The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown
The story of the Donner Party, a group of emigrants heading to California from Illinois in the 1800s and who became trapped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains during heavy winter snow. While the story covers the entire group's experience, it also narrows in on the point of view of twenty-one-year-old Sarah Graves.
The entire book from start to finish was so well done. How the author explained their lives before, during, and after the tragedy, described the things they went through for the entire journey out west, and described the different people involved -- I could hardly put the book down. I couldn't imagine going through half the things these people had to endure even before they got to the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
This book was so informative and I would recommend for anyone who thinks they already know about the Donner Party because I'm sure you'll learn something new, just like I did. A must read for lovers of historical non-fiction or fiction.
Here's the blurb:
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 emigrants 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, Daniel James Brown sheds new light on one of the most infamous 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.