Book Review of
The Indifferent Stars Above
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 pioneers 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, New York Times bestselling author Daniel James Brown sheds new light on one of the most legendary 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.
This was a slow read for me. I found it an interesting read, but I found a lot I did not like. The story is sad and depressing. It is a hard read and it goes into the extremes humans take when they are starving or freezing to death. I just read In the Heart of the Sea which was another tale like this. I really enjoyed that book, but it may have caused me to not enjoy this story as much. These pioneers were a mixed group, some of them I was sympathetic with and others I was not. There was also a section in the book that discussed women who aborted babies or tried to avoid pregnancies on the wagon trails. This was a decent book, but it won’t be on my favorites list.