I have family that live in South Dakota in the area that hit hard by this blizzard. He mentions Spirit Lake and these boys watching the storm roll over it before it hit them. That is the area where my family homesteaded and still live today, about 12 miles from DeSmet and Laura Ingles.
Even though I grew up 100 yrs after that storm, I knew about it.
I don't think you can find a cemetery in that area of South Dakota that does not have at least one marker that reads Jan 12 1888.
My Mother refused to read this book as felt it would be to painful to hear the stories over again. As she grew up there and knows how hard a Dakota winter can be.
Laskin did a wonderful job of taking a horrable chapter in our history, and telling it with senitivity. He did not go into gory detail about the death of so many and did put in the good side of the story too.
Wonderful true story about the devastating blizzard in 1888 before storm warnings like this were made known to the people. Yet politics did play a part in the disaster. A fascinating look at the background and how it all happened. Graphic descriptions of death make it real for the reader. Lingers in the mind long after you have finished the book.
I read this book a few years ago, and it still sticks with me. Knowing the blizzard was coming,I wanted to warn the kids and the teacher. I rooted for them to live, knowing the outcome would not be affected. I loved learning about the individual lives, and didn't know which ones would live and which ones would die. The way the stories are told make this book the gem it is. Laskin peels away the layers of their stories. The story that could have been a small lost part of South Dakota becomes the story of a generation lost to a rougue storm.
An engrossing narrative. You live the sorrows and victories right along with the protagonists. As well as telling about the blizzard, the author gives us biographies of the various people trapped by the weather.
Extremely well-researched and written. Brings to life characters with respect and carefully fictionalized last minute accounts of their lives. Meteorological information written in such a manner to interest readers and enhance the feeling of urgency. Carefully detailed accounts of political infighting that may have influenced the future of the Weather Service are also well-explored.