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  • Rich Historical Details!

    It has been many years since I learned about the Donner Party's tragic expedition so I was eager to read about this journey that had taken place two years before that ill-fated trip. One More River to Cross relates the hardships that The Stephens-Murphy-Townsend Overland Party encountered during the months from October 1844 -July 1845 as they attempted to cross the Sierra Nevadas to reach California. As I read about these brave people who endured extreme hunger,frigid cold, and snow that was estimated to be eight feet deep, I couldn't imagine how much they had suffered. I was especially touched byThe Wintering Women, a group of eight women and seventeen children who were left to tend for themselves in a makeshift cabin while the rest of the group traveled on to find help. These women faced extreme difficulties but they drew strength and comfort from each other and from their faith in God. They also discovered just how strong they really were! Author Jane Kirkpatrick relates in her Author's Notes and Acknowledgements how this story came to be and she also shares what is true and what she has added as fiction. I am a fan of historical fiction and I admire her efforts but I did find myself having to refer often to the list of characters in the front of the book. There are many people involved in this story and I found it difficult to keep them all straight. One More River to Cross is 345 pages long but those who enjoy reading about the early history of our country and the pioneers who struggled to expand its boundaries will find it to be both entertaining and educational. I received a complimentary copy from Revell and I am voluntarily sharing my thoughts in this review.

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  • True to life survival

    I’ve read other novels by Jane Kirkpatrick and I enjoy the fact that she uses real historical events, although partly fictionalized. In her author’s notes in the back of One More River to Cross, she acknowledges that most of the characters in the book are used with their real names. She even gives a history of what happens to them “on down the road.” This was a brave group of travelers on their way from Missouri to California. The journey began when the weather was agreeable but turned into a hard snowy winter. They had to abandon most of the wagons and broke the fifty travelers into groups. Some traveled on and others braved the cold in makeshift cabins built of some of the wood from the wagons. The women amazed me with their strength and fortitude. Spending lots of time freezing cold and literally starving, they talked, told stories and played games with the children to pass the time. The men tried to hunt game but little was found in the deep snow drifts of the areas. I felt for the women in that the men made the decisions without consulting the women. I truly believe they were the stronger of the two sexes in the end. Interesting note, this was the winter of 1844. It was two years later that a party called the Donner Party headed out on basically the same route. This was an interesting novel that those with an historical bent will greatly enjoy! This was a personal purchase. My review is done of my own accord, all opinions are my own.

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