The first in Sara Donati's bestselling Wilderness series, this epic novel of love and adventure interweaves the fate of the Mohawk Nation with the destiny of two outsiders from different worlds.
When Elizabeth Middleton leaves England to join her father and brother in a remote mountain village on the edge of the New York wilderness, she does so with a strong will and an unwavering purpose: to establish a school.
It is December 1792 when she arrives in a cold climate unlike any she has ever experienced and meets a man unlike any she has ever encountered – a white man dressed like a Native American, tall and lean and unsettling in his honesty. He is Nathaniel Bonner, also known to the Mohawk people as ‘Between-Two-Lives’.
Determined to provide schooling for all the village children – white, black and Native American – Elizabeth is soon at odds with the slave owners, as well as her own father, who insists she marry local doctor Richard Todd. Such an alliance could save her father from financial ruin, but would call into question the ownership of Hidden Wolf, the mountain where Nathaniel, his father, and a small group of Native Americans live and hunt . . .
‘One of those rare stories that lets you breathe the air of another time, and leave your footprints on the snow of a wild, strange place’ Diana Gabaldon
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Outlander fans will adore Into the Wilderness, an epic historical romance set in 1792—after the United States had claimed its independence and was waging war against the indigenous Mohawk nation. The frontier novel follows the relationship between a determined English schoolteacher and a brave American with close ties to the Mohawks. Though social convention pulls Elizabeth and Nathaniel apart, their love endures (like Claire and Jamie!), and they fight together for justice and the fate of native Americans.
Epic in ambition, heaving-bosomed and lavish with pioneer life, Donati's debut inevitably invites comparison to the Revolutionary War-era romances of Diana Gabaldon. Claire Fraser, Gabaldon's time-traveling physician heroine, even makes a cameo appearance as a battlefield surgeon. Alas, Donati offers less wit and more cant than her celebrated precursor in a hefty volume that is politically correct to a fare-thee-well, suggesting that the author hoped single-handedly to reverse all race and gender bias. When Elizabeth Middleton, a proud spinster of 29, arrives in upstate Paradise, N.Y., after a sheltered life in England with her titled aunt, she means to live with her father, Alfred, a judge, and her wastrel brother, Julian, and teach school. Her father has a scheme, however. She is to marry Dr. Richard Todd and fulfill both men's ambitions for property. One look at rugged Nathaniel Bonner, a Scotsman raised by Mohawks (they call him Between-Two-Lives), and Lizzie scuttles her feminist disdain for marriage and her father's calculations. Nathaniel wants Judge Middleton's land, too, for his adoptive people--but, unlike Todd, he also wants Lizzie for herself. At first they are an enchanting couple, shooting at bad guys and making athletic love in unlikely woodsy settings. Then the charm falters as their adventures are padded with details that embroider without embellishing. Worse, the characters are color-by-numbers cartoons. Nathaniel is the only thoroughly admirable white male in the huge cast--upbringing having triumphed over blood--and no person of color has flaws. The many subplots are skillfully interwoven, and the author's sheer stamina commands respect; but the novel is complicated, not complex, overstuffed with familiar, featherweight themes. FYI: This novel is Donati's debut under her own name. Homestead, a book of short stories written under the pseudonym Rosina Lippi Green, was published by Delphinium.
This series is not only a pleasure to read but it is so hard to put down and enthralling that it’s taken over my imagination even when I’m not reading it. I can’t decide between devouring it as quick as possible or to prolong the enjoyment.
Not only are these books are a must read, they’re a must reread.
First Sara Donath book I've read and didn't think that I would be so riveted for the whole 900+ pages but it was really interesting and believable
Omg this book is so good~