A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Faith. Family. Fiction. Fun.

One More River To Cross {A Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

In 1844, two years before the Donner Party, the Stevens-Murphy company left Missouri to be the first wagons into California through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Mostly Irish Catholics, the party sought religious freedom and education in the mission-dominated land and enjoyed a safe journey--until October, when a heavy snowstorm forced difficult decisions. The first of many for young Mary Sullivan, newlywed Sarah Montgomery, the widow Ellen Murphy, and her pregnant sister-in-law Maolisa.

When the party separates in three directions, each risks losing those they loved and faces the prospect of learning that adversity can destroy or redefine. Two women and four men go overland around Lake Tahoe, three men stay to guard the heaviest wagons--and the rest of the party, including eight women and seventeen children, huddle in a makeshift cabin at the headwaters of the Yuba River waiting for rescue . . . or their deaths.

Award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick plunges you deep into a landscape of challenge where fear and courage go hand in hand for a story of friendship, family, and hope that will remind you of what truly matters in times of trial.

Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling and award-winning author of more than 30 books, including Everything She Didn't SayAll She Left BehindA Light in the WildernessThe Memory WeaverThis Road We Traveled, and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have won the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and the 2016 Will Rogers Medallion Award. Jane lives in Central Oregon with her husband, Jerry. Learn more at www.jkbooks.com.

While I really liked the idea of this story based upon the description, I must admit I struggled to get into the story once I started reading. Still it wasn't bad at all, and I do believe that while it may not have been a personal favorite for me personally, others will still very much enjoy it. Let's break it down, shall we?

What I enjoyed: First and foremost, my inability to connect with the story had nothing to do with that quality of the writing, that was very good and truly did have me wishing I was able to connect with the story more. I enjoyed the dialogues between characters. Oftentimes, it was written in a way that I could hear the accents in which the characters spoke as I read. To me, that always gives me a better idea of who the characters are, and I really enjoyed that aspect. I also loved learning that this was a true story, and more about how she came to write the book about it. This was my first time reading anything by Jane Kirkpatrick, and while this wasn't my own cup of tea, there were enough positives that I would still love to check out some of her others.

What I didn't love: Honestly, for me this one really just came down to pacing. I tend to prefer a faster paced story than what this one was. For some, this slower pace might be absolutely fantastic... but for me it again just made it harder to get into. There were also a lot of people to remember. Now again, this is based upon a true story so I can see why all were included AND there is a guide at the beginning to help us keep everyone straight, which was a great bonus. Still, this again just made it harder for me to keep up... this combined with the slower pace just kept me from being able to enjoy the book as much as I could have otherwise.

The great thing about books is that it's all very subjective--- what one person loves, others may not. That said, I think those who don't mind the slower pace and who enjoy historical fiction (and those based on true events) are really going to enjoy this one more than I did and so I would still recommend it.


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