Impatient with Desire

The Lost Journal of Tamsen Donner

By Gabrielle Burton
Hyperion Books, Paperback, 9781401341664, 256pp.

Publication Date: March 2011

List Price: $13.99*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Summer '11 Reading Group List
“Impatient With Desire tells the story of the trials of the Donner Party through the eyes of Tamsen Donner -- wife, mother, adventurer and, ultimately, survivor -- who made great sacrifices for the sake of her family. Her story is told simply, in letter and journal format, and, in the end, you'll understand and appreciate the pioneer spirit that is the foundation of the westward movement.”
— Mary Toni, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT


The Donner Party
You know how some died.
Here's how some lived. "My heart is big with hope and impatient with desire." --Tamsen Donner, a letter to her sister In the spring of 1846, Tamsen Donner, her husband, George, their five daughters, and eighty other pioneers headed west on the California-Oregon Trail in eager anticipation of new lives in California. Everything that could go wrong did, and an American legend was born. The Donner Party. We think we know their story--starving pioneers trapped in the mountains performing an unspeakable act to survive--but we know only that one harrowing part of it. Impatient with Desire brings to stunning life a woman--and a love story--behind the myth. Historians have long known that Tamsen kept a journal, though it was never found. In Impatient with Desire, Burton imagines this lost journal--and paints a picture of a remarkable heroine in an extraordinary situation.

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