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this story is not an actual true story and the characters are not based on real
people, it is a story of an event in American history. It is based on journals,
accounts and stories from the people who survived the hardships of the 1,300
mile journey across the United States from Iowa to Salt Lake City, Utah.
novel is about the struggle for survival against enormous hardships. At the
same time it is also the story of strong, courageous women from very different
backgrounds who learn to love each other and form bonds as strong as any blood
sisters, thus making them True Sisters.
Ella and Nannie
Buck is a young married woman, who along with her husband Andrew, and her
sister Nannie have come from Edinburgh, Scotland as new Mormon converts. They
made the decision to seek a better life and follow their faith all the way to
Salt Lake City, Iowa. Brigham Young has declared that the Utah territory will
be the Mormons new Zion. They will sail from Europe, then go by train to Iowa
where they are to meet up with other new Mormon converts.
pregnant with the couple's first child and Nannie is hoping to find a husband
when they arrive in Salt Lake City. All three are full of hope and confident of
a bright, happy and prosperous future when they reach Salt Lake City. But they
have no idea what hardships they will face along the way west.
Sully had been given little choice about making the trip to America and the
journey west. She had not converted to Mormonism and did not want to give up
her own faith but her husband John had converted and he had made the decision
to leave London and join the other converts in Iowa. Annie had been quite
content with her life in London. Her father had left her a successful
gentlemen's clothing shop. Annie was happy to continue the business with her
husband. Annie also had three small children and is pregnant with a fourth
child. She is quite concerned with giving birth in a strange country while
pushing a handcart across the country for 1,300 miles. Nevertheless, John has
sold their business and even given most of their money to the elders of the church
so that others can afford to make the trip also.
has made the choice to follow John against her better judgment, but she will
face many trials, heartache and hardships along the way. But she will also find
other women who will love her, and care for her and her family even though she holds steadily to her own faith.
Tanner is a newly married young woman whose husband is Thales Tanner, one of
the missionary leaders. He is in charge of one hundred of the new converts who
will be heading west. Louisa feels she is very lucky to have such an important
man as her husband. Along with Louisa, her sister Huldah and her elderly
parents will be making the journey west. Not all of them would survive the
Cooper and Louisa Tanner have always been good friends. Before Louisa married
Thales Tanner, he had previously courted Jessie. The two friends did not let
this come between them, because truthfully Jessie was happy that Louisa had
married Thales. She felt that Louisa was a much better match for Thales. Jessie
was sure that when she arrived in Salt Lake City that she would find a husband
of her own. Jessie and her brothers Ephraim and Sutter had made the decision to leave their tenant farm in the hopes of finding good fertile land in the Salt Lake Valley. So they sold their small farm and belongings and paid for their passage to America. They met the handcart train in Iowa. Jessie and her brothers were optimist and excited about their future never guessing what hardships lay in store for them.
The Journey Begins
the end of July 1856, the Martin Company of converted Mormons slowly started on
the long journey. Everyone was in high spirits and excited to be on their way.
Families would walk and push and pull their handcarts which held their meager
possessions. Each person was allowed seventeen pounds to be put on their carts but along the way much of their worldly goods would end up being left behind.
The carts were made of green
lumber and poorly made. There were no oxen or horses to pull the carts, they
would be pulled by human power only.
This is the story of these four
brave, courageous women as they faced unbelievable dangers, heartbreak, death
of loved ones and hardships on their journey. These women would have to learn
to help, love and lean on each other. There would of course, be many other
members of the Martin Company they would meet and help along the way but these
four would become Truly Sisters for the rest of their lives.
Recommend Reading True Sisters
I truly enjoyed reading True
Sisters. I had never even heard of this part of our American history until
I read this book. If you enjoy reading about history, this is a great
The book is well written and
the characters well developed
It is an emotional story that
will tug at your heart. It did mine
It is the type of book that
will keep you interested from start to finish