Fire Along the Sky
With epic sweep and breathtaking adventure, Sara Donati’s bestselling saga of an Early American family’s struggle for survival in the Northeast wilderness continues with the story of an indomitable woman and an unforgettable journey of redemption across a young nation threatened by the flames of war.
The year is 1812 and Hannah Bonner has returned to her family’s mountain cabin in Paradise. But Nathaniel and Elizabeth Bonner can see that Hannah is not the same woman as when she left. For their daughter has come home without her husband and without her son…and with a story of loss and tragedy that she can’t bear to tell. Yet as Hannah resumes her duties as a gifted healer among the sick and needy, she finds that she is also slowly healing herself. Little does she realize that she is about to be called away to face her greatest challenge ever.
As autumn approaches, news of the latest conflict with Britain finds the young men of Paradise—including eighteen-year-old Daniel Bonner—eager to take up arms. Against their better judgment, Nathaniel and Elizabeth must let him go, just as they must let his twin sister Lily, a stubborn beauty, pursue her independence in Montreal. But on the eve of the War of 1812, an unexpected guest arrives from Scotland: It is the Bonners’ distant cousin, the newly widowed Jennet Scott of Carryckcastle. Far from home, Lily and Jennet will each learn the price of pursuing their dreams and the possibility of true love.
But it’s Hannah herself who must risk everything once more—this time to save Daniel, who’s been taken prisoner by the British. As the distant thunder of war threatens Paradise, Hannah may learn to live—and maybe love—again in one final act of courage, duty, and sacrifice.
A gifted writer, a master storyteller, and a first-rate historian, Sara Donati has written a powerful, poignant, and movingly romantic novel that chronicles the lives and adventures of a family as compelling and unforgettable as any in American fiction.
Donati continues the saga of the valiant Bonner family, last seen in 2002's Lake in the Clouds, in this sprawling, slow-to-start epic starring four formidable women. It's 1812, and Elizabeth Bonner teacher, crusader and second wife of hunter/trapper/farmer Nathaniel is still living in a mountain cabin above the village of Paradise in upper New York State. With her is her restless, independent daughter, Lily, whose plans to study art in England were dashed by the beginnings of the war. Nearby in Montreal is the newly widowed Scotswoman Lady Jennet, who has come to the new world to find the man she should have married, Nathaniel's son Luke. And arriving presently is Hannah, Nathaniel's half-Mohawk daughter by his first wife; after 10 years as a healer with her mother's people, Hannah comes home to recover from a terrible personal tragedy. This saga sees Lily through one disastrous romance and then a second, tempestuous but ultimately successful one, and Lady Jennet a charming storyteller and Tarot reader through the American invasion of French Canada, where another Bonner son is wounded and imprisoned. Hannah embarks on a search for peace and, along with Jennet, aids the prisoners held in Canada's Nut Island stockade. This is an episodic but entertaining novel held together by the kind of family loyalties that defy cruelty, war and even fate itself.