True Sisters

True Sisters

Book - 2012 | First edition.
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In a novel based on true events, New York Times bestselling author Sandra Dallas delivers the story of four women---seeking the promise of salvation and prosperity in a new land---who come together on a harrowing journey.

In 1856, Mormon converts, encouraged by Brigham Young himself, and outfitted with two-wheeled handcarts, set out on foot from Iowa City to Salt Lake City, the promised land . The Martin Handcart Company, a ragtag group of weary families headed for Zion, is the last to leave on this 1,300-mile journey. Three companies that left earlier in the year have completed their trek successfully, but for the Martin Company the trip proves disastrous. True Sisters tells the story of four women from the British Isles traveling in this group. Four women whose lives will become inextricably linked as they endure unimaginable hardships, each one testing the boundaries of her faith and learning the true meaning of survival and friendship along the way.

There's Nannie, who is traveling with her sister and brother-in-law after being abandoned on her wedding day.

There's Louisa, who's married to an overbearing church leader who she believes speaks for God.

There's Jessie, who's traveling with her brothers, each one of them dreaming of the farm they will have in Zion.

And finally, there's Anne, who hasn't converted to Mormonism but who has no choice but to follow her husband since he has sold everything to make the trek to Utah.

Sandra Dallas has once again written a moving portrait of women surviving the unimaginable through the ties of female friendship. Her rich storytelling will leave you breathless as you take this trip with Nannie, Louisa, Jessie, and Anne. This is Sandra Dallas at her absolute best.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2012.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250005021
Branch Call Number: FIC Dalla
Characteristics: 341 pages


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Jan 27, 2020

Fiction based on history: group of Mormom converts enticed to walk 1300 miles across plains and mountains to Salt Lake City, their Promised Land. They pushed, hauled two-wheel carts with only 17 pounds allowed for supplies, clothing, food; many died along the way because of their late start in the season. Arrogant leaders derided their lack of faith when troubles beset them, some women delivered babies as the group moved on, forced to nurse their babies and push, pull the carts. Very good but disturbing book with a look at the Mormom faith and polygamy.

Jul 18, 2019

the history of this venture and its hardships make this book one you cannot put down.

ChristchurchLib Jun 22, 2014

In July of 1856, a group of 650 immigrants, all recent Mormon converts, heeded Brigham Young's call and embarked on a 1,300 mile westward trek from Iowa to the new "Zion," in what is now Salt Lake City, Utah. Hauling their worldly possessions in crudely fashioned handcarts, few of the settlers reached their destination alive. In homespun and moving fashion, True Sisters documents the travels (and travails) of the real-life Martin Company from the perspectives of a diverse group of women who find common ground and friendship in the face of adversity. From Historical Fiction Newsletter June 2014.

Feb 19, 2014

the book was very good altho I dont agree with the mormon ways . they should have used wagons and horses instead of pushing carts to get to the journey. It was cruel to make them use carts and they lost alot of people because of the hardships. but they had courage to travel so many miles to their destination.

Sep 21, 2013

Despite the somewhat lame title, “True Sisters” is a well written addition to the Intrepid-Pioneer-Women-of-the-West genre. It should particularly appeal to anyone interested in Mormon history, although male readers may be put off, since most men in the book turn out to be deceitful, arrogant, and predatory. Meanwhile, the women nurse newborns with one arm while pushing handcarts over the snow-bound Rockies with the other. The author, with a more nuanced hand, does a good job of portraying the dissonance between the immigrants’ loyalty to the faith and doubts raised by the appalling toll taken on them as they struggle to survive.

Oct 28, 2012

Loved this book! I really think she accurately portrayed the struggles of the Saints and the courage of the women. Really a worthy read for teens.

BPLNextBestAdults Oct 16, 2012

Sandra Dallas’ new book deals with the migration of a group of Mormons from Iowa City to Utah in 1856. It is a devout group of characters with only strong faith to see them through. They have little food and limited possessions and must rely on each other to make the journey successfully.
The story involves four unrelated women, and how their faith and love for one another helps them endure this difficult and sometimes tragic journey. The trek takes them 1300 miles in unfavorable conditions but they are determined to reach the ‘promised land’.
A great survival story showing strength of spirit and community.

Aug 19, 2012

Just finished this book for the 2nd time. Sandra Dallas is one of my favorite authors and this is one of her best books. It's a novel taken from a true story about the hard times people had walking across the U.S. from Iowa City to Salt Lake City pulling and pushing a handcart that they had to build without much knowage on how to do it. The 1300 miles they walked and the births and deaths along the way made for a great story. Ms. Dallas adds an epilogue to the story about what happens to the woman after they reach the paradise they longed for.

Wolfespearl Jul 18, 2012

Sandra Dallas has long been a favourite author of mine. This latest novel is her absolute best. This is the incredible fictionalized version of a true story.

In the mid-1850's, zealous Mormon missionaries converted tens of thousands Europeans, mostly in Scandanavia and Great Britain. Many were encouraged to emigrate to Utah, and since many were too poor to afford the cost of outfitting a wagon, Brigham Young came up with a scheme for them to walk, pushing handcarts. The working out of the scheme proved wanting. When the saints arrived in Iowa City (the end of the train tracks), carts were not waiting for them. There was no seasoned wood to build them. They had to construct their own carts, using green wood. The carts constantly broke down. The church failed to provide supply stations along the way. The result was that many died of starvation.

In 1856 five handcart companies crossed the plains and mountains from Iowa, heading to Utah. The first three made it with relatively few casualties. The fourth was not so fortunate, but it was the fifth company which suffered the most. This is the company that Dallas used to weave her story. In the face of incredible hardships and great tragedy, Dallas writes of faith tested, of survival and death and suffering. Their stories are heart-breaking, tough and courageous, like the women she creates to tell this story.

Dallas is a gifted storyteller. Her characters will engage you and long after the story is finished, they will linger with you.

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