Synopses & Reviews
In an icy, untamed world of pristine beauty, a husband and wife are torn apart by fate but reunited forever by a love that can't be broken....
An unforgettable love comes alive in this masterful epic of passion, treachery, and adventure....
Award-winning author Sara Donati's debut novel, Into the Wilderness, was hailed as "one of those rare stories that let you breathe the air of another time" (Diana Gabaldon). Now, in an eloquent blend of fact and fiction, Donati re-creates her beloved characters from Into the Wilderness in an enthralling new tale of romance and adventure.
Elizabeth and Nathaniel Bonner have settled into their life together at the edge of the New-York wilderness in the winter of 1794. But soon after Elizabeth gives birth to healthy twins, Nathaniel learns that his father has been arrested in British Canada. Forced to leave Hidden Wolf Mountain to help his father in Montreal, Nathaniel himself is imprisoned and in danger of being hanged as a spy.
In a desperate bid to save her husband, Elizabeth bundles her infants and sets out through the snowy wilderness and across treacherous waterways on the dangerous trek to Canada. But she soon discovers that freeing her husband will take every ounce of her courage and inventiveness and will threaten her with the loss of what she loves most: her children.
Torn apart, the Bonners must embark on yet another perilous voyage, this time all the way across the ocean to the heart of Scotland, where a destiny they could never have imagined awaits them....
"Will keep readers up into the wee hours." Orlando Sentinel
"A story of epic proportions, akin to those wonderful wilderness classics by James Fenimore Cooper, but with the modern twist of a Diana Gabaldon." Romantic Times
About the Author
Winner of the PENHemingway Award for First Fiction for her 1998 novel Homestead, Sara Donati is the pen name of Rosina Lippi. She lives with her husband, daughter, and various pets in an area between the Cascade Mountains and the Puget Sound where she teaches creative writing and linguistics at the university level and is working on her next novel.
Reading Group Guide
1. Land ownership and bloodline both in New York and Europe was of utmost importance at the time of the Wilderness Series. What impact did this have on the Bonner family when they went to Scotland?
2. How does Elizabeth react to the knowledge that Nathaniel and their children are heirs to an earldom in Scotland? How is this comforting or not?
3. How is Hannahs medical education enhanced by her association with the Hakim? How does she reconcile what she learns with what knows from her Mohawk-Scots ancestors who were healers?
Questions for readers of any of Sara Donati's Wilderness novels:
1. The northern and northwestern part of New York State was the nations untamed frontier in the late 18th and early 19th Century, the era of the Wilderness series. How does this frontier experience differ from that of the traditional western or “wagons west” description of Americas wilder places? How is it the same? Why was the settlement of upper New York State significant to people in Canada? To England? To France? To Holland?
2. Why is settlement by Europeans significant to the Native Peoples-and how do settlers like the Bonner family and others in the town of Paradise both complement and conflict with them? What roles do the slaves and the freed slaves, serve?
3. Discuss the Freeman familys activities in aiding runaway slaves flight to freedom. Do you think they helped these people, or contributed to setting the stage for continuing and future conflict for them? What role did the African Free School, and Manny Freemans association with it, play in the abolition of slavery? Do you think the Gradual Manumission Act was devised in a fair manner?
4. Most of the characters in this book have dealt with an eminent amount of loss. How have these losses shaped the characters weaknesses and strengths?
5. Author Donati uses wonderful place and character names drawn from the Native Language. Discuss the symbolism of the characters names (i.e. Walks-Ahead, Bone-in-Her-Back, Hawkeye, etc.). How do these names illuminate the characters themselves? Would you choose a descriptive name for yourself-and what would that be?