people clustered together.
There really wasn't a single person that I connected with, but it was a great history listen into what they people went through
No it is simply to long
don't listen to the second half of the book during lunch...
Much better than I thought! I learned a lot more than the traditional lore about the Donner party. It was much more difficult, gruesome and heartbreaking than history had taught me. What was really compelling was realizing how many times they were warned, "Don't go that way-- it is NOT a shortcut!" They had grizzled experts warning them and so many examples of why they shouldn't have trusted certain people but they refused to turn back.
Which, is an interesting psychological study. Why it's so hard to admit you've made a mistake and backtrack when invested heavily down a certain path in life? It's a lesson for all of us.
Also fascinating is who survives and why. I live 5 hours from where they died and I can't wait to go there after the snow melts and see the monument dedicated to them.
I grew up in Wisconsin and if your car dies in 30 below weather and you're not prepared--you die! Be prepared always, everywhere!
That huge man (one of several rescuers) who refused to let children die just because they couldn't walk. He carried several for a few miles, set them down, came back for the others and repeated- like a relay. Everyone else was content to let them die.
He doesn't get in the way of the story at all, very comforting listen. Like you are around the campfire!
It made me wince, gasp, but most of all, think a lot. What would I do if the rescuers were there and I could walk out with my little children--or choose to stay by the side of my husband who was dying and then I would die for sure, I would be stranded because the rescuers left and wouldn't be coming back. Fascinating.
Always have food bars and water in your cars folks!! CB might be a good idea too along with the cell phone.
Yes. I have read about the Donner party in other books but this one showed the true tragedy in what they went through to get to the Sierras and then what they went through just to survive. A riveting read filled with star crossed timing issues and just overall bad luck yet the will to survive in a place that was barely survivable.