A ★★★★★ Book Review of One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick | A historical fiction novel

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell at Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.

A 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. 

Adversity can squelch the human spirit . . . or it can help us discover strength we never knew we had.

In 1844, two years before the Donner Party, the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend company leaves Missouri to be the first wagons into California through the Sierra Nevada. They enjoy a safe journey--until October, when a fierce mountain snowstorm forces difficult decisions.

The party separates in three directions. Some go overland around Lake Tahoe. Others stay to guard the heaviest wagons. The rest of the party, including eight women and seventeen children, huddle in a makeshift cabin at the headwaters of the Yuba River awaiting rescue. The months ahead will be long and at times terrifying. But with friendship, family, and enough courage to overcome their fear, these intrepid pioneers will discover what truly matters in times of trial.

"Jane Kirkpatrick has turned a scrap of history into a story of courageous women strong enough to meet the challenges of nature--and of men."--Sandra Dallas, New York Times bestselling author

"What an incredible journey this novel is! It's moving and beautifully told, and I absolutely loved it."--Molly Gloss, award-winning author of The Jump-Off Creek and The Hearts of Horses

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★★ | 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.

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.” Ailbe leaned in. “Truth is, I’d rather be happy than right.”
— Jane Kirkpatrick, One More River to Cross


Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling and award-winning author of more than thirty books, with nearly two million copies sold, including Everything She Didn't Say, All She Left Behind, A Light in the Wilderness, The Memory Weaver, This Road We Traveled, and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have won the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and the 2016 Will Rogers Medallion Award among others. Jane lives in Central Oregon with her husband, Jerry. Learn more at www.jkbooks.com.

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