The Indifferent Stars Above - Daniel James Brown

The Indifferent Stars Above

By Daniel James Brown

  • Release Date: 2009-04-28
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 499 Ratings


From the #1 bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat and Facing the Mountain comes an unforgettable epic of family, tragedy, and survival on the American frontier

“An ideal pairing of talent and material.… Engrossing.… A deft and ambitious storyteller.” — Mary Roach, New York Times Book Review

In April of 1846, twenty-one-year-old Sarah Graves, intent on a better future, set out west from Illinois with her new husband, her parents, and eight siblings. Seven months later, after joining a party of pioneers led by George Donner, they reached the Sierra Nevada Mountains as the first heavy snows of the season closed the pass ahead of them. In early December, starving and desperate, Sarah and fourteen others set out for California on snowshoes, and, over the next thirty-two days, endured almost unfathomable hardships and horrors.

In this gripping narrative, New York Times bestselling author Daniel James Brown sheds new light on one of the most legendary events in American history. Following every painful footstep of Sarah’s journey with the Donner Party, Brown produces a tale both spellbinding and richly informative.


  • Incredible

    By larlarjojo1
    So beautifully written. I enjoyed every moment of it
  • Wow

    By damepriley
    Unreal. Amazing book,writing, spirit, reverence. Seriously, thank you for writing this
  • Incredible Telling of the DP

    By ski mask the SluG goD
    Incredible writing and gripping, vivid storytelling. A page turner, no doubt.
  • Great

    By JTW4E
    Wow what an incredible book! I didn’t know much about the Donner party and bought this based on the reviews. So glad I did!
  • The Indifferent Stars Above

    By Bodhiboy65
    It’s impossible to read this book without making comparisons to the similarly themed ‘BEST LAND UNDER HEAVEN.’ Yet they are as different as can be. Whereas James book — INDIFFERENT STARS…examines the bigger pucture or Gestalt’ of this set of events, the former is more of an evocative dramatization, focussed on breathing life and pathos into the characters. Neither is the ‘better book.’ They actually each complement the other. DAS
  • Great read!

    By Mateo Sikez
    Love the historical facts about the Oregon trail.
  • The Indifferent Stars Above

    By Naples FL Realtor
    I could not put this book down. I loved it not only from a historical perspective but I felt I was with the travelers every step of the way.
  • Loved loved this book

    By Meatball 2
    I thought about it for weeks after I read it. So hard to imagine anyone surviving any PART of that journey, and who knows what extremes we'll go to in order to survive or insure that our loved ones survive. Tragic and uplifting at the same time, and you will absolutly think about your day to day life in a different way! When I finished, I went back and reread parts of it again.
  • Too tedious and repetitive

    By PhotoDon!
    The author gets off on tangents that do not add interest to the main story. It is a well- and thoroughly-researched book but reiterating the same types of foibles over and over again makes for a tedious read.