Impatient With Desire

Impatient With Desire

A Novel

Book - 2010
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In the spring of 1846, Tamsen Donner, her husband, George, their five daughters, and eighty other pioneers headed to California on the California-Oregon Trail in eager anticipation of new lives out West. Everything that could go wrong did, and an American legend was born.
Publisher: New York : Voice/Hyperion, c2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781401341015
1401341012
Branch Call Number: BURTON G
Characteristics: 248 p. : ill., map ; 22 cm.

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r
ryner
Jan 11, 2014

Wagons, ho! It's 1846, and the East is awash in California fever. Tamsen Donner, her husband George and their five daughters form a wagon train with a number of other families, intent on heading west from Illinois. Disastrously, nearly everything that could go wrong does, and coupled with a handful of unwise decisions, the entire party of more than eighty people -- most under the age of 18 -- find themselves stranded without provisions in the Sierra Nevada mountains for the winter. Tamsen narrates their plight, as well as flashbacks to earlier events in her life, through her journal entries.

The Donner Party. I'd heard of it, knew that it was a horrific event in pioneer history, but wasn't really familiar with the details. This is an intriguing read, though the experience is clouded by a sense of foreboding -- you know it is not going to end well. I was inspired afterward to learn more about the Donner expedition -- what was documented, and what was imagined by the author? Although events toward the end become painful to read, I recommend it to fans of historical fiction. The book is laden with an unfortunate title evocative of a steamy romance, so it could easily be missed by its potential audience.

m
maven
Aug 06, 2010

So well-written and so heart-wrenching.

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