Publisher's Note:  

The Willie Handcart Company of 1856 was a trial and a miracle. You will feel a part of the company as you follow three of its members in a moving masterpiece that will take you from the green fields of Denmark to the icy peaks of the Rockies in a saga that elevates and enriches those that it touches.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Cedar Fort

In the Company of Angels

by David Farland

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Overall Review:  

A book full of so much emotion, the detail and characters will dwell in your heart as you read about and get acquainted with the members of the Willie handcart company.  In the Company of Angels follows three main characters and their families.  One of them, Eliza Gadd, a non-member of the party follows her husband and family through the treacherous journey.   It was hard at times connecting with her due to her negative attitude and pessimistic outlook, but that does get better as the company experiences hardships together. The young children, especially Baline Mortenson, immediately take a special spot in your heart because of their innocence and will to endure.  Captain Willies' handcart company worry when they understand that they are departing late in the season and many are already taken ill.   As the company travels their health deteriorates and disaster creeps in.  Anxiety and frustration throughout the camp worsen as the trek lengthens peaking when food starts to run low and starvation takes hold.  The families and the faith that each has is uplifting and inspires hope for the reader despite the trials the characters have to endure.  David Farland, author of In the Company of Angels, does a marvelous job unfolding the story before the readers eyes.  The way the story is written helps the reader to have a further appreciation for those who fight or have fought against all odds for what they believe in, Latter-Day Saint or not.  The depth and emotion present in this book will bring you to tears, pondering how events could have taken place.   In In The Company of Angels you will encounter mobs, Indians, miracles, sadness, love, God, humility, hope, deprivation and much more.  Despite being over 150 years ago, connecting with the characters and events is made easier with a section in the back including facts on what's real and what's not in each chapter.  Simply put, this novel is well-deserving of the Whitney Award. In the Company of Angels is not only intended for those who love history but for those who truly want to experience it.

Content Analysis:  

There are many graphic descriptions of abuse, death, and massacres within the different parties traveling, some caused by Indians, the government, mobs, and wild animals. Fist-fighting and arguments take place a few times during stressful or particularly tense situations.


Swear words are also used throughout the story either to describe a certain place, to call one another a name, or used to describe circumstances or conditions.


Female anatomy is brought up a few times by one of the mothers traveling with the company because of her concern of providing for her children and jealousy of other women. There is a graphic description of the aftermath of a rape when a woman was taken by Indians and rape is also discussed as happening to the saints by nonbelievers. Couples would linger behind carts to have time alone but the author leaves it at that.

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Reviewed By SqueakyCleanReads
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