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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Book Review: Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton

Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton
Hardcover, 256 pages
March 9, 2010

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received from Author for Review
“In the spring of 1846, Tamsen Donner, her husband, George, their five daughters, and eighty other pioneers headed to California on the California-Oregon Trail in eager anticipation of new lives out West. Everything that could go wrong did, and an American legend was born.
Gabrielle Burton’s writing evokes the true passion behind the movement westward as well as the disappointment and utter feeling of loss of being trapped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains for 4 months. We are allowed to look at the world from the perspective of Tamsen Donner through a fictional journal that she writes. Tamsen was known to have kept a journal, which has never been found, so this sets the book in a realistic setting. Not only do you learn about what the 87 travelers endured while being trapped in the snow, but you experience the excitement of the planned trip as well as the trail experiences themselves.

This journal reads very quickly and you really felt like you were right there with Tamsen as she wrote her journal entries and created her letters to her sister. This story seriously puts a face to the legendary American tale that everyone learns. It certainly connects the reader to the real people who suffered through this tough time.

Gabrielle Burton is also the author of a non-fiction book about Tamsen Donner called Searching for Tamsen Donner. This book chronicles the authors trek with her family to physically follow the trail that the Donner’s took. You can read an excerpt of Impatient with Desire here and you can visit the author at her website.
Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).
Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Copyright © 2010 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Okay, I was starting to wonder if I was crazy because the author's name and the subject matter seemed familiar -- and it's because of Searching for Tamsen Donner which I think I got earlier. I love the idea of this novel tho -- sounds fantastic!

  2. Audra - oh that's funny! Have you had the chance to read it yet? I would love to know how it is.

  3. I haven't -- I got it as a gift a while ago and never reached it. I might pull it out this winter to read in the snow -- I do enjoy wintry reads when it's snowy here in Boston!

  4. Audra - that would certainly set the mood!


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