I received a copy from Netgalley.
I’ve been morbidly curious about The Donner party ever since I read Stephen King’s The Shining where The Donners are referenced. I looked it up – it was a true story, a disturbing one, but a true one. So I was really looking forward to this book as soon as I heard about it.
I was really excited when I got my review request approved, and when I started reading, I liked it so much I bought a finished copy after a few chapters and read that. This one took a while to get used to the style of the writing. There were an awful lot of characters to keep track off, some got more detailed back stories than others. It was hard to keep track of who everyone was.
But the more I read the more fascinated I became with it. There’s a real sense of history and how hard it was for the people making the trek to California. The hardships they went through. The relationships between the people is well written. It’s brutal as well – not everyone is going to get along, obviously, so many people have so many different thoughts, feelings, opinion, violence will breed, love, lust, obsession, hatred…
The author does a brilliant job of capturing a storm of emotions. As well as putting a spooky twist on the story.
It did drag a bit in the middle, but as conditions slowly started getting worse and seeds of mistrust and doubt deepened amongst the people, the story picked up again and was unputdownable towards the end, and quite frightening as the winter hit really bad.
A hard book to read in parts, but so, so worth it. I loved it. And would definitely read it again.
Thank you to Netgalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers.