One of the surprise gifts of writing a book blog is getting to network with authors. Others have mentioned it, but it is really thrilling when your review of a book is commented on by the actual author. I must admit, it makes me feel special that a talented person takes a moment out of their day to say hello and thank you. (okay, so ‘special’ isn’t really the right word, I sort of do the touchdown dance around my house with gratitude)
I got to do the dance recently when I mentioned that I had read Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton. She contacted me to say thanks and the poor woman, I proceeded to pick her brain for a bit. For that, I will forever be grateful, but before I let her take over, I wanted to post the review of her book that comes out on March 9.
Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton
Crafted from research including 17 letters written by Tamsen Donner herself, Burton has created a fictional journal of Tamsen Donner and the Donner Party that is insightful and heart wrenching. It is as if she has given the Donner Party a voice over 150 years later and that voice was one of hopes, dreams, fear, isolation, strength and ultimately courage.
How the party came to end up, trapped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains for the winter of 1846/1847 was really a complex mix of mistakes, mishaps, and foolhardiness, but many of the group made it through. Burton paints Tamsen Donner as a woman ahead of her time, educated, ambitious, strong, & ultimately a woman that you would like to have known.
The struggles that they went through are seemingly unimaginable, but Impatient with Desire makes them all real and tangible. What parent wouldn’t die just a little inside, knowing that their child is starving and they can’t do a thing about it? What role do the rules of society play when you and your family are freezing, starving, and trapped? Powerful questions and just as powerfully written, this novel kept me entranced.
Stay tuned, tomorrow Gabrielle Burton takes over the helm of of Chew & Digest.