So, I just finished Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness.
Oh my GOSH! I fell in love with the wilderness, frontiersmen, sassy heroines, and reading all over again! Truly, this book is one of the best I have ever read - but then it had all the things I love - the wilderness, frontiersmen . . . You. Get. The. Idea.
Oh, and it also has The Last of the Mohicans.
Yep - you read that right. Nathaniel Bonner, our hero (to die for), is the son of Hawkeye and Cora of The Last of the Mohicans fame. In fact, Hawkeye is also in the book, as is Chingachcook. The waterfall in the movie where Hawkeye and Cora part ways is in the book, and there are other references to the movie as well. To be fair, though, I should point out that in the book of the same name by James Fenimore Cooper, Cora dies at the end.
But enough of such unnecessary details . . .
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.
Now, before I go on, let me say that the cover above is the latest cover, and the edition I read was probably an original cover. And is not the one above drop dead gorgeous?
But again, I digress . . .
I cannot say enough great things about this read. It was long and deep. I felt as if I was in the character's skins. The wilderness woke alive and haunting and beautiful. The love between Elizabeth and Nathaniel is well-played, intense, and, at times, harrowing. They really wish to love one another and to live out their lives peacefully at Lake in the Clouds, but the forces arrayed against them deem oth