Daniel James Brown is a descendant of Sarah Graves, who survived the harrowing pioneer crossing of the Sierra Nevada Mountains as part of the Donner Party in 1847. The Indifferent Stars Above is a wonderfully written narrative non-fiction account of Ms. Grave’s journey and that of the 87 members of this ill-fated group.
I was nervous about reading this book, knowing full well the tales of murder and cannibalism associated with this piece of history, but Brown exceeded all my expectations. It was so thoroughly researched, not just about the specifics of this group, but also with plenty of interesting and applicable background information, that it made this book a fascinating read.
The story of the Donner Party is a story of poor decision making, ill-guidance, strength, and for 48 of these pioneers, survival. I’m so glad I decided to read this one!
4 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2009