Across Death Valley tells the remarkable story of one woman's brave struggle to keep her family alive during one of the most arduous and dramatic episodes in the history of Western migration. A riveting narrative by a writer known for her books on pioneers, Across Death Valley is a fictionalized account based on the true story of the legendary journey that Juliet Wells Brier, her husband, and their three sons undertook during the Gold Rush from Salt Lake City to the settlement of Los Angeles.
Departing Salt Lake City via wagon train, the Briers had been promised an easy trip along the well-traveled Old Spanish Trail to California. But, after several agonizing weeks, some of the families—the Briers included—broke off from the main group to continue on an unmapped shortcut. As hardships mounted they splintered into smaller groups until, finally, the Briers were traveling alone. Their chosen route led directly into Death Valley—eventually, on foot. Diminutive Julia piggybacked her youngest son even when she was near death from thirst and exhaustion. Rich in compelling detail, Across Death Valley is an unforgettable tale of courage, love, and hope.