Weaving a tapestry of fact and fiction, Sara Donati’s epic novel sweeps us into another time and place . . . and into a breathtaking story of love and survival in a land of savage beauty.
It is December of 1792. Elizabeth Middleton leaves her comfortable English estate to join her family in a remote New York mountain village. It is a place unlike any she has ever experienced. And she meets a man unlike any she has ever encountered—a white man dressed like a Native American: Nathaniel Bonner, known to the Mohawk people as Between-Two-Lives. Determined to provide schooling for all the children of the village, Elizabeth soon finds herself locked in conflict with the local slave owners as well as with her own family. Interweaving the fate of the Mohawk Nation with the destiny of two lovers, Sara Donati’s compelling novel creates a complex, profound, passionate portait of an emerging America.
Praise for Into the Wilderness
“My favorite kind of book is the sort you live in, rather than read. Into the Wilderness is one of those rare stories that let you breathe the air of another time, and leave your footprints on the snow of a wild, strange place. I can think of no better adventure than to explore the wilderness in the company of such engaging and independent lovers as Elizabeth and her Nathaniel.”—Diana Gabaldon
“Each time you open a book you hope to discover a story that will make your spirit of adventure and romance sing. This book delivers on that promise.”—Amanda Quick
“A beautiful tale of both romance and survival…Here is the beauty as well as the savagery of the wilderness and, at the core of it all, the compelling story of the love of a man and a woman, both for the untamed land and for one another.”—Allan W. Eckert
“Lushly written . . . Exemplary historical fiction.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Epic in scope, emotionally intense.”—BookPage
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.
Quite a saga
An interesting read, the story was captivating and the characters well thought out. The only issue I have was The wordiness. The description of the area , the trails , the floral and the fauna became a bit much and I tended to skip over some of the excess. However, I did enjoy the book!
If you like the Outlander series you will love Elizabeth and Nathaniel the same as Jamie and Claire
This series offers a great historical read....action, suspense, relatable romance, strong characters, well-drawn plot. I could not put them down, as with the Outlander series, and I was sad when I finished the last one as I was done with the Bonner clan.