The Indifferent Stars Above

The Indifferent Stars Above

The Harrowing Saga of A Donner Party Bride

Book - 2009
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From the #1 bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat comes an unforgettable epic of family, tragedy, and survival on the American frontier

"An ideal pairing of talent and material.... Engrossing.... A deft and ambitious storyteller." - Mary Roach, New York Times Book Review

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.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780061348105
Characteristics: xiv, 337 p. :,ill., ports. ;,24 cm.


From the critics

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Dec 13, 2018

This was the first book about the ill-fated Donner party that generated sympathy in me. Brown details every medical and psychological effects they experienced and though I still think I couldn't do what some did, I view them in a whole new light. Very engaging.

Oct 20, 2018

Honestly one of the best nonfiction books I've read in a long time. Well written, and interesting.

Oct 03, 2018

A great read. He keeps you interested, when, like the Titanic, you know how it ends. Or you think you do. He's also adept at interjecting the human aspect by introducing letters and simple facts about what life was like on the trail. I highly recommend.

Apr 17, 2017

⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️A thorough understanding of the Donner Party tragedy along with updates regarding the outcome of many of the survivors.

(I found it helpful to keep a running list of the members as many share the same first (or last) name and they are mentioned without reference after about page 83)

Dec 28, 2016

I've read several books and visited many websites about the Donner Party of 1846. This tops my list. The author supplies plenty of detail and heart, instead of the usual sensationalism. I like that he is able to make the events relative to the time period: children working in factories, and the new practice of celebrating Christmas. Brown also uses the science of today to elaborate on why things might have happened the way they did: such as the psychology of why some people survive, the chemistry of hypo and hyperthermia, average life expectancy, body process of starvation, post traumatic stress disorder, climatology, etc. This was a non-fiction book I found very hard to put down.

KJtheEpicFailure Jun 12, 2012

Kind of confusing at first-probably because I'm only 14 and read it-but after a while it starts moving. A really interesting and touching book. Your heartstrings can't help but be tugged when reading this book. Definitely a reccomendation from me.

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