What I’m Reading: When Winter Comes

Audible has a new “plus catalog”.  Essentially there is a library of free books for those who have an Audible membership.  I had heard about it a few months ago but didn’t bother looking.  I figured they put “B novels” in that section and to be honest, I didn’t want to spend my time on ho-hum books.

I finally got to looking in the catalog a few months ago and discovered that WOW, they don’t just put second-rate books there.  I ended up adding a few to my library.  The first of the bunch I listened to is When Winter Comes by V.A. Shannon.

When Winter Comes

I have to say…I loved this book-well as much as a person could love a book about the Donner Party’s crossing to California in 1846.  The book is fiction but has some factual basis.  The story is told in the first person.  The book is told through the eyes of a 15-year-old girl.  All I have to say is that I listened to the first two sentences of the book and just knew I would appreciate this story.

Here is what Amazon had to say:
In the voice of an unforgettable heroine, V. A. Shannon explores one of the most harrowing episodes in pioneer history – the ill-fated journey of the Donner Party – in a mesmerizing novel of resilience and survival.

Mrs. Jacob Klein has a husband, children, and a warm and comfortable home in California. No one – not even her family – knows how she came to be out West 13 years ago. Jacob, a kind and patient man, has promised not to ask. But if she were to tell her story, she would recount a tale of tragedy, mishaps, and unthinkable choices – yet also sacrifice, courage, and a powerful, unexpected love….

1846: On the outskirts of Cincinnati, wagons gather by the hundreds, readying to head west to California. Among the throng is a 15-year-old girl eager to escape her abusive family. With just a few stolen dollars to her name, she enlists as a helpmate to a married couple with a young daughter. Their group stays optimistic in the face of the journey’s hazards and delays. Then comes a decision that she is powerless to prevent: Instead of following the wagon train’s established route, the Donner Party will take a shortcut over the Sierras, aiming to clear the mountains before the first snows descend.

In the years since that infamous winter, other survivors have sold their accounts for notoriety and money, lurid tales often filled with half-truths or blatant, gory lies. Now, Mrs. Klein must decide whether to keep those bitter memories secret or risk destroying the life she has endured so much to build.”

Amazon readers gave the book 4.3 stars.  I’d actually give it more…  4.5 for sure. I think this is a book that is better to listen to than reading.

If you’re looking for the book, you can find it HERE.  If you’d like to try an Audible Membership, you can find that HERE.

I am thrilled that Audible added the Plus Catalog.  I found a few more books that I added to my library.  Having those extras makes Audible a much better deal than before.  New books are added to it each month.

2 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: When Winter Comes”

  1. Sounds like a good book. I’ve read many books written by Jane Kirkpatrick for years. Alot of them are trips in Conestoga wagons. A few includes Aurora, OR which is close to where I live. The stories are based on specific women that Jane has researched and been helped by family’s who are ancestors.
    Take care!!

  2. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Have you read Ordeal by Hunger by George Stewart? It is the story of the Donner Party and is considered the definitive history of the event. Growing up in Reno, Nevada, this was part of my education, along with a trip to Donner Lake Park in 4th grade to see where it all took place.

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