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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Book Review: Sweetwater Rescue, The Willie and Martin Handcart Story

This book is a companion to the PBS movie by the same name. It was written by Heidi Swinton and Lee Groberg, Covenant Press, Utah, 2006.

There are some things I like about this movie, and some things I don't. It really doesn't work as a help to doing research of the trip, other than to give a general idea. Its sources a very confusing, and at times the story presented is confusing. This is because in addition to the narrative it offers sidebars. The sidebars don't always match what is going on tin the history, and consequently things are out of order, or talked about more than once.

The thing I like about the book is the artwork. There is lots of beautiful art. I am especially taken with the back cover. This is an artwork entitled orphans by Julie Rogers. This is suppose to be a depiction of my great great grandmother Mary Ashton and her older sister Sarah Ashton. I am not posting the artwork here because I am sure it is copyrighted. However by going to this link you can see the painting.You can also read the story of the Ashtons at this link.

I think my favorite quote from the book has to do with the motivation behind the handcart pioneers. "My parents, relatives, and friends did all in their power to keep me from coming to America. But I had the spirit of gathering and the Lord opened my way... with the3 handcart company.

This book does give a very good overview of the handcarts, with specific stories, however it often only touches the surface of these stories. It is very good for background information. I would recommend this book, if nothing else for a coffee table book because of the great art.

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