The author did lots and lots of research for this book and at times if felt as if he was trying to cram all that information into the book. I understand the need for the background information on immigration, weather phenomenon and the formation of the modern day weather forecasting, however, it was like reading a textbook at times. It was an interesting textbook but I wanted the human stories - the stories of who was caught outside in the storm and how they tried to escape or were trapped. Page count showed that it was more than half way through the book before the author got to this information and for me at least there was not enough.
This is an amazing tale, graphic and sad, but speaks in a true voice of the hardships pioneers of the period suffered. I found some of the weather information sections a bit too lengthy and detailed for my taste, but certainly some scientific explanations were necessary to understand the inconceivably powerful forces at work the day of the blizzard. The author did extensive research in both factual and oral histories. Most of the book does read as a novel, and proves the point that a true story can be even more riveting than fiction! All in all, a great read for anyone interested in history and our westward expansion.
As one person said, this book reads like a novel. I was hooked right away and never lost interest. There is a lot of talk of how the weather was predicted in 1888 which was never boring, surprised me. The horrors that these poor people went through during and after the blizzard are heart wrenching and sometimes queasy. After the last blizzard here in SE MN this past winter where I-35 southbound was closed and part of the north bound lane I cannot imagine how anyone survived the 1888 blizzard. We are never to take weather predictions today as a sure bet as it can and has changed in an instant. A great story of survival and weather history during the late 1880's. Are people as compassionate today.
A very detailed explanation of the weather patterns that caused this storm. But also a detailed description of the suffering of the people caught up in it, particularly the children trying to get home from school. This is not a book for the faint of heart.
This book both fascinated and horrified me. It's the true tale of the harrowing blizzard of January 1888, as it swept the northern plains of the US. I wanted to jump into the pages of the book and make the children that ventured out into the storm stay in what shelter they could. My heart broke for the families who lost loved ones. This book will move you.
In three minutes, the front subtracted eighteen degrees from the air's temperature. Then evening gathered in, and temperatures kept droppingin the norhtwest gale. By morning on Friday, January 13, 1888, more that 100 children lay dead on the Dakota-Nebraska prairie.
Thousands of impovrished Northern European immigrants were promised that the prairie offered "land, freedom and hope." The disastrous blizzard of 1888 revealed that their free homestead was not a paradise but a hard, unforgiving place governed by natural forces they neither understood or controlled, and America's heartland would never be the same.