About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Friday, October 4, 2019

One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick

One More River to CrossABOUT THE BOOK

One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick

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.


It has been many years since I learned about the Donner Party's tragic expedition so I was eager to read about this journey that had taken place two years before that ill-fated trip. One More River to Cross relates the hardships that The Stephens-Murphy-Townsend Overland Party encountered during the months from October 1844 -July 1845 as they attempted to cross the Sierra Nevadas to reach California. As I read about these brave people who endured extreme hunger,frigid cold, and snow that was estimated to be eight feet deep, I couldn't imagine how much they had suffered. I was especially touched byThe Wintering Women, a group of eight women and seventeen children who were left to tend for themselves in a makeshift cabin while the rest of the group traveled on to find help. These women faced extreme difficulties but they drew strength and comfort from each other and from their faith in God. They also discovered just how strong they really were!

Author Jane Kirkpatrick relates in her Author's Notes and Acknowledgements how this story came to be and she also shares what is true and what she has added as fiction. I am a fan of historical fiction and I admire her efforts but I did find myself having to refer often to the list of characters in the front of the book. There are many people involved in this story and I found it difficult to keep them all straight.

One More River to Cross is 345 pages long but those who enjoy reading about the early history of our country and the pioneers who struggled to expand its boundaries will find it to be both entertaining and educational.

I received a complimentary copy from Revell and I am voluntarily sharing my thoughts in this review.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Jane Kirkpatrick is a New York Times Bestselling author whose works have appeared in more than 50 national publications including The Oregonian, Private Pilot and Daily Guideposts. With more than 1.5 million books in print, her 30 novels and non-fiction titles draw readers from all ages and genders. Most are historical novels based on the lives of actual historical women often about ordinary women who lived extraordinary lives. Her works have won numerous national awards including the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award.

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