Monday, 17 August 2009

Into the Wilderness

If you're looking for a book to escape into that is hard to put down ... look no further. This is a beautifully written and intelligent historical novel that is filled with action, romance and adventure. Although many people have made comparisons with this series and the infamous "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon each set of books is quite different (even though "Outlander" characters Claire and Jamie Fraser make a brief appearance in Donati's first book).

Synopsis: When well-educated spinster (a staggering 29 years old!) Elizabeth Middleton goes to her father's lands in upstate New York in 1792 she is under the understanding that she has been asked to become the town school teacher. Instead she learns that she was actually brought from her home in England so that her father can marry her off to the local doctor, Richard Todd. Although Elizabeth has no intention to marry, she is immediately drawn, not to Richard, but to backwoodsman Nathaniel Bonner, son of Dan'l "Hawkeye" Bonner (Dan'l being the hero in "The Last of the Mohicans").

Nathaniel's connection to the Mohican people is a strong since he considers Hawkeye his adoptive father and his own wife was a Mohican woman who died in childbirth several years earlier. Elizabeth soon learns that her inheritance is a mountain known as Hidden Wolf, which is part of Bonner's lands. This inheritance is to be granted to her only when she marries. She soon finds herself caught between the Mohicans and Richard who both want the land.

Knowing Richard's main interest in her is her land, Elizabeth resists his attentions as she gets to know Nathaniel and his people and soon finds herself siding with their claim to Hidden Wolf. Meanwhile, the attraction between her and Nathaniel grows into a love that only adds to the conflict between the whites and the Indians.

My thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed all 5 (soon to be 6) of the books in this series (for a full run down of the series look on www. I found it interesting that Donati decided to write this series as sequels to "Last of the Mohicans" (which was originally written by James Fenimore Cooper). The relationship between Elizabeth and Nathaniel is strong and realistically portrayed (in my own humble opinion) and the main characters, on a whole, are very well-rounded and multi-dimensional. Lots of action with some romance thrown in here and there make this a book that is hard to put down.
My Rating: 4/5

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