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True Sisters Hardcover – April 24, 2012

183 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


With a perfect blend of masterful storytelling, sympathetic and realistic characters and prose as crisp as a Colorado creek, Dallas again spins a timeless tale of love and tenacity, tenderness and redemption. And "The Bride's House" is ultimately a story of the confines of legacy and the fulfillment that can come when those chains are broken. (Richmond Times Dispatch on The Bride's House)

This satisfying novel will immediately draw readers into Hennie and Nit's lives, and the unexpected twists will keep them hooked through to the bittersweet denouement. (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY ON PRAYERS FOR SALE)

Dallas's terrific characters, unerring ear for regional dialects and ability to evoke the sights and sounds of the 1940s make this a special treat. (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY ON TALLGRASS)

Forgiveness and redemption are the themes of this gentle novel about hardscrabble lives. (Kirkus Reviews on Prayers for Sale)

About the Author

SANDRA DALLAS is the author of eleven novels, including The Bride's House, Whiter Than Snow, Prayers for Sale, Tallgrass and New Mercies. She is a former Denver bureau chief for Business Week magazine and lives in Denver, Colorado.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Book Club (BCE/BOMC) edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250005027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250005021
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #594,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Prize-winning author Sandra Dallas was dubbed "a quintessential American voice" by Jane Smiley, in Vogue Magazine. Sandra's novels with their themes of loyalty, friendship, and human dignity have been translated into a dozen foreign languages and have been optioned for films.

A journalism graduate of the University of Denver, Sandra began her writing career as a reporter with Business Week. A staff member for twenty-five years (and the magazine's first female bureau chief,) she covered the Rocky Mountain region, writing about everything from penny-stock scandals to hard-rock mining, western energy development to contemporary polygamy. Many of her experiences have been incorporated into her novels.

While a reporter, she began writing the first of ten nonfiction books. They include Sacred Paint, which won the National Cowboy Hall of Fame Western Heritage Wrangler Award, and The Quilt That Walked to Golden, recipient of the Independent Publishers Assn. Benjamin Franklin Award.

Turning to fiction in 1990, Sandra has published nine novels, including Whiter Than Snow, and the New York Times best seller Prayers for Sale. Sandra is the recipient of the Women Writing the West Willa Award for New Mercies, and two-time winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award, for The Chili Queen and Tallgrass. In addition, she was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award, the Mountain and Plains Booksellers Assn. Award, and a four-time finalist for the Women Writing the West Willa Award.

The mother of two daughters--Dana is an attorney in New Orleans and Povy is a photographer in Golden, Colorado--Sandra lives in Denver with her husband, Bob.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By KDMask VINE VOICE on March 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Full disclosure: I'm a huge Sandra Dallas fan and have read every one of her books. In fact, "The Chili Queen" is in my top ten of all time. That said, this book was very difficult to read. Dallas remains a wonderful storyteller, weaving together the lives of all her characters so they blend at the end. In this novel,Dallas gives a fictional account of the true story of emigrants traveling to Utah from the UK. Harrowing doesn't even come close to what these followers of Brigham Young went through. It's a very tough story to read. The more I got into the book the more I was looking for a shred of joy and the deeper I got, found none. I was more angry that this ever happened by the end than I was anything else. The sheer number of people that perished is astonishing. That anyone stayed in "Zion" after the false promise they were given is unbelievable. My 4 stars doesn't give away from the author's ability to draw you into the story at all. The story itself is so sad and so miserable I'm not sure I'm better off knowing it. You'll be glad you're reading this one warm and in your own soft bed. Nothing will look bleak or impossible again after what this group endured.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Digbee VINE VOICE on May 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This novel traces the tragic story of the Martin Company, a group of Mormon handcart emigrants who traveled from Iowa City to Salt Lake City. (Our main heroines began the trek in the United Kingdom, and we learn their previous story in flashbacks.) Between a fourth and a third of the 575 members of the party died along the way. Since Dallas gives us that fact in the acknowledgments, it hardly counts as a spoiler that the story ends poorly for many of the characters.

Dallas writes well, and I loved her earlier "Prayers for Sale," set mostly in nineteenth-century Colorado. This book is much less successful. It struggles with two structural challenges. First, the story of people pulling handcarts across the country doesn't offer much variety. They face many hardships, their faith is tested, and many die. Repeatedly.

Second, Dallas told the story with a fairly large cast of characters. There are too many for her to draw well, though the four lead women are developed well. We don't get to know many of the people before they die. Moreover, the deaths come all too arbitrarily - as in real life, I realize, but it's awkward in a novel, where we expect deaths to unfold as a result of character and plot.

Dallas does convey the horror of the journey well. She also takes a clear feminist perspective - the women are largely heroic, the men mostly pious, stubborn jerks. Though the blame for the disaster might be placed on many different leaders, it's clear that Brigham Young, always off-stage, gets to shoulder a significant share of it. It's amazing that his followers remained loyal, but that is a story for another time.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By JJ VINE VOICE on April 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Sandra Dallas has always delivered a great story...I love her books and own all of them. This one is no exception and I was thrilled to receive it through the Amazon Vine Program. A wonderful story of women who became true sisters to each other. Women from different countries, backgrounds, ages, it made no difference....they became "true sisters". Some of these women had babies on the trail and were walking the next day. Through tragic, horrendous circumstances they pulled together and became heroines. The men...the Mormon men....the majority of the Mormon men were arrogant, self-righteous, holier than thou fools. I despised them throughout the story. Their arrogance caused death, even of children, starvation, and mutilation. This is such a sad part of Mormon history. The whole concept of walking 1300 miles pushing a handcart is unbelievable. It's sad commentary on the Mormon religion that the idea was ever conceived. This is a well written informative novel of a very sad chapter of American history. Definitely 5 stars.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Wendy L. Hines VINE VOICE on March 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Sandra Dallas is the queen of storytelling and her newest work, True Sisters, is no exception. True Sisters follows the Martin Handcart Company. Brigham Young encouraged all of his followers to come to the Zion, a place in Salt Lake City, Utah where they will settle. The perfect way for the Mormon's to travel the thirteen hundred plus miles is by walking, using a handcart to carry their essentials.

Many Latter Day Saints crossed oceans to go to the promised land, and they converged to travel together across the states. True Sisters tells the story of many of the women and their families and what they endure as they travel the thirteen hundred miles. Through hardships, the sisters keep one another sane and help them through their tragedies and their triumphs. They keep their faith and although they may question the new polygamy rule.

The reader comes to know Jessie, a hardworking farmer and her two brothers, as they hope to build a successful farm in the new lands. Anne, who is Gentile, not believing in the faith, but following her husband, who is a devout Mormon. Nannie and Ellie, true sisters, and Ellie's husband Andrew, as well as Maude, an older woman, whose mid-wife and doctoring skills become a valued commodity on the trip.

Based on a true story, 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. From starving near to death to freezing in the snow-covered mountains, they test their faith and their choices. Beautifully written, I highly recommend it!
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