True Sisters

True Sisters

Book - 2012 | 1st ed
Average Rating:
Rate this:
1856. Mormon converts Nannie, Louisa, Jessie, and Anne, all from the British Isles, travel in the Martin Handcart Company, making the 1,300-mile journey on foot from Iowa City to Salt Lake City, while enduring unimaginable hardships. Each woman will test the boundaries of her faith and learn the true meaning of survival and friendship along the way.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
Branch Call Number: FICTION DAL
Characteristics: 341 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9781250005021


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
ChristchurchLib Jun 22, 2014

In July of 1856, a group of 650 immigrants, all recent Mormon converts, heeded Brigham Young's call and embarked on a 1,300 mile westward trek from Iowa to the new "Zion," in what is now Salt Lake City, Utah. Hauling their worldly possessions in crudely fashioned handcarts, few of the settlers reached their destination alive. In homespun and moving fashion, True Sisters documents the travels (and travails) of the real-life Martin Company from the perspectives of a diverse group of women who find common ground and friendship in the face of adversity. From Historical Fiction Newsletter June 2014.

Feb 19, 2014

the book was very good altho I dont agree with the mormon ways . they should have used wagons and horses instead of pushing carts to get to the journey. It was cruel to make them use carts and they lost alot of people because of the hardships. but they had courage to travel so many miles to their destination.

Sep 21, 2013

Despite the somewhat lame title, “True Sisters” is a well written addition to the Intrepid-Pioneer-Women-of-the-West genre. It should particularly appeal to anyone interested in Mormon history, although male readers may be put off, since most men in the book turn out to be deceitful, arrogant, and predatory. Meanwhile, the women nurse newborns with one arm while pushing handcarts over the snow-bound Rockies with the other. The author, with a more nuanced hand, does a good job of portraying the dissonance between the immigrants’ loyalty to the faith and doubts raised by the appalling toll taken on them as they struggle to survive.

Oct 28, 2012

Loved this book! I really think she accurately portrayed the struggles of the Saints and the courage of the women. Really a worthy read for teens.

BPLNextBestAdults Oct 16, 2012

Sandra Dallas’ new book deals with the migration of a group of Mormons from Iowa City to Utah in 1856. It is a devout group of characters with only strong faith to see them through. They have little food and limited possessions and must rely on each other to make the journey successfully.
The story involves four unrelated women, and how their faith and love for one another helps them endure this difficult and sometimes tragic journey. The trek takes them 1300 miles in unfavorable conditions but they are determined to reach the ‘promised land’.
A great survival story showing strength of spirit and community.

Aug 19, 2012

Just finished this book for the 2nd time. Sandra Dallas is one of my favorite authors and this is one of her best books. It's a novel taken from a true story about the hard times people had walking across the U.S. from Iowa City to Salt Lake City pulling and pushing a handcart that they had to build without much knowage on how to do it. The 1300 miles they walked and the births and deaths along the way made for a great story. Ms. Dallas adds an epilogue to the story about what happens to the woman after they reach the paradise they longed for.

Wolfespearl Jul 18, 2012

Sandra Dallas has long been a favourite author of mine. This latest novel is her absolute best. This is the incredible fictionalized version of a true story.

In the mid-1850's, zealous Mormon missionaries converted tens of thousands Europeans, mostly in Scandanavia and Great Britain. Many were encouraged to emigrate to Utah, and since many were too poor to afford the cost of outfitting a wagon, Brigham Young came up with a scheme for them to walk, pushing handcarts. The working out of the scheme proved wanting. When the saints arrived in Iowa City (the end of the train tracks), carts were not waiting for them. There was no seasoned wood to build them. They had to construct their own carts, using green wood. The carts constantly broke down. The church failed to provide supply stations along the way. The result was that many died of starvation.

In 1856 five handcart companies crossed the plains and mountains from Iowa, heading to Utah. The first three made it with relatively few casualties. The fourth was not so fortunate, but it was the fifth company which suffered the most. This is the company that Dallas used to weave her story. In the face of incredible hardships and great tragedy, Dallas writes of faith tested, of survival and death and suffering. Their stories are heart-breaking, tough and courageous, like the women she creates to tell this story.

Dallas is a gifted storyteller. Her characters will engage you and long after the story is finished, they will linger with you.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Skokie Public Library

To Top