A rich, passionate, multi-layered portrayal of family strength and endurance in the New York frontier of the 19th century.
The spring of 1824 is a challenging one for the inhabitants of Paradise when a flood devastates the village. But for Nathaniel and Elizabeth Bonner, it's also a time of reunion as their children return from far-off places – Lily from Italy and Martha, their ward, from Manhattan – bringing with them troubles that will reverberate in all their lives.
As the family struggles to rebuild, Martha and her childhood friend Daniel suddenly begin to see each other in a new light. But their growing bond is jeopardized when Martha's mother arrives back in Paradise a decade after abandoning her daughter. Jemima Southern is a dangerous schemer who has destroyed more than one family, and her anger touches everyone, as do her secrets.
Has Jemima come to claim her daughter – or does she have something else in mind? Whatever happens, Martha and Daniel and all the Bonners must stand united against the threats to both heart and home . . .
‘A powerful adventure story . . . in a gorgeous, vividly described American landscape’ People on Into the Wilderness
Say good-bye to Elizabeth Bonner and her brood with this graceful, sweeping conclusion to Donati's frontier-era Wilderness series (following Fire Along the Sky), focusing mostly on returning characters Martha, Callie, Daniel Bonner and Ethan Bonner, and their perpetual adversary, Jemima Southern, "as close to a witch as had ever come." In 1824, troublemaker Jemima returns to rural Paradise, N.Y., and Bonner men Ethan and Daniel realize the only way to save the property of their friends Callie and Martha is to marry them, arrangements born of necessity that quickly become stronger than anyone expected. Before leaving for good, however, Jemima surprises the people of Paradise by revealing the secrets that they've kept from each other. Donati will satisfy and, in some cases, delight her longtime readers by wrapping up nearly every story line, confidently tracking a huge cast and their individual conflicts. Those new to Donati's work would be better served starting at the beginning of the series with Into theWilderness it's nearly impossible to pick up at this point but any reader will be won over, sooner or later, by Donati's affection for her tough, complex characters.