Nextbook’s Joanna Smith Rakoff interviews Joanna Hershon, whose third novel, The German Bride, tells the story of Jewish settlers in Santa Fe in the 1860s. Hershon notes some of the stories that she uncovered in the course of her research:
Life was really no joke in terms of the danger. Just the fact that she arrived in Santa Fe after crossing the country was an incredible achievement. Because on the way there were incredible dangers—cholera and Indians at the time, and yes, on the way there, there was a time where they arrived at a camp site in the middle of the night, and they made camp, and then woke up at dawn only to realize that they had slept on the site of a massacre. So there were bodies everywhere.