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The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride
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The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride

4.3 67
by Daniel James Brown
 

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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

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The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 67 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It has been years since I have found a book that I literally could not pull myself away from. This is it! Daniel James Brown is a gifted author who obviously spent a great deal of time researching not only the Donner Party, but countless other aspects of American life in the mid-1800's, even going so far as to physically re-trace the steps of these courageous pioneers when current weather conditions concurred with those they had endured on their 2000-mile trek to a new life in little-known California. Brown uses, and completely notates, numerous resources to substantiate his historical documentations and uses modern-day forensics and science to bring this tragic story to life. The contents of this book will stay with you as you meet its characters, who Brown transforms from vague names in an American History textbook to real-life families, neighbors, people you might have known in 1846.
BanbaOir More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up expecting little by way of originality given the topic, but upon a friend's recommendation, gave it a chance. This book was a bit slow at first, but pulled me in with every turn of a page, and in the end, I cried for what happened to the lives it brought to life, for despite the span of decades, the emotions shared are, in the end, shared by all of us and easy to feel when written as well as this book has been...well worth reading, even for the high school crowd,...this will forever maintain a place of honour in my library.
TexasReaderTX More than 1 year ago
Much misinformation is unfortunately available about what has come to be known as "The Donner Party." Daniel Brown has done considerable research on what happened to it in 1946-7. If you have time to read only one book on the subject, read this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As did others, I learned about the Donner Party in History classes. Yet, how many of us truly knew the soul-searching and gut wrenching decision these people faced, all in an effort for survival? I venture to say not many of us. Perhaps, it's because merely the mention of "cannibalism" is enough to shut down further thinking. Brown takes an interesting tact to further illuminate the struggles for mere survival the members of the Donner Party faced - Brown has the reader "walk" in the shoes of one of the members, a young gal married days before heading West with her parents and siblings. This, alone, puts a human face to this tragedy. To gain a new perspective and respect for these pioneers, I highly recommend this book, one that does not read like a History lesson. Then, put yourself in the shoes of any of one of the Party's members: What decision would you make merely to survive?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are so many books available on the Donner Party disaster of 1846/1847. If you read only one, this should be it! The Donner Party epic could be a very gruesome and depressing read but the author, Daniel James Brown tempers the gore that one should expect when reading about the Donner Party and fills that void with fact, medical knowledge, and psychological analysis. The reader will feel the cold, feel the pain, and experience the anguish of one Sarah Graves as she struggles to survive. Unlike other books, this book continues with the survivors life story even after the rescue. Five Stars is not enough of a rating for this incredible story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is definitely the most indepth and well researched story about the Donner party. He takes you, via the story and his travels to the places that the party traveled and gives you an insight into the lives of the travelers before their journey started and how they lived out the remainder of their lives. Good story and definitely worth reading.
KayKayNH More than 1 year ago
I remembered little from school history lessons about the Donner Party other than "caught in the mountains" and "cannibilism". This was a very good history of what came to be known as the Donner Party crossing; a very harrowing account, and gives much food for thought. This was a "perfect storm" of events that transpired to create a human tragedy that really could have happened to anyone in that situation. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Indifferent Stars is a riveting account of the limits to which human endurance can be pushed. To anyone who has ever heard tales of tehe Donner party or who thinks they have reached the breaking point it is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a lover of non-fiction, but this is impossible to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Would never have read a story about the Donner Party, but I like the author. Was not disapppointed. Really enjoy this "other Dan Brown"; he has a nice way with words, does his research, and puts thing in perspective. Loved "The Boys in the Boat"; glad I bought this one too.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I couldn't put this book down. The only time I did was to tell people about it (pretty sure everyone got sick of me spouting out facts lol). Honestly one of the best non-fiction books I've read in a long time.
elmwood43 More than 1 year ago
Excellent read. More like a novel than non-fiction. Lots of background on the story - how stress, cold, fear, hunger, affect our bodies. The author not only researched the facts involved, but also travelled the same trail that these pioneers took. I came away with a profound respect for their strength and determination. I'm not sure any of us today could begin to live the lives they did. I could barely put the book down.
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csheryl More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book immensely; it is a compassionate and detailed account of the Donner party's history from the time they left the Midwest, until their harrowing ordeal in the Sierra; and tells stories of the survivors who were rescued. Writer includes personal reflections as he retraces the path of the pioneers, which I found compelling and endearing.
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Most of us who have traveled to the West are familiar with Donner Pass. This book is an eye opener and a must read for anyone to understand the history of the development of the West.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago