This story is researched well and told in an exciting way. Having visited some of the sites that the Donner party passed through, it is remarkable that they even made it to Donner Lake. The hardships of traveling across the Salt Lake desert almost finished the group. However, at Donner Lake their troubles really began. It is difficult to imagine how bad it must have been at the lake for these people. They attempted to cross the mountains in their terrible condition, weak from not eating, striking out with the relief parties, in snow 20 feet deep, with small children who had to be carried. Given what they faced at the lake camps, the cannibalism, for which the story is known, is much easier to understand.
Stanton, the single man, with no need to risk his life, was the most honorable character. He had no real reason to go back for the others expect on principle and it cost him dearly.
Love the vocabulary (vexatious, onerous, amiable) and the metaphors ("buyoed by optimism"). Certainly feels like I really understand the terrain and hardships so much better. Most focus on the Donners alone, but an emphasis on the Reeds is interesting and lively. This incredibly researched narrative history will leave you wanting more. I already started looking for more books by the same author. Enjoy!
This book was difficult to leave.
The entire book was wonderful.
Yes, in parts, I cried.
A wonderful read!
The facts are undeniable and horrifying- settlers resorting to cannablism. What I found most shocking though was how inspiring a story it was. I have never been so motivated as these people were to pick up and leave my life and travel into the complete unknown.
When the Donner party is rescued was not how I imagened.
After his introduction about cannablism, which was hard to listen to- he calms it down and is more subtle and matter of fact.
Just what I said earlier. It is hard to wrap your brain around cannabilism but after you read -- you get it. And somehow, it's still scary but you understand.
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
This could have been a very grotty book. It's not. It's a very clear eyed view of the Oregon/Calfornia trail. And the very real risks involved. I found it quite compelling.
What I really loved about this book was that it didn't try to make someone into a hero or heroine. We read about real people, making decisions for themselves, their families, their pets. One decision different can mean life and death; and it sometimes is just a toss of the coin. At one point a person within the Donner party is the savior and at other times, they make decisions for their personal survival. This story is reality and I really enjoyed it because it was not dressed up as something it wasn't. The people were real with all their frailties. Narration was excellent and held my interest. There were times I drove around the block a few times because I didn't want to shut the story down. Good read and good reader!
The choices and consequences of the party that led to their situation. Although I knew some about the expansionist period and the Oregon Trail, this book filled in a lot of the details in a fascinating book that kept me interested throughout. No fiction could be more interesting than recounts of true story.
Not sure if I paid attention to what the narrator brought to the story; I paid more attention to the story and listening to the events play out.
No, this book was riveting and kept me interested,it was not quite good enough to make me listen to app 12 hours in one sitting.
Although I mostly knew the fate of this party it was fascinating to hear about all of the details and events in a well-researched book and well-written book.
The details in this book were kept to the ones that were important to the events described in that section.