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One More River to Cross

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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 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. When the party separates in three directions, each risks losing those they loved and faces the prospect of learning that adversity can destroy or redefine. Two women and four men go overland around Lake Tahoe, three men stay to guard the heaviest wagons--and the rest of the party, including eight women and seventeen children, huddle in a makeshift cabin at the headwaters of the Yuba River waiting for rescue . . . or their deaths. Award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick plunges you deep into a landscape of challenge where fear and courage go hand in hand for a story of friendship, family, and hope that will remind you of what truly matters in times of trial.


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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 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. When the party separates in three directions, each risks losing those they loved and faces the prospect of learning that adversity can destroy or redefine. Two women and four men go overland around Lake Tahoe, three men stay to guard the heaviest wagons--and the rest of the party, including eight women and seventeen children, huddle in a makeshift cabin at the headwaters of the Yuba River waiting for rescue . . . or their deaths. Award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick plunges you deep into a landscape of challenge where fear and courage go hand in hand for a story of friendship, family, and hope that will remind you of what truly matters in times of trial.

30 review for One More River to Cross

  1. 5 out of 5

    Hallie Szott

    3.5 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 3.5 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 exquisite as the historical detail combines with intriguing characterizations, and it all proves extremely well-told. My problem with this novel is strictly a personal one: I had trouble keeping track of the many characters, their relationships to one another, and who went where with whom. The book does include a map and a detailed character list at the beginning, so Kirkpatrick does her best to alleviate potential confusion. The fault here lies entirely with me. So, if you love historical fiction, check out One More River to Cross. A story of brave men and women facing ostensibly insurmountable adversity, it’s worth a read (especially if you don’t have trouble with characters, like I do). This review is also posted on Hallie Reads. I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    Based on a truth, this wagon train crossing happened two years before the Donner party crossed the Sierra Nevada's. All was fine til October when the harsh snows hit the mountains. The struggle was real and I am once again impressed with the strength of this author's research. The vast wilderness,going without food for days on end including children,bone chilling cold,crossing rivers. Just amazing! All had to work together to survive. All the women had different strengths and Based on a truth, this wagon train crossing happened two years before the Donner party crossed the Sierra Nevada's. All was fine til October when the harsh snows hit the mountains. The struggle was real and I am once again impressed with the strength of this author's research. The vast wilderness,going without food for days on end including children,bone chilling cold,crossing rivers. Just amazing! All had to work together to survive. All the women had different strengths and weaknesses. The author showed a venerability to them. Do I think this made them weak, no! I do believe this brought out their character. No one had time to be selfish and think about themselves, everything was a group effort. I think many of us have romanticized the wagon train crossings, including myself thinking how nice it would have been to ride in one in perfect weather enjoying the slow ride. This book is really about strength,trust and faith in the Lord that he will get you through. Excellent book with well developed characters set at a great pace! Pub Date: 03 Sep 2019 I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Daniel

    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 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 kitchen table telling me stories. These are my people . So much love for this book!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Allison Tebo

    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 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 were so colorless thatI was getting them confused within the first chapter, and the historical details were awkwardly inserted with the heavy-handedness of a dull textbook.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jypsy

    Thank you Revell for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own. One More River To Cross By: Jane Kirkpatrick *REVIEW* 💛💛💛 I wanted to like this book much more than I actually did. The idea of wagon train life in all its hardships, particularly for the women, intrigued me. I felt disconnected from the characters because their were too many. No one individual occupied enough space to become familiar with. I felt a great deal of sadness and melan Thank you Revell for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own. One More River To Cross By: Jane Kirkpatrick *REVIEW* 💛💛💛 I wanted to like this book much more than I actually did. The idea of wagon train life in all its hardships, particularly for the women, intrigued me. I felt disconnected from the characters because their were too many. No one individual occupied enough space to become familiar with. I felt a great deal of sadness and melancholy by the end of the story, and it was a letdown. It's informative and thought provoking for certain. I think this story personally didn't suit my taste.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    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 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 how she came across this unbelievable story in a footnote to something she was reading. She just HAD to research it deeply. Too bad, with such enticing material to work with, the writing was bland and cloyingly sweet. There was too much banal dialogue and it was much too long; it could have been pared down. With so many similar names, I'm glad the author gave a list of who each person was, and in which group. This made it clearer to me. Recommended, only with reservations. Thanks to LibraryThing for an ARC.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peg

    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 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 Kirkpatrick saw a footnote in The Brazen Overlanders of 1845 by Donna M. Wojcik. Writing of the Bear River country, "they camped in the valley near a log cabin built by 1844 emigrants.... Here the snow must have been very deep for some of the trees had been cut off 8 feet from (above) the ground....This cabin was occupied the winter of 1844 by women emigrants looked after by James Miller." For Jane Kirkpatrick the obvious question was, who were those women and what were they doing? So a few years later, she began her research. There were so many characters in this novel that the author compiled a list at the front of the book with pertinent information like who was related or married and a comment as to their occupation, personality, etc. It was very helpful since I have a hard time remembering details when there are so many characters. There is also a map which helps to envision the route they took. I felt this novel was too long. There was so much misery among the people who endured the trip, I felt depressed, cold, and hungry most of time while reading. I don't mean to diminish the courage and strength it took for the people to survive, but the slow pace was hard to handle with all the trials and tribulations going on.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Vickie

    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 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 did seem to jump around a bit from party to party. Sometimes there were only a few sentences about that party before she jumped to the next. At times, that seemed to drive me crazy because even though I cared about them all, I just wanted to know more detail about Moses. He remained my favorite character with the way he cared for others, his hard work, and his ingenuity. The history I learned while reading this book made me continue turning the pages. The descriptions were perfect and I could picture them in my mind. I even learned about something new that I didn't know before (reflector ovens) and that always a bonus. Just to let you know, I'm still mad and I need to forgive the men. This book was given to me by Revell and this is my honest opinion.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Harris

    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 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 the book and landed on a page where a guy was leaving his wife to travel another way because he needed to take care of his guns. GUNS! How ridiculous can a book get? It's almost as if this was making a joke of the men, women, and everyone. I didn't finish this book and can't recommend it. If there isn't cheating in a book there is disrespect. Especially in Christian fiction lately. Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Robin Reynolds

    *Received through the Revel Reads Blogger Program and voluntarily reviewed* There are many, many characters in this story, but with one exception the focus is on the women, with the narrative constantly shifting from the point of view of one character to another. Unfortunately I struggled to keep track of the characters, men and women alike. There were a few who stood out, such as Maolisa and Moses, a young man who was the exception I mentioned above. I particularly enjoyed his sectio *Received through the Revel Reads Blogger Program and voluntarily reviewed* There are many, many characters in this story, but with one exception the focus is on the women, with the narrative constantly shifting from the point of view of one character to another. Unfortunately I struggled to keep track of the characters, men and women alike. There were a few who stood out, such as Maolisa and Moses, a young man who was the exception I mentioned above. I particularly enjoyed his sections of the book. I would say the main characters are Ellen, Beth, Mary and Sarah. Beth stood out, and I never confused her with someone else. But the other three I was constantly getting mixed up. The plot meanders and is slow paced, not that I was bothered by that, and I enjoyed the descriptions of the landscape and the hardships. I can't imagine making the journey these characters undertook, and I seriously don't know that I would have survived! For the young ladies, life is frustrating when you're constantly overlooked or left behind, or your opinion is unimportant because of your gender, and there was a lot of internal dialoguing from the girls mentioned above about the unfairness of that. It was what women did. Waited for the right husband. Waited to begin a family. Waited for a life to begin. Boy, if that doesn't sum up why it's so great to live in the time we live in! The book read more like a young adult book than I was expecting, and I think I would've liked it much more if that weren't the case. But overall it was a good read and aside from having to pause occasionally to sort out the characters I stayed pretty invested in their story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Johnson

    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 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 and portraying true events as close to reality as possible. When she writes the story, there are times she might deviate from what occurred if she knows what did or if there is no way to know, and her ability to create a believable tale is exceptional. Before I started reading the tale, I read in the back the Author’s Notes and Acknowledgments, which lets me know fact from fiction. For me, it doesn’t diminish my ability to enjoy the novel. In fact, it enhances it knowing the truth from fiction. In the beginning of the book, Jane lays out her characters’ histories such as who they are, if they are married and to whom they are related. Having this helps me if I forget as I read who is related to whom. October 1844 is where the reader’s journey begins, traveling with women who must face a harsh wilderness with courage and fortitude. In a time where there wasn’t any way to communicate instantly with a loved one or know what lay ahead, these women had to carve out a living with their children until they reached their destination. What is so gripping is the precariousness of life in the wilderness and traveling long distances always keeping in mind the unknown future. These women had to fight to live. It wasn’t pursuit of riches or fame but wanting a future. I hope readers enjoy following these Winter Women to their destination through a vast and unkind wilderness to reach a future they believed would be better. May you enjoy the novel and the journey! Note: The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Urban

    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 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 was not as engaging as I expected. However, I could feel and sense everything the cast of characters were experiencing. That made this a worthy read.  Growing up in this time period was tough. The characters had my sympathy all the way. Overall, the book was realistic and a good historical trip.  I received this copy from the publisher. This is my voluntary review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)

    I have mixed thoughts on this book. I was so excited to start reading it based on the book blurb. I needed to know if these families would live or die! Unfortunately the amount of characters in the book made it hard for me to keep everyone straight. I tried to piece together which woman was married to which man, and who the children belonged to, but it was just hard for me. Too much for me to try and remember as I was reading the book. However, I do understand that could be something that not ev I have mixed thoughts on this book. I was so excited to start reading it based on the book blurb. I needed to know if these families would live or die! Unfortunately the amount of characters in the book made it hard for me to keep everyone straight. I tried to piece together which woman was married to which man, and who the children belonged to, but it was just hard for me. Too much for me to try and remember as I was reading the book. However, I do understand that could be something that not everyone has a problem with. Some readers may in fact love the amount of characters presented. So please, take this thought very lightly. On the plus side, the journey itself was fascinating. Kirkpatrick writes descriptions and paragraphs to make you feel as if you are on the journey with these families. You could feel the bumps as the wagons moved, feel the fear during dangerous parts, and sigh right along with the characters as they got through tough situations. I found myself learning a bit about such a treacherous trail, and wanting to learn even more by visiting the history books. Yes, you can learn a thing or two by reading a fiction novel! Kirkpatrick must have spent hours upon hours researching everything that would apply to this book. Her efforts should not go unnoticed. Overall, I think historic fans who want to learn more about the 1840s, or the tough journeys people had to go on to get to California, will enjoy this book. The breathtaking settings will amaze you! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    I have read most of Kirkpatrick's books and have always enjoyed learning some new history about the west where I live. It was fascinating to read this account of a large group of over 50 people successfully make it to California 175 years ago, over the mountains in deep snow, via covered wagons, horses, and on foot. I am familiar with the Truckee, Donner Lake, and Lake Tahoe area, so I am in awe of what this group achieved with the conditions they faced. I generally research more information whe I have read most of Kirkpatrick's books and have always enjoyed learning some new history about the west where I live. It was fascinating to read this account of a large group of over 50 people successfully make it to California 175 years ago, over the mountains in deep snow, via covered wagons, horses, and on foot. I am familiar with the Truckee, Donner Lake, and Lake Tahoe area, so I am in awe of what this group achieved with the conditions they faced. I generally research more information when I read historical books, so in addition to what I discovered online, I was especially pleased with the "Author's Notes and Acknowledgments" at the end of the book where we learn "the rest of the story" of many of the main characters and how they went on to play key roles in California's history. I was also grateful that a map and a list of characters were included. With over 50 people to keep track of, the latter was critical. However, I found it incomplete. Since I was reading a library book and couldn't write in it, I made a photocopy of the character list so I could make notes on it and add names as they were revealed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    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.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emily Yager

    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.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sara Wise

    ** “ … 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 ** “ … 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 story of several families that race against time and Mother Nature to make it to California, a land filled with promise for new beginnings and happy endings. But when weather conditions force the group to break into several parties — some pressing on via horseback, some via wagon and some forced to stay behind — each member is forced to be the strongest they have ever been. And in a male dominated world, the women especially are forced to step up into roles that will allow for their very survival. Kirkpatrick does an amazing job of delving into these characters — sharing their hopes, joys, sorrows and fears. She develops strong, inspirational women like 17-year-old Mary Sullivan who’d rather be taking care of the animals than cooking dinner; Sarah Armstrong Montgomery, who struggles with the fact she’s never learned to read; 20-year-old widow Ellen Murphy who yearns to get out from her father’s and brother’s interference; and Beth Townsend, the sickly wife of the party’s overbearing and pompous doctor. The author writes so descriptively that the readers feels they’re right there on the wagon trail, experiencing the trauma and trials of the wagon party. You can tell she deeply researched this topic. Be sure to read the Author’s Note at the end as it goes into detail about this true-to-life story. Besides being a fantastic historical fiction novel, “One More River to Cross” also teaches several incredible lessons, like finding a bridge between grief and new beginnings; finding the courage to overcome major trials; we should feast on joy and not anger; spreading kindness is a gift; and we never know each other’s demons, but sharing them kills their power. Obviously a major theme in this novel is weathering storms, and the fact that anything is possible with God (“Don’t seem humanly possibly to do such a thing, but all things are possible through him that trusts the Lord”). Anyone who loves historical fiction or inspirational novels in general will love “One More River to Cross.” Five stars out of five. Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robin Willson

    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 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 for the first part, they didn't take into the account the high mountains and altitude around Lake Tahoe, and thought California only had warm temperatures. Never expecting the deep, deep snow in the mountains. These became tremendous obstacles for them. Most were Irish, some from Canada. Good old Irish stubbornness, brains and tenacity came into play as they determined to live and move to their goal. Women were expected to follow without question or input, not expected to think. This group of Irish girls got tired of that and when left to themselves learned what they needed to and proved resourcefulness of their own, as the men left and forged ahead without them. As with all of Jane's books, there are always lessons to be learned that will apply to women everywhere, anytime. Quotes “An old Indian once told me, ‘When you come to a wide chasm— jump. It’s not as wide as you think.’ We had no alternative but to jump and so we did.” “Taking things apart to re-create them,” Mary said. “That’s happening to us too,” Sarah said. “We’re having to remake ourselves here.” And so they did. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” #OneMoreRiverToCross #NetGalley #JaneKirkpatrick #BooksYouCanFeelGoodAbout #5Stars #ChristianHistorical

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tami

    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 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 didn’t move fast enough to beat the first snows of winter. Due to the weather situation, they began to run low on food and to have trouble getting the wagons through the snowy mountainous terrain. At some point in the journey, they decide to split up. They end up having three groups. Some stayed with a few wagons that held the heaviest and most valuable possessions. The plan was to winter in place and have others come help them when the snow melted. Another group traveled by horseback. This group made the best time and reached the settlement area in California before any of the others. The third group was the rest of the wagon train. This group eventually split due to the lack of food and the slow progress being made. The idea was for the men to ride ahead and send back help. As so often happens, the best laid plans go awry. With each group facing starvation, natural disasters and other hazards common to living in a snowy mountainous region, there were quite a bit of tense moments. The experience that the people endured also brought to light various weak spots in some of the marriages. It was truly a journey that exposed what was important in life to each individual.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    I had high expectations for this book because it sounded like something right up my alley. Unfortunately, many aspects of this book were disappointing. When I first opened this book, I noticed the map (which was pretty cool) and the three-page character glossary. Even with the help of the glossary, which I consulted often, I still struggled to understand who was who, who married whom, and which children belonged to each person. Secondly, I found the writing of this novel bland. It presented I had high expectations for this book because it sounded like something right up my alley. Unfortunately, many aspects of this book were disappointing. When I first opened this book, I noticed the map (which was pretty cool) and the three-page character glossary. Even with the help of the glossary, which I consulted often, I still struggled to understand who was who, who married whom, and which children belonged to each person. Secondly, I found the writing of this novel bland. It presented everything in a very long-winded manner and couldn't catch my attention. I often had to go back and reread because I didn't catch what was being said. On top of all that, this book also character-hopped every few paragraphs, switching stories and issues being discussed. It was difficult to keep up with because the characters were not given the chance to come alive on the page. This book was not for me but I still encourage you to give it a try. Rating: 2 Stars Content: Cannot Assign due to DNFing this novel *I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and a positive review was not required.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rachel DeVaughn

    This historical fiction story caught my eye because I enjoy reading historical novels in the west during that time period. This story is not a lighthearted, easy story to read however. These "pioneers" had major struggles like starvation, death, illness and separation from loved ones. It was hard (and depressing) to read their struggles and at times I was confused since there were alot of main characters and women in this story. The author attached a listing of characters in the beginning of the This historical fiction story caught my eye because I enjoy reading historical novels in the west during that time period. This story is not a lighthearted, easy story to read however. These "pioneers" had major struggles like starvation, death, illness and separation from loved ones. It was hard (and depressing) to read their struggles and at times I was confused since there were alot of main characters and women in this story. The author attached a listing of characters in the beginning of the book, but again, there were so many it was hard to keep track. Women from that time period had alot of struggles and did not enjoy the freedom, respect and conveniences that we have today. Sometimes it's nice to be reminded of that so I can be more grateful. If you have read other historical novels by this author, I'm sure you will also enjoy this one! I received a copy of this book complimentary for blog and social media review. All opinions are my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Evelyn Fonseca

    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 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 of contents, it's still confusing. Several characters have the same first names and it's not enjoyable to have to keep track of each one. Some dialogues are a bit boring and long. I was immediately turned off so that after a couple chapters I abandoned it altogether. The plot sounded interesting but the novel itself just couldn't draw me in, which was a let down because I have enjoyed Jane's older novels in the past. I received a copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah Lewis

    I immediately grabbed this book because 1) It's by Jane Kirkpatrick; 2) the history! 😍 This book definitely did not lack in the history department. I was soo intrigued by this true story of travelers. But this book did, however, lack in compelling, lovable characters...... I didn't like any of them. Actually, I disliked many of them thoroughly The story was good, the writing was off. The book just wasn't as amazing as I'd expected. It became boring very quickly and I did not want to I immediately grabbed this book because 1) It's by Jane Kirkpatrick; 2) the history! 😍 This book definitely did not lack in the history department. I was soo intrigued by this true story of travelers. But this book did, however, lack in compelling, lovable characters...... I didn't like any of them. Actually, I disliked many of them thoroughly The story was good, the writing was off. The book just wasn't as amazing as I'd expected. It became boring very quickly and I did not want to finish it. - Rebekah **I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.**

  24. 5 out of 5

    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 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 which none of them were truly prepared. The author has included a breakdown of the groupings in the wagon party which explains who was in each group--giving us insights into their characters: "Horseback Group"; "Wagon Guards"; "The Wintering Women"; "Also at the Wintering Cabin"; and "Cross-Country Men". The party eventually separated into three main groups--each one choosing a different and difficult route to follow. If you enjoy reading about American Frontier trials and tribulations and life in the mid-nineteenth century, then you will find "One More River to Cross" to be an involving and inspiring journey of a lifetime. Book Copy Gratis LibraryThing

  25. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Stoltey

    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!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jen. (JenGalaxy4 Christian Book Reviews)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I’m afraid this story didn’t work for me. There were far too many characters. The time with each person was short-lived before moving onto another point of view. Flipping back and forth with the provided character list did not prove useful to me while trying to read the story. I did not finish reading the book. I may consider trying it again later, but for now, I am unable to recommend it. To read reviews from those who finished this book, visit Goodreads. I receive/>I I’m afraid this story didn’t work for me. There were far too many characters. The time with each person was short-lived before moving onto another point of view. Flipping back and forth with the provided character list did not prove useful to me while trying to read the story. I did not finish reading the book. I may consider trying it again later, but for now, I am unable to recommend it. To read reviews from those who finished this book, visit Goodreads. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell as part of the Revell Reads Blogger Program. A positive review was not required. All opinions expressed are completely my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Angie Fehl

    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 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 Tahoe; one group of men stays to guard left behind wagons and valuables; the rest of the party (mostly women and children, this group dubbed "The Wintering Women") settle into a cabin near the Yuba River to wait for a rescue team to come back for them. Many of the women in the party seem to have doubts (some have premonitions) about the mens' choice to travel west rather than south as it was previously recommended they do. The story of this wagon party is primarily told through the experiences of the women. The main women we get to know: * Seventeen year old Mary Sullivan * Sarah Armstrong * The flirt of the party, Ellen Murphy * Pregnant Maolisa (pronounced Mail-issa) and her sister-in-law, Ailbe (All-bay), Irish immigrants * Sarah Montgomery * Beth Townsend, asthmatic wife of the group's doctor Mary is one to express some of her concerns about the changed travel plans. Her older brother, already something of a pill (in personality) to be around, gives her the name "Contrary Mary". The doctor's wife, Beth -- because of her health condition -- is sent on with the Lake Tahoe horseback group after he decides he wants to stay behind "with the valuables". Ellen Montgomery and two of her brothers are also in this group. From this point we really begin to see just how many of the women are viewed / treated as property by husbands, fathers, or brothers. Several of the husbands act as though their marital unions are disposable. In the case of Allen Montgomery, when he suggests he and wife Sarah go in different groups and she asks "What am I supposed to do if something happens to you?", there doesn't seem to be a moment's hesitation in his reply, "Just find another husband." It's even given in a rather "DUH" sort of way (though he later explains that he IS looking out for her, he maybe just doesn't express it very well). Looks like he still forgot their anniversary though! While this is a theme among several of the men, that's not to say all men in this story are disappointing. Maolisa seems to have nabbed herself a gem of a spouse, a man truly kind and considerate. Speaking of Allen, we later see that maybe, in fact, he did do his wife a favor by sending her on with a different party, as his group seemed to fare pretty badly. The ladies together at least found strength in numbers, building a sisterhood to help them get through the bleakest days. One of the commonalities all these women find they share is --- even in some small part --- a boldness in spirit. Their bond comes largely from a similar need to have their voices heard and prove themselves just as useful and resourceful as any man. I liked the sharing exercise the women use one night to pass the evening, asking "Where have your boots taken you?" It gives a much more poetic flavor to the standard "Where ya from?" Kirkpatrick writes a detail-heavy environment, and she gives her readers some impressive character growth to enjoy. I'll give her that. The plot, while engaging enough to keep a steady amount of interest flowing, is a little slow-going at times with lots of stops and starts. One could argue that it mimics the rhythm of an actual wagon train in that sense.... but it can be frustrating for a reader. This reader anyway. Some bursts of action do come in with the Lake Tahoe party, mostly with Ellen and her brothers: Ellen being thrown into a crevasse by a spooked horse, her brothers having to devise a way to rescue her; Ellen's brother, John, getting caught up in a dangerous river crossing. This portion of the story turns out to be a major turning point for one of the more sour characters, Ellen's younger brother, Daniel. When we first meet Daniel, he has a bit of a prickly temperment --- even downright rude at times --- but as the story progresses, we learn that he has his own inner demons he's trying to battle, the result being that he's not always the nicest guy to hang around. But after nearly losing his siblings in these two moments, there is a noticeable shift to him. From then on, there begins to be a more caring, remorseful side peeking through his overall behavior. A couple general things for readers to note: 1) This novel jumps around between the parties quite often. Something to be aware of if you generally don't like too much movement in the POV. That said, Kirkpatrick is pretty good about denoting where / when we (the readers) check in with what party. 2) For those sensitive to violent animal scenes, there are some passages describing the killing and butchering of horses and oxen for food. It's done in the name of "desperate times call for desperate measures" but again, something to note if you are sensitive to that kind of reading material. For book clubs, this book offers supplemental materials, such as a lengthy list of discussion questions and a detailed, pages-long historical afterword about the real people who inspired these characters. As often happens with history, the true stories are sometimes even more impressive than anything fictional! A few notables: * The party as a whole became the first people to bring covered wagons into California via the Sierra Nevada range. * John Sullivan became the first person to build a home in newly established San Francisco. * John Townsend (the doctor, Beth's husband) became the first American doctor to set up practice in California and the fourth mayor of San Francisco. Much of this novel was inspired by the memoir of Moses Schallenberger (Beth's brother in the novel), Overland in 1844, as well as a few other footnotes about the party in other historical texts. So what's the link to the Donner Party, other than this being two years prior to that trip? Kirkpatrick explains: "In 1994, Mount Stephens, north of Donner Pass, was named for the leader. The lake the travelers called "Stephens Lake" is known today as "Donner Lake," as the 1846-47 Donner Party faced their challenges at that lake and summit. Some members used the cabin that Moses, Joe, and Allen had built. The tragic outcome of that journey compared to the Stephens party shows a remarkable contrast. The Murphys listened to experienced mountain men. They risked separating, shared horses, rationed food, and demonstrated incredible fortitude and courage in bringing the wagons over the mountains as they did, then choosing to leave some behind along the Yuba. Their feats are overshadowed by the Donner Party disaster. It's my hope that this story might celebrate the honor of self-sacrifice, the wisdom of working together, and the power of persevering through community and faith." As Kirkpatrick says, it's an interesting story that unfortunately got overshadowed by the macabre outcome of the successor. While I didn't love everything about this book, I am glad more attention was brought to the history and overall had a quite nice reading experience with it. FTC DISCLAIMER: Revell Books kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    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 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 is an account based on a true story, I really enjoyed it. The historical value and the amount of history I was able to refresh myself on was pretty much amazing. I was annoyed at the lack of consistency the accents were used. Irish characters only occasionally had an accent . . . but this could easily be something I noticed only because I’m an editor and I look for it in the manuscripts I go through. The plotline was kept moving forward, and I was always wondering what would happen next. The story was told from several different perspectives, and I was concerned about being able to keep it all straight, but somehow Jane Kirkpatrick wrote in such a way so that I quickly knew and recognized all the names and characters. That being said, the amount of feminism in this story was appalling to me. I am most definitely not a feminist, by any stretch of the word, as is no surprise to those who read this blog. I, quite honestly, found several of the attitudes the people were written as having as being . . . well . . . repungant. And I’m not sure the attitudes would have been true to the history of these women. I kinda feel like a grave dis-justice was done to these women, actually, and because of that my rating went down. First, I was surprised by the attitude of the men towards the women. Historically, the attitude would have been one of respect and honour — even in the midst of a journey of several hundred miles in the middle winter. The men seemed to be a bit calloused, a bit self-centered, and a whole lot of egotistical, all mixed up in one. The husbands pretty much dictated to their wives, and they had absolutely no say in the matter. I’m pretty sure that this is not how marriage works — and I’m almost positive that these historical figures wouldn’t have treated their wives in such a manner. There were several times when the men would make sure the animals were okay before their wives and children, several times when information was brusquely denied, and at least once it was mentioned that the husband was staying behind to guard the valuable silks and satins and would see his wife in the springtime. At the same time, the ladies attitudes were poor reflections of womanhood and all that makes ladies genteel and feminine. They seemed to complain about everything, whine that they weren’t included with the men, and foolhardy enough to push their way to the front of dangerous passes and “prove” themselves. Again, women historically and biblically would have “reverenced their husbands” and would have been looking for ways to serve them. The attitudes were one of victims, when they were most certainly not victims of anything but their own poor thoughts. It was mentioned several times that “of course he would inquire about the horse before me, since the horse is worth more anyways.” It was complained about that the men never helped with anything — yet when help was offered it was turned down and ignored. When information was given, it was argued about and fought over. So it’s no wonder that the men seemed to turn toward away from their wives. Biblically, it’s better for a husband to live on a rooftop than with a brawling woman. I’m nearly positive that the woman of yesteryear would have been more than happy to accept their husbands help and would have been understanding enough to realize that the concern for the horses and livestock and animals and guns and everything else would have been for their benefit. If the livestock is gone, what is there to eat? If the horses and oxen give out, what happens to the wagons and possessions? It is honestly a case of men being more logical minded, and women being more emotional . . . as happens to be the case in every single relationship I have with a guy, be it friend, brother, or father. I found it annoying that as the characters fought their way through the book, they couldn’t see the real issue. That the men are offering to help, the women are turning them down, the men, of course, aren’t going to continue to offer because their help was rejected anyways, and so the women are left griping about the amount of work they have to do. Which, in turn, makes the men appear to be rather more than a bit disgruntled. I can think of one example in a brother/sister relationship where the brother comes to help his sister set her shoulder after it popped out of socket. She rejected his help, didn’t notice she had hurt him, and after he had the shoulder in, she was upset that he left to tend the horses. Anyways, that is my long two cents worth. I’m not sure if the historical elements outweigh the feminism or not . . . and I don’t know yet if any of my younger siblings will be reading this one. It *might* be a good choice to let my next-younger-sister read, who is 17, and see how many of these elements she can see in the book. It would be good for that, simply because there is no other content in it to worry about :D I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review. I was not obligated to enjoy the book, merely to give my honest opinion.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    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 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 succumbed to disease and accidents, leaving them too poor or too far away for a return to their previous homes. Jane Kirkpatrick has made telling the stories of these surviving women her life's work. Many of her books center on fictionalized accounts of historical women of the Northwest. In her latest book, she turns to the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend company who left Missouri in 1844 to travel across the Sierra Nevada to California. Their journey was a full two years before the fateful Donner party. As the group approaches the mountains, snows begin and the decision is made to split up. One small group returns to a lower route, mainly to secure a route that will allow Elizabeth Townsend, the ill wife of the doctor in the group, a way to avoid the strain of the mountains. When the remaining travelers realize that they cannot get the wagons through the mountain, three men (one newly married) decide to build a rough structure and wait the winter out, while protecting the wagons full of supplies for their new lives in California. The rest plug ahead, hoping to make it through a narrow passage at the top of the mountain before winter sets in for good. Jane Kirkpatrick's writing always pulls me in, but this novel speaks even louder than most. Instead of revealing the harsh, but inspiring story of one brave woman, we are quickly introduced to a whole traveling community of them, each with her own trials and strengths. There is Ellen Murphy Townsend, a young widow, who wants to move beyond her loss and find joy in life. But her father and brothers feel she must be more reserved and proper. Beth Townsend, the doctor's wife and Ellen's sister-in-law has a strong spirit, but a weak body. The whole group is concerned that the journey up and down the Sierra Nevada will be too much for her. Mary Sullivan is on the trip because her parents had decided to leave Canada for California; their deaths mean she will continue the trip with her brothers as her chaperones. While she cooks and cares for them, the young men never acknowledge her skill with the animals. Maolisa Murphy and Ailbe Miller, sisters-in-law, are what we most often think of when we consider women on wagon trains. Married mothers, they find themselves facing the hardships of caring for little ones and even giving birth while traveling west. And then there is Sarah Montgomery, married less than a year, who must say goodbye to her husband who remains behind to protect the wagons. Despite her pleas that they remain together, he assures her that she will be able to return in the spring to help him continue to California. Jane Kirkpatrick has written over 20 books, most of them historical fiction. I've read most of them and always eagerly await her next book. ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS is not a disappointment. Once again she has taken a moment in history and expanded it into a full narrative, pitting adversity against the strength of the human spirit. And as only Kirkpatrick seems able to do, we see that story unfold for not only the men, but also for the women. I received a copy of this book from Revell and Netgalley. All opinions are mine.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Conny Reviews

    “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 “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 beginning includes a map and list of characters while the ending has the author’s notes and acknowledgments, eleven discussion questions, biography, and advertisements. In this tale, a group of Irish Catholics is on course from Missouri to Alta California when they run into trouble in the snowy Sierra Nevadas. Deciding to divide the large wagon train into three groups to survive, some continue on horseback while mostly women and children are left behind in a makeshift cabin and a few men stay with their discarded but valuable wagons. Focusing mainly from several married and single women’s perspectives of waiting for provisions and overcoming their arduous situations, they rely on God and each other to live another day. ~ Why ~ This is a gut-wrenching story of what men, women, and children had to sacrifice to come into a new land. Since my husband and I were born and raised in California and live in Oregon, I enjoyed reading about the places and terrain I have been. I appreciated the many-faceted characters as well as their strengths and weaknesses. The author’s arduous attention to detail shows her tender love of the topic. ~ Why Not ~ Those who do not like stories of the hardship of traveling when there were no roads and lots of snow will avoid this book. Although Biblical references are mentioned throughout the read, it may not be of interest to those who do not believe in God. Some may think there are far too many characters, but the list and map at the beginning of the book can be referred to often. ~ Wish ~ As with other books by the author, sometimes there is too much information or side subjects intertwined in the story. I often got confused of the many women and their roles, finding there were too many mentioned. I also wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. ~ Want ~ If you like historical fiction based on Irish Catholics and their wagon train transversing the mountainous Sierras during winter and how they did everything in their willpower to survive, this may be educational and entertaining. Thanks to Revell for furnishing this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

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