True Sisters by Sandra Dallas


17 Critic Reviews

As such, this is a memorable story.
-Publishers Weekly


In a novel based on true events, New York Times bestselling author Sandra Dallas delivers the story of four women---seeking the promise of salvation and prosperity in a new land---who come together on a harrowing journey.

In 1856, Mormon converts, encouraged by Brigham Young himself, and outfitted with two-wheeled handcarts, set out on foot from Iowa City to Salt Lake City, the promised land. The Martin Handcart Company, a ragtag group of weary families headed for Zion, is the last to leave on this 1,300-mile journey. Three companies that left earlier in the year have completed their trek successfully, but for the Martin Company the trip proves disastrous. True Sisters tells the story of four women from the British Isles traveling in this group. Four women whose lives will become inextricably linked as they endure unimaginable hardships, each one testing the boundaries of her faith and learning the true meaning of survival and friendship along the way.

There's Nannie, who is traveling with her sister and brother-in-law after being abandoned on her wedding day.

There's Louisa, who's married to an overbearing church leader who she believes speaks for God.

There's Jessie, who's traveling with her brothers, each one of them dreaming of the farm they will have in Zion.

And finally, there's Anne, who hasn't converted to Mormonism but who has no choice but to follow her husband since he has sold everything to make the trek to Utah.

Sandra Dallas has once again written a moving portrait of women surviving the unimaginable through the ties of female friendship. Her rich storytelling will leave you breathless as you take this trip with Nannie, Louisa, Jessie, and Anne. This is Sandra Dallas at her absolute best.


About Sandra Dallas

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Award-winning author Sandra Dallas was dubbed "a quintessential American voice" by Jane Smiley, in Vogue Magazine. She is the author of The Bride's House, Whiter Than Snow, and Tallgrass, among others. Her novels have been translated into a dozen languages and optioned for films. She is the recipient of the Women Writing the West Willa Award and the two-time winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award. For 25 years, Dallas worked as a reporter covering the Rocky Mountain region for Business Week, and started writing fiction in 1990. She lives with her husband in Denver, Colorado.
Published April 24, 2012 by St. Martin's Press. 352 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for True Sisters
All: 17 | Positive: 15 | Negative: 2


Apr 01 2012

This fact-based historical fiction, celebrating sisterhood and heroism, makes for a surefire winner.

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Publishers Weekly

Feb 20 2012

As such, this is a memorable story.

Read Full Review of True Sisters | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Book Reporter

Reviewed by Terry Shannon on Apr 26 2012

Complete with unexpected plot twists, TRUE SISTERS is an irresistible page-turner.

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Historical Novel Society


Many of the men do not come across as sympathetic, but it’s really the women such as Nannie, Anne, and Jessie showing such fortitude that make this well worth the read.

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Richmond Times-Dispatch

Reviewed by Jay Strafford on May 13 2012

A born storyteller, Dallas excels not only at plot but also at peopling her novels with memorable individuals.

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Kansas City Public Library

Reviewed by Pam Jenkins on Jul 13 2012

True Sisters is an engaging story of survival. As with many of her other books, Dallas leaves the reader with an understanding of the importance of female friendships.

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W. 11th & Bluff

Below average
Reviewed by Amy on May 16 2012

The story itself is beautifully written but I could not get past the voice in my head screaming “what is wrong with these people? Who thinks it is a good idea to walk 1300 miles pushing/pulling a handcart, especially while pregnant?”

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Lesa's Book Critiques

Reviewed by Lesa on Apr 25 2012

...she brings the story of the Martin Handcart Company to life in a way that nonfiction seldom does. She puts faces on this tragic expedition. True Sisters is a story you'll never forget. It's one more memorable book from a gifted storyteller.

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BrodartVibe's Blog

Reviewed by Becky on Mar 30 2012

For those who are familiar with Dallas’ other historical fiction novels, including Prayers for Sale and The Bride’s House, you will be sure to love this new novel.

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Book Addiction

Reviewed by Heather on May 21 2012

I was captivated with this novel from the first page, mainly because of how well I connected to each of the four main characters.

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Rated Reads

Below average
Reviewed by Melissa Fox

It’s not a great book, but it’s a good one, something I wasn’t expecting.

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Minding Spot

Reviewed by Minding Spot on Apr 01 2012

...I was enraptured in these women's lives from the first page. The strength of these women really shines through, as well as their heartbreak and their faith.

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Tina Says...

May 31 2012

True Sisters was a great historical fiction novel... I am already telling friends about it and encouraging them to read it for themselves.

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Mar 20 2012

This novel has reawakened my interest in pioneer women!

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Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews

May 02 2012

There are periods of joy, periods of tragedy, periods of triumph and period of loss in this heart-touching story and readers will find themselves wrapped up in the drama from the first chapter on.

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Pop Goes Fiction

May 15 2012

In Dallas' deft hands, she humanizes the women and makes the journey come alive for the reader.

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Life in the Thumb

Reviewed by Staci on May 23 2012

Sanda Dallas never fails to deliver a well executed novel that grabs my attention immediately...

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Susan 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list