This book, and the others in the series, are based on the author’s ancestors who moved from Kentucky to Kansas in 1854. Told in a series of letters written by Deborah Pieratt as she travels west, we learn of the joys and hardships of travel via wagon train.
This was a great little book about the one family’s adventures as they move west. I really enjoyed all the small things that went into this tale. For instance, as the Pieratts travel, they meet other travelers who share with them tips of the trail, like stick bread. I want to try stick bread this summer. You take a flour sack, put some flour in it, make a small center, add water, tie up the sack, set on a stick that is upright in the ground near the campfire, and throughout the evening give a tap or spin. Sooner or later, you get a kind of bread.
There were also lots of quilt pattern sharing going on in this book. While there were tons of chores to be done every day, there were also periods where all you had to do was stay on the wagon as the oxen pulled you ever closer to the western horizon. So quilting was a common, transportable hobby. I did not realize this before, but apparently quilting patterns were so treasured that one could trade a pattern for a bit of bread or cheese along the road.
Not everything was rosy and sunny for the Pieratts as they made their way towards Kansas. The biggest problem was the elements – dangerous river crossings, unpredictable weather, etc. So there’s a little drama in this book showing the hazards of the road.
A great mix of the entertaining and educational, definitely worth the read (or listen)!
Narration: Pam Dougherty did a great job with the regional accents in this book and with Deborah’s voice as she wrote home about her travels. She really imbued Deborah’s letters with emotion – happy, sad, troubled, desperate, elated, tired. Excellent narration!