One More River to Cross
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.

One More River to Cross Details

TitleOne More River to Cross
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 3rd, 2019
PublisherFleming H. Revell Company
ISBN-139780800727024
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Christian

One More River to Cross Review

  • Hallie Szott
    January 1, 1970
    3.5In the 1800s, no trip to the West occurred without unanticipated hardship. The Donner Party, of course, remains infamous for what they endured in 1846-47. Lesser known is the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend company, which chose to make the same crossing through the Sierra Nevada—with much different results.In One More River to Cross, Jane Kirkpatrick imagines the experience this group of people had, facing a dangerous snowstorm and difficult decisions to make. Her writing is exquisite as the histori 3.5In the 1800s, no trip to the West occurred without unanticipated hardship. The Donner Party, of course, remains infamous for what they endured in 1846-47. Lesser known is the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend company, which chose to make the same crossing through the Sierra Nevada—with much different results.In One More River to Cross, Jane Kirkpatrick imagines the experience this group of people had, facing a dangerous snowstorm and difficult decisions to make. Her writing is exquisite as the historical detail combines with intriguing characterizations, and it all proves extremely well-told.My problem with this novel is strictly a personal one: I had trouble keeping track of the many characters, their relationships to one another, and who went where with whom. The book does include a map and a detailed character list at the beginning, so Kirkpatrick does her best to alleviate potential confusion. The fault here lies entirely with me.So, if you love historical fiction, check out One More River to Cross. A story of brave men and women facing ostensibly insurmountable adversity, it’s worth a read (especially if you don’t have trouble with characters, like I do). This review is also posted on Hallie Reads.I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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  • Allison Tebo
    January 1, 1970
    FTC Disclosure: Revell Reads gave me complimentary copies of this book. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts.Did not finish. I’m afraid I couldn’t get past the first few chapters. The writing is really poor. It’s not only bland and stilted, it’s confusing, and I had to pause at the end of every paragraph to decipher the sentences I had just read. A lot of the statements felt utterly random and had no connection to the previous phrases. The characters were so colorless FTC Disclosure: Revell Reads gave me complimentary copies of this book. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts.Did not finish. I’m afraid I couldn’t get past the first few chapters. The writing is really poor. It’s not only bland and stilted, it’s confusing, and I had to pause at the end of every paragraph to decipher the sentences I had just read. A lot of the statements felt utterly random and had no connection to the previous phrases. The characters were so colorless thatI was getting them confused within the first chapter, and the historical details were awkwardly inserted with the heavy-handedness of a dull textbook.
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  • Peg
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the publisher, Revell, via LibraryThing, for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.This is a story of survival based on true events in 1844 about a group of people from Missouri traveling through the Sierra Nevada mountains to find a better life in California. They encountered unimaginable hardships of starvation, cold, separation from loved ones, and birthing babies in the wilderness.I am always interested in how an author gets an idea for a novel. Jane Kirkpatrick saw a footnote i Thanks to the publisher, Revell, via LibraryThing, for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.This is a story of survival based on true events in 1844 about a group of people from Missouri traveling through the Sierra Nevada mountains to find a better life in California. They encountered unimaginable hardships of starvation, cold, separation from loved ones, and birthing babies in the wilderness.I am always interested in how an author gets an idea for a novel. Jane Kirkpatrick saw a footnote in The Brazen Overlanders of 1845 by Donna M. Wojcik. Writing of the Bear River country, "they camped in the valley near a log cabin built by 1844 emigrants.... Here the snow must have been very deep for some of the trees had been cut off 8 feet from (above) the ground....This cabin was occupied the winter of 1844 by women emigrants looked after by James Miller." For Jane Kirkpatrick the obvious question was, who were those women and what were they doing? So a few years later, she began her research.There were so many characters in this novel that the author compiled a list at the front of the book with pertinent information like who was related or married and a comment as to their occupation, personality, etc. It was very helpful since I have a hard time remembering details when there are so many characters. There is also a map which helps to envision the route they took.I felt this novel was too long. There was so much misery among the people who endured the trip, I felt depressed, cold, and hungry most of time while reading. I don't mean to diminish the courage and strength it took for the people to survive, but the slow pace was hard to handle with all the trials and tribulations going on.
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  • Vickie
    January 1, 1970
    So much as been written about the wagon trains going west and it seems as though we have romanticized those trips quite a bit. Jane Kirkpatrick though, lays it on the line and doesn't mince what it was like when the wagon trains ran into trouble. The hardships are everywhere in this story and it makes me think if I could survive such a trip. These women were strong and so were there children. They grew closer, as times got rough and formed a bond that couldn't be broken. One More River to Cross So much as been written about the wagon trains going west and it seems as though we have romanticized those trips quite a bit. Jane Kirkpatrick though, lays it on the line and doesn't mince what it was like when the wagon trains ran into trouble. The hardships are everywhere in this story and it makes me think if I could survive such a trip. These women were strong and so were there children. They grew closer, as times got rough and formed a bond that couldn't be broken. One More River to Cross did seem to jump around a bit from party to party. Sometimes there were only a few sentences about that party before she jumped to the next. At times, that seemed to drive me crazy because even though I cared about them all, I just wanted to know more detail about Moses. He remained my favorite character with the way he cared for others, his hard work, and his ingenuity. The history I learned while reading this book made me continue turning the pages. The descriptions were perfect and I could picture them in my mind. I even learned about something new that I didn't know before (reflector ovens) and that always a bonus. Just to let you know, I'm still mad and I need to forgive the men.This book was given to me by Revell and this is my honest opinion.
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  • Abigail Harris
    January 1, 1970
    My Review of One More River To Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick: I promise I tried to read this book . . . Truly, I did, but I am a girl, eh, woman that believes that some women overreact with feminism, men should automatically be put in three categories; stupid/weak/needy, overbearing/controlling, or wanting an inappropriate relationship. Since this book has shown a lack of respect for the men, bitter woman that "was what women did" talking about taking care of a family, and I tried flipping through t My Review of One More River To Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick: I promise I tried to read this book . . . Truly, I did, but I am a girl, eh, woman that believes that some women overreact with feminism, men should automatically be put in three categories; stupid/weak/needy, overbearing/controlling, or wanting an inappropriate relationship. Since this book has shown a lack of respect for the men, bitter woman that "was what women did" talking about taking care of a family, and I tried flipping through the book and landed on a page where a guy was leaving his wife to travel another way because he needed to take care of his guns. GUNS! How ridiculous can a book get? It's almost as if this was making a joke of the men, women, and everyone. I didn't finish this book and can't recommend it.If there isn't cheating in a book there is disrespect. Especially in Christian fiction lately.Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
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  • Cathy Daniel
    January 1, 1970
    What a thoughtful, inspiring, beautiful book! I truly believe in 2019, people need instant gratification and action. That is why this amazing book is getting low ratings. This book is historical fiction based on real pioneers. It naturally happens and is authentic to the time. Yes, it's leisurely but it's exactly authentic and how a pioneer story should be. I grew up listening to my grandmother telling me stories of my pioneer ancestors. Jane Kirkpatrick sounds like my grandmother sitting at her What a thoughtful, inspiring, beautiful book! I truly believe in 2019, people need instant gratification and action. That is why this amazing book is getting low ratings. This book is historical fiction based on real pioneers. It naturally happens and is authentic to the time. Yes, it's leisurely but it's exactly authentic and how a pioneer story should be. I grew up listening to my grandmother telling me stories of my pioneer ancestors. Jane Kirkpatrick sounds like my grandmother sitting at her kitchen table telling me stories. These are my people . So much love for this book!
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  • Lisa Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Title: One More River to CrossAuthor: Jane KirkpatrickPages: 352Year: 2019Publisher: RevellMy rating: 4 out of 5 stars.I am always amazed to read how various authors get started on a novel. Whether it’s a person of history or an event it just fascinates me. The novel One More River to Cross began when the author read a footnote, which you can read about in your copy, and from there she set out to learn more. Jane Kirkpatrick does a very good job of researching and portraying true events as close Title: One More River to CrossAuthor: Jane KirkpatrickPages: 352Year: 2019Publisher: RevellMy rating: 4 out of 5 stars.I am always amazed to read how various authors get started on a novel. Whether it’s a person of history or an event it just fascinates me. The novel One More River to Cross began when the author read a footnote, which you can read about in your copy, and from there she set out to learn more. Jane Kirkpatrick does a very good job of researching and portraying true events as close to reality as possible. When she writes the story, there are times she might deviate from what occurred if she knows what did or if there is no way to know, and her ability to create a believable tale is exceptional.Before I started reading the tale, I read in the back the Author’s Notes and Acknowledgments, which lets me know fact from fiction. For me, it doesn’t diminish my ability to enjoy the novel. In fact, it enhances it knowing the truth from fiction. In the beginning of the book, Jane lays out her characters’ histories such as who they are, if they are married and to whom they are related. Having this helps me if I forget as I read who is related to whom.October 1844 is where the reader’s journey begins, traveling with women who must face a harsh wilderness with courage and fortitude. In a time where there wasn’t any way to communicate instantly with a loved one or know what lay ahead, these women had to carve out a living with their children until they reached their destination.What is so gripping is the precariousness of life in the wilderness and traveling long distances always keeping in mind the unknown future. These women had to fight to live. It wasn’t pursuit of riches or fame but wanting a future. I hope readers enjoy following these Winter Women to their destination through a vast and unkind wilderness to reach a future they believed would be better. May you enjoy the novel and the journey!Note: The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.
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  • Danielle Urban
    January 1, 1970
    One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick is an interesting read. One that brings a story of traveling from one land to another, alive. There were so many dangers presented in this book. Many did not survive trips like these. Still so many treaded forward. Hoping for the promise of a new life. Loss, grief, fear, and hope were mixed on every page. The unpredictability was good. I kept on wondering what next. They story was well-written. Slow but steady was the pacing. I did feel like the plot w One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick is an interesting read. One that brings a story of traveling from one land to another, alive. There were so many dangers presented in this book. Many did not survive trips like these. Still so many treaded forward. Hoping for the promise of a new life. Loss, grief, fear, and hope were mixed on every page. The unpredictability was good. I kept on wondering what next. They story was well-written. Slow but steady was the pacing. I did feel like the plot was not as engaging as I expected. However, I could feel and sense everything the cast of characters were experiencing. That made this a worthy read.  Growing up in this time period was tough. The characters had my sympathy all the way. Overall, the book was realistic and a good historical trip. I received this copy from the publisher. This is my voluntary review.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    To be fair I won't rate this since I didn't finish it. It started off with a long list of character names and their relationships to one another. I mean a LONG list. OK, I thought, I've done this before, so I kept reading. But it didn't take long for my little brain to start spinning, trying to remember who was who. I've enjoyed other Kirkpatrick books, but this was just too much work. Sadly, I'm done.
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  • Emily Yager
    January 1, 1970
    This was an interesting read. It was fascinating to read about the pioneer families that traveled west and some of the struggles that they went through. The story itself is well written and had a somewhat slow and steady pace. The story was an enjoyable read. It's a time frame that i usually enjoy reading. Yet for whatever reason, I couldn't quite get into this book.
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  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    Set in the American West of the 1840's, this novel is based on the obscure true story of a group of pioneer families who set out for and reached California, after enduring hardships, obstacles, and setbacks. Quite a contrast to the unfortunate Donner Party, this group all pulled together, helped each other, and were willing to separate into several groups, so that at least some of them would reach their goal and no one would hold anyone else back. I liked the author's note where she explained ho Set in the American West of the 1840's, this novel is based on the obscure true story of a group of pioneer families who set out for and reached California, after enduring hardships, obstacles, and setbacks. Quite a contrast to the unfortunate Donner Party, this group all pulled together, helped each other, and were willing to separate into several groups, so that at least some of them would reach their goal and no one would hold anyone else back. I liked the author's note where she explained how she came across this unbelievable story in a footnote to something she was reading. She just HAD to research it deeply. Too bad, with such enticing material to work with, the writing was bland and cloyingly sweet. There was too much banal dialogue and it was much too long; it could have been pared down. With so many similar names, I'm glad the author gave a list of who each person was, and in which group. This made it clearer to me.Recommended, only with reservations. Thanks to LibraryThing for an ARC.
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  • Sara Wise
    January 1, 1970
    ** “ … I trust God is with us whatever choice we make. It’s what I draw on in the hard times. That I’m not alone and that God wants good things for us at the end.” **Jane Kirkpatrick brings a story straight from true life to the page with “One More River to Cross,” a harrowing tale of a courageous group of people who make their way across the country in a wagon train, and the battles they face on the way.Taking place from 1844-1845, “One More River to Cross” follows the story of several families ** “ … I trust God is with us whatever choice we make. It’s what I draw on in the hard times. That I’m not alone and that God wants good things for us at the end.” **Jane Kirkpatrick brings a story straight from true life to the page with “One More River to Cross,” a harrowing tale of a courageous group of people who make their way across the country in a wagon train, and the battles they face on the way.Taking place from 1844-1845, “One More River to Cross” follows the story of several families that race against time and Mother Nature to make it to California, a land filled with promise for new beginnings and happy endings.But when weather conditions force the group to break into several parties — some pressing on via horseback, some via wagon and some forced to stay behind — each member is forced to be the strongest they have ever been.And in a male dominated world, the women especially are forced to step up into roles that will allow for their very survival.Kirkpatrick does an amazing job of delving into these characters — sharing their hopes, joys, sorrows and fears. She develops strong, inspirational women like 17-year-old Mary Sullivan who’d rather be taking care of the animals than cooking dinner; Sarah Armstrong Montgomery, who struggles with the fact she’s never learned to read; 20-year-old widow Ellen Murphy who yearns to get out from her father’s and brother’s interference; and Beth Townsend, the sickly wife of the party’s overbearing and pompous doctor.The author writes so descriptively that the readers feels they’re right there on the wagon trail, experiencing the trauma and trials of the wagon party. You can tell she deeply researched this topic. Be sure to read the Author’s Note at the end as it goes into detail about this true-to-life story.Besides being a fantastic historical fiction novel, “One More River to Cross” also teaches several incredible lessons, like finding a bridge between grief and new beginnings; finding the courage to overcome major trials; we should feast on joy and not anger; spreading kindness is a gift; and we never know each other’s demons, but sharing them kills their power.Obviously a major theme in this novel is weathering storms, and the fact that anything is possible with God (“Don’t seem humanly possibly to do such a thing, but all things are possible through him that trusts the Lord”).Anyone who loves historical fiction or inspirational novels in general will love “One More River to Cross.”Five stars out of five. Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
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  • Robin Willson
    January 1, 1970
    Most of this is facts that the author found in research. One of the first wagon trains to travel this area.In the epilogue Jane said she hoped that this story might celebrate the honor of self-sacrifice, the wisdom of working together, and the power of persevering through community and faith. She did that exactly. This story is set in 1844 as a wagon train is progressing across country towards Oregon first then changing to California, which was still Mexican at the time. A fairly easy trip for t Most of this is facts that the author found in research. One of the first wagon trains to travel this area.In the epilogue Jane said she hoped that this story might celebrate the honor of self-sacrifice, the wisdom of working together, and the power of persevering through community and faith. She did that exactly. This story is set in 1844 as a wagon train is progressing across country towards Oregon first then changing to California, which was still Mexican at the time. A fairly easy trip for the first part, they didn't take into the account the high mountains and altitude around Lake Tahoe, and thought California only had warm temperatures. Never expecting the deep, deep snow in the mountains. These became tremendous obstacles for them. Most were Irish, some from Canada. Good old Irish stubbornness, brains and tenacity came into play as they determined to live and move to their goal. Women were expected to follow without question or input, not expected to think. This group of Irish girls got tired of that and when left to themselves learned what they needed to and proved resourcefulness of their own, as the men left and forged ahead without them. As with all of Jane's books, there are always lessons to be learned that will apply to women everywhere, anytime.Quotes“An old Indian once told me, ‘When you come to a wide chasm— jump. It’s not as wide as you think.’ We had no alternative but to jump and so we did.”“Taking things apart to re-create them,” Mary said. “That’s happening to us too,” Sarah said. “We’re having to remake ourselves here.” And so they did.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”#OneMoreRiverToCross #NetGalley #JaneKirkpatrick #BooksYouCanFeelGoodAbout #5Stars #ChristianHistorical
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  • Tami
    January 1, 1970
    This is my first novel by Jane Kirkpatrick and I’m now wondering why I haven’t already come across some of her previous novels. This newest work is set in 1844 and involves a wagon train that travels through the Sierra Nevada mountains en route to California.Most of the settlers from the wagon train are Irish Catholics, but regardless of where they are from or what their religious views are, they are all searching for a better life in California.Unfortunately, the journey didn’t move fast enough This is my first novel by Jane Kirkpatrick and I’m now wondering why I haven’t already come across some of her previous novels. This newest work is set in 1844 and involves a wagon train that travels through the Sierra Nevada mountains en route to California.Most of the settlers from the wagon train are Irish Catholics, but regardless of where they are from or what their religious views are, they are all searching for a better life in California.Unfortunately, the journey didn’t move fast enough to beat the first snows of winter. Due to the weather situation, they began to run low on food and to have trouble getting the wagons through the snowy mountainous terrain.At some point in the journey, they decide to split up. They end up having three groups. Some stayed with a few wagons that held the heaviest and most valuable possessions. The plan was to winter in place and have others come help them when the snow melted.Another group traveled by horseback. This group made the best time and reached the settlement area in California before any of the others.The third group was the rest of the wagon train. This group eventually split due to the lack of food and the slow progress being made. The idea was for the men to ride ahead and send back help. As so often happens, the best laid plans go awry. With each group facing starvation, natural disasters and other hazards common to living in a snowy mountainous region, there were quite a bit of tense moments. The experience that the people endured also brought to light various weak spots in some of the marriages. It was truly a journey that exposed what was important in life to each individual.
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  • Maureen Timerman
    January 1, 1970
    All the while I’m reading this story, I had the feeling that I would never be warm again, or not starving.The author made this story so real, and then I read her notes at the end of the book, and found out that this is based on real people. Along that note, I loved all the updates on these folks that we sure cared about.As you are reading this you kept wondering how they ended up in these circumstances, and then you remember what happened to the famous party that came after them, and I had to wo All the while I’m reading this story, I had the feeling that I would never be warm again, or not starving.The author made this story so real, and then I read her notes at the end of the book, and found out that this is based on real people. Along that note, I loved all the updates on these folks that we sure cared about.As you are reading this you kept wondering how they ended up in these circumstances, and then you remember what happened to the famous party that came after them, and I had to wonder how many if any of them would be left at the end of the book.An eye opener of courage and perseverance. I received this book through the Revell Readers Program, and was not required to give a positive review.
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  • Evelyn Fonseca
    January 1, 1970
    One More River to Cross is based on the true story of a group of travelers heading west in the 1840s. It was a large group with 17 children. Forced to split up in 3 groups after encountering a brutal winter, each group must find a way to survive and fend for themselves. I had never heard of the Stephens- Murphy- Townsend expedition nor the Donner Party so it piqued my interest. However, I was let down by this book. There are way too many characters and although I appreciate the character table o One More River to Cross is based on the true story of a group of travelers heading west in the 1840s. It was a large group with 17 children. Forced to split up in 3 groups after encountering a brutal winter, each group must find a way to survive and fend for themselves. I had never heard of the Stephens- Murphy- Townsend expedition nor the Donner Party so it piqued my interest. However, I was let down by this book. There are way too many characters and although I appreciate the character table of contents, it's still confusing. Several characters have the same first names and it's not enjoyable to have to keep track of each one. Some dialogues are a bit boring and long. I was immediately turned off so that after a couple chapters I abandoned it altogether. The plot sounded interesting but the novel itself just couldn't draw me in, which was a let down because I have enjoyed Jane's older novels in the past. I received a copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
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  • Virginia Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Acclaimed author Jane Kirkpatrick is known for the meticulous detail found in her inspiring works of historical fiction. "One More River to Cross" is her storytelling of the "Murphy-Stephens-Townsend Overland Party", which traveled from Missouri through the Sierra Nevada Mountains to reach California in 1844. Decisions of varying wisdom by members of the group. the twists and turns of Fate, and the undeniable force of Nature itself lead the travelers on an eventful, life-altering journey for whi Acclaimed author Jane Kirkpatrick is known for the meticulous detail found in her inspiring works of historical fiction. "One More River to Cross" is her storytelling of the "Murphy-Stephens-Townsend Overland Party", which traveled from Missouri through the Sierra Nevada Mountains to reach California in 1844. Decisions of varying wisdom by members of the group. the twists and turns of Fate, and the undeniable force of Nature itself lead the travelers on an eventful, life-altering journey for which none of them were truly prepared. The author has included a breakdown of the groupings in the wagon party which explains who was in each group--giving us insights into their characters: "Horseback Group"; "Wagon Guards"; "The Wintering Women"; "Also at the Wintering Cabin"; and "Cross-Country Men". The party eventually separated into three main groups--each one choosing a different and difficult route to follow. If you enjoy reading about American Frontier trials and tribulations and life in the mid-nineteenth century, then you will find "One More River to Cross" to be an involving and inspiring journey of a lifetime.Book Copy Gratis LibraryThing
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  • Patricia Stoltey
    January 1, 1970
    One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick is based on true events that happened when the first pioneers tried to take wagons over the mountains to California. A story of resilience, survival, and true grit, especially among the women. Highly recommended!
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  • Angie Fehl
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsThe year is 1844, two years before the tragic, fateful trip of the Donner Party. The Stephens-Murphy-Townsend wagon party, made up mostly of Canadian and Irish Catholic immigrants, travels from Missouri to California. Come October, they are trapped in a season of fierce snowstorms in the Sierra Nevada mountains. After much discussion, the choice is made to split the party up into three groups (which later turns into four). One small group travels on horseback around Lake Tahoe; one grou 3.5 StarsThe year is 1844, two years before the tragic, fateful trip of the Donner Party. The Stephens-Murphy-Townsend wagon party, made up mostly of Canadian and Irish Catholic immigrants, travels from Missouri to California. Come October, they are trapped in a season of fierce snowstorms in the Sierra Nevada mountains. After much discussion, the choice is made to split the party up into three groups (which later turns into four). One small group travels on horseback around Lake Tahoe; one group of men stays to guard left behind wagons and valuables; the rest of the party (mostly women and children, this group dubbed "The Wintering Women") settle into a cabin near the Yuba River to wait for a rescue team to come back for them. Many of the women in the party seem to have doubts (some have premonitions) about the mens' choice to travel west rather than south as it was previously recommended they do. The story of this wagon party is primarily told through the experiences of the women. The main women we get to know:* Seventeen year old Mary Sullivan* Sarah Armstrong* The flirt of the party, Ellen Murphy* Pregnant Maolisa (pronounced Mail-issa) and her sister-in-law, Ailbe (All-bay), Irish immigrants* Sarah Montgomery* Beth Townsend, asthmatic wife of the group's doctorMary is one to express some of her concerns about the changed travel plans. Her older brother, already something of a pill (in personality) to be around, gives her the name "Contrary Mary". The doctor's wife, Beth -- because of her health condition -- is sent on with the Lake Tahoe horseback group after he decides he wants to stay behind "with the valuables". Ellen Montgomery and two of her brothers are also in this group. From this point we really begin to see just how many of the women are viewed / treated as property by husbands, fathers, or brothers. Several of the husbands act as though their marital unions are disposable. In the case of Allen Montgomery, when he suggests he and wife Sarah go in different groups and she asks "What am I supposed to do if something happens to you?", there doesn't seem to be a moment's hesitation in his reply, "Just find another husband." It's even given in a rather "DUH" sort of way (though he later explains that he IS looking out for her, he maybe just doesn't express it very well). Looks like he still forgot their anniversary though! While this is a theme among several of the men, that's not to say all men in this story are disappointing. Maolisa seems to have nabbed herself a gem of a spouse, a man truly kind and considerate. Speaking of Allen, we later see that maybe, in fact, he did do his wife a favor by sending her on with a different party, as his group seemed to fare pretty badly. The ladies together at least found strength in numbers, building a sisterhood to help them get through the bleakest days.One of the commonalities all these women find they share is --- even in some small part --- a boldness in spirit. Their bond comes largely from a similar need to have their voices heard and prove themselves just as useful and resourceful as any man. I liked the sharing exercise the women use one night to pass the evening, asking "Where have your boots taken you?" It gives a much more poetic flavor to the standard "Where ya from?"Kirkpatrick writes a detail-heavy environment, and she gives her readers some impressive character growth to enjoy. I'll give her that. The plot, while engaging enough to keep a steady amount of interest flowing, is a little slow-going at times with lots of stops and starts. One could argue that it mimics the rhythm of an actual wagon train in that sense.... but it can be frustrating for a reader. This reader anyway.Some bursts of action do come in with the Lake Tahoe party, mostly with Ellen and her brothers: Ellen being thrown into a crevasse by a spooked horse, her brothers having to devise a way to rescue her; Ellen's brother, John, getting caught up in a dangerous river crossing. This portion of the story turns out to be a major turning point for one of the more sour characters, Ellen's younger brother, Daniel. When we first meet Daniel, he has a bit of a prickly temperment --- even downright rude at times --- but as the story progresses, we learn that he has his own inner demons he's trying to battle, the result being that he's not always the nicest guy to hang around. But after nearly losing his siblings in these two moments, there is a noticeable shift to him. From then on, there begins to be a more caring, remorseful side peeking through his overall behavior. A couple general things for readers to note:1) This novel jumps around between the parties quite often. Something to be aware of if you generally don't like too much movement in the POV. That said, Kirkpatrick is pretty good about denoting where / when we (the readers) check in with what party. 2) For those sensitive to violent animal scenes, there are some passages describing the killing and butchering of horses and oxen for food. It's done in the name of "desperate times call for desperate measures" but again, something to note if you are sensitive to that kind of reading material.For book clubs, this book offers supplemental materials, such as a lengthy list of discussion questions and a detailed, pages-long historical afterword about the real people who inspired these characters. As often happens with history, the true stories are sometimes even more impressive than anything fictional! A few notables: * The party as a whole became the first people to bring covered wagons into California via the Sierra Nevada range. * John Sullivan became the first person to build a home in newly established San Francisco.* John Townsend (the doctor, Beth's husband) became the first American doctor to set up practice in California and the fourth mayor of San Francisco. Much of this novel was inspired by the memoir of Moses Schallenberger (Beth's brother in the novel), Overland in 1844, as well as a few other footnotes about the party in other historical texts. So what's the link to the Donner Party, other than this being two years prior to that trip? Kirkpatrick explains:"In 1994, Mount Stephens, north of Donner Pass, was named for the leader. The lake the travelers called "Stephens Lake" is known today as "Donner Lake," as the 1846-47 Donner Party faced their challenges at that lake and summit. Some members used the cabin that Moses, Joe, and Allen had built. The tragic outcome of that journey compared to the Stephens party shows a remarkable contrast. The Murphys listened to experienced mountain men. They risked separating, shared horses, rationed food, and demonstrated incredible fortitude and courage in bringing the wagons over the mountains as they did, then choosing to leave some behind along the Yuba. Their feats are overshadowed by the Donner Party disaster. It's my hope that this story might celebrate the honor of self-sacrifice, the wisdom of working together, and the power of persevering through community and faith."As Kirkpatrick says, it's an interesting story that unfortunately got overshadowed by the macabre outcome of the successor. While I didn't love everything about this book, I am glad more attention was brought to the history and overall had a quite nice reading experience with it. FTC DISCLAIMER: Revell Books kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.
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  • Kaitlyn S.
    January 1, 1970
    So, this book was one I chose for my younger sister. Since she’s writing a book on a figure from the wagon trail days, I figured this would make a good research tool.I read it with mixed feelings. I enjoyed it — the writing style was wonderfully engaging, the storyline was clear, and the research was well done. Little known facts about the Stephens-Murphy party were revealed and the facts included about the era were incorporated in a way to keep the story interesting. Being that this is an accou So, this book was one I chose for my younger sister. Since she’s writing a book on a figure from the wagon trail days, I figured this would make a good research tool.I read it with mixed feelings. I enjoyed it — the writing style was wonderfully engaging, the storyline was clear, and the research was well done. Little known facts about the Stephens-Murphy party were revealed and the facts included about the era were incorporated in a way to keep the story interesting. Being that this is an account based on a true story, I really enjoyed it. The historical value and the amount of history I was able to refresh myself on was pretty much amazing.I was annoyed at the lack of consistency the accents were used. Irish characters only occasionally had an accent . . . but this could easily be something I noticed only because I’m an editor and I look for it in the manuscripts I go through.The plotline was kept moving forward, and I was always wondering what would happen next. The story was told from several different perspectives, and I was concerned about being able to keep it all straight, but somehow Jane Kirkpatrick wrote in such a way so that I quickly knew and recognized all the names and characters.That being said, the amount of feminism in this story was appalling to me. I am most definitely not a feminist, by any stretch of the word, as is no surprise to those who read this blog. I, quite honestly, found several of the attitudes the people were written as having as being . . . well . . . repungant. And I’m not sure the attitudes would have been true to the history of these women. I kinda feel like a grave dis-justice was done to these women, actually, and because of that my rating went down.First, I was surprised by the attitude of the men towards the women. Historically, the attitude would have been one of respect and honour — even in the midst of a journey of several hundred miles in the middle winter. The men seemed to be a bit calloused, a bit self-centered, and a whole lot of egotistical, all mixed up in one. The husbands pretty much dictated to their wives, and they had absolutely no say in the matter. I’m pretty sure that this is not how marriage works — and I’m almost positive that these historical figures wouldn’t have treated their wives in such a manner. There were several times when the men would make sure the animals were okay before their wives and children, several times when information was brusquely denied, and at least once it was mentioned that the husband was staying behind to guard the valuable silks and satins and would see his wife in the springtime.At the same time, the ladies attitudes were poor reflections of womanhood and all that makes ladies genteel and feminine. They seemed to complain about everything, whine that they weren’t included with the men, and foolhardy enough to push their way to the front of dangerous passes and “prove” themselves. Again, women historically and biblically would have “reverenced their husbands” and would have been looking for ways to serve them. The attitudes were one of victims, when they were most certainly not victims of anything but their own poor thoughts. It was mentioned several times that “of course he would inquire about the horse before me, since the horse is worth more anyways.” It was complained about that the men never helped with anything — yet when help was offered it was turned down and ignored. When information was given, it was argued about and fought over. So it’s no wonder that the men seemed to turn toward away from their wives. Biblically, it’s better for a husband to live on a rooftop than with a brawling woman.I’m nearly positive that the woman of yesteryear would have been more than happy to accept their husbands help and would have been understanding enough to realize that the concern for the horses and livestock and animals and guns and everything else would have been for their benefit. If the livestock is gone, what is there to eat? If the horses and oxen give out, what happens to the wagons and possessions? It is honestly a case of men being more logical minded, and women being more emotional . . . as happens to be the case in every single relationship I have with a guy, be it friend, brother, or father.I found it annoying that as the characters fought their way through the book, they couldn’t see the real issue. That the men are offering to help, the women are turning them down, the men, of course, aren’t going to continue to offer because their help was rejected anyways, and so the women are left griping about the amount of work they have to do. Which, in turn, makes the men appear to be rather more than a bit disgruntled.I can think of one example in a brother/sister relationship where the brother comes to help his sister set her shoulder after it popped out of socket. She rejected his help, didn’t notice she had hurt him, and after he had the shoulder in, she was upset that he left to tend the horses.Anyways, that is my long two cents worth. I’m not sure if the historical elements outweigh the feminism or not . . . and I don’t know yet if any of my younger siblings will be reading this one. It *might* be a good choice to let my next-younger-sister read, who is 17, and see how many of these elements she can see in the book. It would be good for that, simply because there is no other content in it to worry about :DI received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review. I was not obligated to enjoy the book, merely to give my honest opinion.
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    The American history books are filled with stories of brave men whose dreams pushed them further and further west. What we too often ignore is the simple fact that they were almost always accompanied by women. Women who eagerly chose to move in search of a better life, but also women who had no voice in the decisions that forever altered their futures. Those decisions were made by husbands, fathers, and even brothers. Too often the females would soon find themselves alone as family members succu The American history books are filled with stories of brave men whose dreams pushed them further and further west. What we too often ignore is the simple fact that they were almost always accompanied by women. Women who eagerly chose to move in search of a better life, but also women who had no voice in the decisions that forever altered their futures. Those decisions were made by husbands, fathers, and even brothers. Too often the females would soon find themselves alone as family members succumbed to disease and accidents, leaving them too poor or too far away for a return to their previous homes. Jane Kirkpatrick has made telling the stories of these surviving women her life's work. Many of her books center on fictionalized accounts of historical women of the Northwest. In her latest book, she turns to the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend company who left Missouri in 1844 to travel across the Sierra Nevada to California. Their journey was a full two years before the fateful Donner party. As the group approaches the mountains, snows begin and the decision is made to split up. One small group returns to a lower route, mainly to secure a route that will allow Elizabeth Townsend, the ill wife of the doctor in the group, a way to avoid the strain of the mountains. When the remaining travelers realize that they cannot get the wagons through the mountain, three men (one newly married) decide to build a rough structure and wait the winter out, while protecting the wagons full of supplies for their new lives in California. The rest plug ahead, hoping to make it through a narrow passage at the top of the mountain before winter sets in for good. Jane Kirkpatrick's writing always pulls me in, but this novel speaks even louder than most. Instead of revealing the harsh, but inspiring story of one brave woman, we are quickly introduced to a whole traveling community of them, each with her own trials and strengths. There is Ellen Murphy Townsend, a young widow, who wants to move beyond her loss and find joy in life. But her father and brothers feel she must be more reserved and proper. Beth Townsend, the doctor's wife and Ellen's sister-in-law has a strong spirit, but a weak body. The whole group is concerned that the journey up and down the Sierra Nevada will be too much for her. Mary Sullivan is on the trip because her parents had decided to leave Canada for California; their deaths mean she will continue the trip with her brothers as her chaperones. While she cooks and cares for them, the young men never acknowledge her skill with the animals. Maolisa Murphy and Ailbe Miller, sisters-in-law, are what we most often think of when we consider women on wagon trains. Married mothers, they find themselves facing the hardships of caring for little ones and even giving birth while traveling west. And then there is Sarah Montgomery, married less than a year, who must say goodbye to her husband who remains behind to protect the wagons. Despite her pleas that they remain together, he assures her that she will be able to return in the spring to help him continue to California.Jane Kirkpatrick has written over 20 books, most of them historical fiction. I've read most of them and always eagerly await her next book. ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS is not a disappointment. Once again she has taken a moment in history and expanded it into a full narrative, pitting adversity against the strength of the human spirit. And as only Kirkpatrick seems able to do, we see that story unfold for not only the men, but also for the women. I received a copy of this book from Revell and Netgalley. All opinions are mine.
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  • Conny Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    “That however we are separated, our Father will watch over us and unite us all in this land before the one beyond,” a prayer is offered in Jane Kirkpatrick’s novel, One More River to Cross.~ What ~Based on a true story, this three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those interested in a group of wagoners crossing the snowy Sierra Nevadas in 1844. With no profanity, topics of injury, starvation, illness, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginning includes a map “That however we are separated, our Father will watch over us and unite us all in this land before the one beyond,” a prayer is offered in Jane Kirkpatrick’s novel, One More River to Cross.~ What ~Based on a true story, this three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those interested in a group of wagoners crossing the snowy Sierra Nevadas in 1844. With no profanity, topics of injury, starvation, illness, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginning includes a map and list of characters while the ending has the author’s notes and acknowledgments, eleven discussion questions, biography, and advertisements.In this tale, a group of Irish Catholics is on course from Missouri to Alta California when they run into trouble in the snowy Sierra Nevadas. Deciding to divide the large wagon train into three groups to survive, some continue on horseback while mostly women and children are left behind in a makeshift cabin and a few men stay with their discarded but valuable wagons. Focusing mainly from several married and single women’s perspectives of waiting for provisions and overcoming their arduous situations, they rely on God and each other to live another day.~ Why ~This is a gut-wrenching story of what men, women, and children had to sacrifice to come into a new land. Since my husband and I were born and raised in California and live in Oregon, I enjoyed reading about the places and terrain I have been. I appreciated the many-faceted characters as well as their strengths and weaknesses. The author’s arduous attention to detail shows her tender love of the topic.~ Why Not ~Those who do not like stories of the hardship of traveling when there were no roads and lots of snow will avoid this book. Although Biblical references are mentioned throughout the read, it may not be of interest to those who do not believe in God. Some may think there are far too many characters, but the list and map at the beginning of the book can be referred to often.~ Wish ~As with other books by the author, sometimes there is too much information or side subjects intertwined in the story. I often got confused of the many women and their roles, finding there were too many mentioned. I also wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.~ Want ~If you like historical fiction based on Irish Catholics and their wagon train transversing the mountainous Sierras during winter and how they did everything in their willpower to survive, this may be educational and entertaining.Thanks to Revell for furnishing this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.
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  • Alex Jacobson
    January 1, 1970
    Jane Kirkpatrick is known for her detailed story telling and deep characters. One More River to Cross by Kirkpatrick is no exception. The story is so historically rich and the characters both deep and diverse. This is a story of true heroism; families traveling, ultimately, as the first to settle into California in the 1840's. It's filled with exciting, dramatic moments and then also realistic moments of monotony and the daily grind of progressing through challenging terrain and even more danger Jane Kirkpatrick is known for her detailed story telling and deep characters. One More River to Cross by Kirkpatrick is no exception. The story is so historically rich and the characters both deep and diverse. This is a story of true heroism; families traveling, ultimately, as the first to settle into California in the 1840's. It's filled with exciting, dramatic moments and then also realistic moments of monotony and the daily grind of progressing through challenging terrain and even more dangerous weather conditions.I was so impressed with the detail and historical accuracy of the story, but also how connected I was able to feel to the characters. The gender rolls are strong and the historically accurate representation of what that means really transported me to another time and place where childbirth was "women's work" and "the men were the leaders and made the decisions." I couldn't fathom all these women went through, and the true grit and strength they showed in dealing with social constraints, unnerving life experiences, tragedy, and also true joy and happiness.Curling up with Kirkpatrick's characters this chilly fall I could only begin to understand the insane experience they had. I was enthralled by their ingenuity, frustrated by the challenges they faced and even more so by the very frustrations the female characters had of being overlooked or misunderstood. Such an interesting read as a woman and as a natural born leader. I could relate to those in the story who felt they big, great ideas and were just trying to be heard or understood. I think Kirkpatrick's approach while accurate and realistic also provided enough of the characters who were"challenging the norm" overtly or inwardly to satiate my desire for the women to be heard.The pace is not fast but the story ebbs and flows so rhythmically filled with excitement, tragedy, life's bests moments of achievement and family that I just really felt myself pulled in, turning page after page, not realizing how far along I was. A truly captivating read and I found myself so grateful for the strong women who helped to shape our country even at it's earliest stages. I hope you'll grab a copy of One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick, and be sure to let me know what you think.Thanks to Revell, a division of Baker Publishing group, for the book. All opinions are my own.
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  • Meagan Myhren-bennett
    January 1, 1970
    One More River to CrossBy Jane KirkpatrickIn 1844, a group headed from Missouri to California. The Stephens-Murphy-Townsend party was determined to be the first company to take wagons into California via the Sierra Nevada. Wagons through the mountains would be no easy task add to that this wasn't just a group of explorers but families - men, women, children and laden down wagons. But as they approach the final leg of their journey there is a decision to make - which path to pursue. Winter is sho One More River to CrossBy Jane KirkpatrickIn 1844, a group headed from Missouri to California. The Stephens-Murphy-Townsend party was determined to be the first company to take wagons into California via the Sierra Nevada. Wagons through the mountains would be no easy task add to that this wasn't just a group of explorers but families - men, women, children and laden down wagons. But as they approach the final leg of their journey there is a decision to make - which path to pursue. Winter is showing its coming approach and the mountains before them are daunting.When the health and safety of the various members of the party are in question the party splits into three smaller groups each pursuing a different goal. One group heads south, another continues on towards a hoped-for mountain pass, and the final group remains behind with their overladen wagons to protect their valuables. With families divided by this decision the certainty of their futures is further thrown into doubt - will they find one another at the end of their journeys. Who will live? Who will die? One More River to Cross is a journey of perseverance of the human spirit in the face of mounting adversity. Each person no matter what course they took was faced with challenges that could make or break them and how they responded had a profound impact on those closest to them. This is what I most like about Jane Kirkpatrick's work - she brings history to life. She focuses on a chapter of history that people are familiar with but she finds the mostly unknown footnote and restores those who were involved in it to remembrance. She doesn't glamorize the trials her characters underwent and we experience their pain, anger, sorrows, joys, failures, and triumphs. Fans of Historical Fiction will greatly appreciate this work as will those enjoy pre-Civil War Western expansion. I found it interesting that at this time that the California lands that are being settled is under Mexican rule and that the current influx of Americans is less than appreciated. Overall I highly recommend this book if you want excellence in writing.I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.
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  • Wendy J.
    January 1, 1970
    If you loved playing "Oregon Trail" as a kid, or are interested in pioneer life, you will enjoy this book. It gives great details on the hardships faced by these incredibly brave and hardy people.The characters are colorful and fairly well drawn. The drawback is that there are so many characters, too many of them named James, John, or Daniel.....luckily there is a chart at the beginning listing all the characters because I had to refer to it constantly. The author tells the story mainly through If you loved playing "Oregon Trail" as a kid, or are interested in pioneer life, you will enjoy this book. It gives great details on the hardships faced by these incredibly brave and hardy people.The characters are colorful and fairly well drawn. The drawback is that there are so many characters, too many of them named James, John, or Daniel.....luckily there is a chart at the beginning listing all the characters because I had to refer to it constantly. The author tells the story mainly through the viewpoint of several of the women. They all chafe at how they are treated by men in the story. Men make all the decisions, and the women are just expected to live with those decisions. The writer hits us over the head with that a few too many times. These women are so feisty, and so resentful of not having the freedom to live their lives the way they want, that I'm surprised the women's movement didn't happen 100 years sooner!That is one flaw in the writing, in my opinion. She doesn't get into the men's heads. One man seems to value his collection of guns over his wife. He leaves her alone with the wagon train more than once while he goes on ahead. She is resentful and devastated by his actions. But we only get to see her feelings. The author never lets us see his point of view. Did he honestly feel he was doing the right thing by leaving her? Did he struggle with those decisions? Was he really selfish, or was he truly thinking of their best interests? I would like to have seen both sides.The one man that she does give an inner life to is a young man named Moses. She lets us see his doubts and fears as he copes with a terrible situation, and his story is truly poignant.Some reviewers have said that the story dragged on too slowly and too long -- I would actually like to read more. I would have liked more followup of what happened to all the characters after they reached their destination. I suppose that because the story is based on fact, she couldn't just "make up" resolutions for each storyline. By the end, though, I was pretty thoroughly invested in all the main characters. I thought the author did a fantastic job of making this journey come to life.
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  • Abigail
    January 1, 1970
    “They had gotten on a craft called faith and pushed out on the river. Sometimes the stream flowed calm and restful and sometimes it meandered and swirled the craft about. But it always took them to where they needed to go.”I would say that Jane Kirkpatrick neatly sums up her book, One More River to Cross, in the quote above. Traveling across the country in a wagon train, the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend party learned that living on faith is a powerful thing. Faith is what got them through winter sno “They had gotten on a craft called faith and pushed out on the river. Sometimes the stream flowed calm and restful and sometimes it meandered and swirled the craft about. But it always took them to where they needed to go.”I would say that Jane Kirkpatrick neatly sums up her book, One More River to Cross, in the quote above. Traveling across the country in a wagon train, the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend party learned that living on faith is a powerful thing. Faith is what got them through winter snows in an unknown territory when food was sparse but bellies needed to be fed. At times it was all they could really feed on.In the beginning of the book, the party starts out together, already on their journey, and you are given a small glimpse into the lives of those who travel. As the story continues, the group begins to break off into smaller ones, choices needing to be made, families and friends split. Their journey becomes one of survival.Jane Kirkpatrick does a wonderful job showing the struggles these characters go through and how their faith is tested. When some begin to lose hope, there’s always someone else to press them forward, urging them on. Fear is evident; fear of loss, of death. Questions are raised, choices questioned. Did they do the right thing by splitting off? Did they go the right way? Should they have even made this journey?Faith, in the end, wins.The author walks you through the journey right beside her characters, and though there are many to keep straight, I found it easier to remember who was who as I traveled along with them, though at times I did have to remind myself before continuing on. The map and the list of groups with who is in which, were very helpful as I became acquainted with this story, and I found myself revisiting them, the map especially.If you’re looking for a novel that shares a piece of our history, one that is filled with strong women, family struggles, community, hope, trust, and faith, then this is a read I would definitely recommend.This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group through Interviews & Reviews.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    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 p 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. — from the publisher.Jane Kirkpatrick at the beginning of the book introduces each of the characters and through the beginning of the trek towards the Sierra Nevada Mountains lets the reader feel the family relationships and the dynamics of the group. When the party splits up, Ms. Kirpatrick alternates the chapter narratives between the three groups. She writes the story in such a way that the reader can empathize and relate to the difficult decisions each time the group wrestles with splitting up.Ms. Kirkpatrick through the character, Mary Sullivan shows how strong many of the women making the journey west were. Mary often used her determination and confidence to lead her party forward and survival. This story leaves the reader with a new appreciation to what the pioneers endured to make a better life for themselves and their family.Readers who like historical fiction and especially this period will thoroughly enjoy this read. The book is a quick read while educating how the pioneers had to be resourceful to survive. It is very evident that Ms. Kirkpatrick extensively researches her story. At the end of the story, she gives many of her references for those wanting to learn more about the Stephens- Murphy party.I received an ARC ebook from Netgalley and the publisher, Revell, in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Mandy
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Revell at Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my ownA TRULY REMARKABLE TALE OF COURAGE, ENDURANCE AND PIONEERING SPIRIT.  Jane Kirkpatrick does a magnificent job of remaining true to the real story in her newest novel, One More River to Cross, creating a narrative that is both historically accurate and beautifully told with dynamic characters based on the exceptional pioneers of the day. I can’t say *I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Revell at Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my ownA TRULY REMARKABLE TALE OF COURAGE, ENDURANCE AND PIONEERING SPIRIT.  Jane Kirkpatrick does a magnificent job of remaining true to the real story in her newest novel, One More River to Cross, creating a narrative that is both historically accurate and beautifully told with dynamic characters based on the exceptional pioneers of the day. I can’t say enough about this masterful retelling of the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend pioneer party. Author Jane Kirkpatrick weaves her magic in a soft and easy to read narrative that inspires, delights and encourages the soul with the perseverance, determination and faith of her characters.  In true early American fashion, these Irish Catholics make their way westward in hopes of finding land for their families to experience religious freedom, peace and prosperity.  As they face the challenges that nature presents them, they come to grips with hard decisions, endure hunger and starvation, and bond together while holding onto hope and ultimately preserving. Kirkpatrick used historical resources to build her dynamic cast of characters in such a beautiful way, they immediately become engraved on the heart and soul of a reader who will find themselves rooting for these pioneers and their families. I personally found myself intrigued by the story enough to do my own research into the history and real people behind One More River to Cross. I enjoyed the dialogue throughout the book, the historical accuracy, the well developed characters and learning about the struggles these families overcame.  The book is well written; a beautiful unfolding of difficult but triumphant events that evoke a spirit of pride, perseverance and hope. As a result, I can’t recommend this new novel enough to lovers of historical fiction of all ages. It will remain a passionate favorite of mine for this particular time era.
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  • Gabi
    January 1, 1970
    One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick does not disappoint the reader, if they are familiar with her old frontier stories. In this novel, we meet many young women and men are their trek towards Alta, California for Sutter’s Fort from Missouri. However, when they reach the Rockies in the late autumn, near Lake Tahoe, the weather changes for the worse. The snow becomes intense and the group of travelers decide they need to split up into smaller groups.The group of travelers soon divide into f One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick does not disappoint the reader, if they are familiar with her old frontier stories. In this novel, we meet many young women and men are their trek towards Alta, California for Sutter’s Fort from Missouri. However, when they reach the Rockies in the late autumn, near Lake Tahoe, the weather changes for the worse. The snow becomes intense and the group of travelers decide they need to split up into smaller groups.The group of travelers soon divide into four different groups. The first group to separate is the Horse Back Group, consisting of six individuals. The Horseback Group goes a Southerly route in hopes of avoiding the heaviest snow. The second group to separate is the Wagon Group. This group only has 3 men, a husband and two young men, that are waiting winter out in order to get the wagons across the mountain in the spring. The final two groups to separate are the Wintering Women Camp (consisting of eight women, two men, and seventeen children) and the Cross Country men. They decide on this decision because of the tense weather and they believe it will be best for everyone.Will the Cross Country men make it to Alta California and be able to return to the people they have left on guard? Will the other groups survive the harsh winter with the little provisions they have? You have to check the book out for yourself.I really enjoyed this novel as I’m partial to the frontier days and I am amazed how these people were able to survive the journey. Ms. Kirkpatrick does a great job creating so many characters and separating them into there own parts. Great writing style, too! I want to thank not only Ms. Kirkpatrick but also Revell Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this complimentary book. I was not obligated to post a review, but I love sharing what a read with all of you.
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  • Jolene
    January 1, 1970
    One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick is a stand-alone novel based on historical events surrounding the Stephens company and its journey to California. I appreciate that the author chose to stick to certain happenings, as odd as they seem to today’s readers. While some of these events led to character development and/or relational healing in the book, other events seemed to pass without sufficient time given to dealing with the trauma they must have caused and I wished those events had bee One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick is a stand-alone novel based on historical events surrounding the Stephens company and its journey to California. I appreciate that the author chose to stick to certain happenings, as odd as they seem to today’s readers. While some of these events led to character development and/or relational healing in the book, other events seemed to pass without sufficient time given to dealing with the trauma they must have caused and I wished those events had been more thoroughly addressed. Much of One More River to Cross is devoted to highlighting the powerlessness of women in that time period and how the women’s mindsets changed. I enjoyed seeing the women find their own reasons to hope and persevere through their severe hardship. They learned to speak up despite oppression from companions and loved ones. They learned to take action when necessary. The themes about powerlessness and gender equality echo into today’s society and are still relevant.Despite its prose being well-written with its smooth dialogue and vibrant descriptions, I struggled to finish One More River to Cross because I never developed deep interest in the characters. There were just so many of them and the story hopped all around in so many different minds that even when I was a third of the way through the book, I needed to refer to the character list.If you have enjoyed previous historical fiction novels by Jane Kirkpatrick, you may enjoy One More River to Cross. While it didn’t captivate my attention, long-time fans of Jane Kirkpatrick will likely be interested in her newest release.Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.
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