Snow Mountain Passage Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Snow Mountain Passage

Knopf, Apr 2001, 24.00, 317 pp.
ISBN: 0375411038

    In 1846, the families leaving Illinois for the West Coast feel ecstatic about the success of their journey even though they have heard some harrowing tales. For instance, the Reed family consisting of a father and mother and four children headed by James expects to achieve a golden life in California.
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    However, problems occur in Nevada as jealousy and politics surface. James is forced to leave by himself with his family staying with the remainder of the Donner Party. Soon storms batter the group in the Sierra Nevadas while James tries to find help to save his family.

    SNOW MOUNTAIN PASSAGE is an intriguing novelization of the disastrous Donner Party. The story line alternates viewpoints between James's desperate efforts to rescue his beloved family and through the six-decade-old memory of one of his daughters looking back to the disaster. The characters come alive as well as readers get a deep inside look at the human condition when tragedy strikes. James D. Houston provides a harrowing tale filled with passion and anger while making his present and future flashback techniques not only work, but prove he is quite an author of historical fiction.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Snow Mountain Passage

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Kind Of History

Time of history:    -   19th century History of disaster/tragedy?    -   Yes Kind of disaster:    -   Very hot/cold weather Nationality?    -   American--General

Subjects of this Historical Account

Is the portrayal sympathetic?    -   Sympathetic Intelligence of subject of history:    -   Smart


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West If applicable, liberal/conservative?    -   Historian is very moderate

Writing Style

How much gore?    -   3 () How fast-paced is the book?    -   8 () Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Book makes you feel...    -   challenged How much focus on stories of individuals?    -   Focuses mostly on history of key players How much romance?    -   3 () Minor characters feature lots of:    -   prostitutes    -   farmers    -   cowboys    -   miners    -   blue collar types Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None Maps necessary?    -   Necessary maps provided Length of book    -   350-400 pages How much emphasis on small details?    -   8 ()

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James D. Houston Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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