When Elizabeth Middleton, 29 years old and unmarried, leaves her Aunt Merriweather's comfortable English estate to join her father and brother in the remote mountain village of Paradise on the edge of the New York wilderness, she does so with a strong will and an unwavering purpose: to teach school.
It is December of 1792 when she arrives in a cold climate unlike any she has ever experienced. And she meets a man different from any she has ever encountered - a white man dressed like a Native American, tall and lean and unsettling in his blunt honesty. He is Nathaniel Bonner, also known to the Mohawk people as Between-Two-Lives.
Determined to provide schooling for all the children of the village - white, black, and Native American - Elizabeth soon finds herself at odds with local slave owners. Much to her surprise, she clashes with her own father as well. Financially strapped, Judge Middleton has plans for his daughter - betrothal to local doctor Richard Todd. An alliance with Todd could extract her father from ruin but would call into question the ownership of Hidden Wolf, the mountain where Nathaniel, his father, and a small group of Native Americans live and hunt.
As Judge Middleton brings pressure to bear against his daughter, she is faced with a choice between compliance and deception, a flight into the forest, and a desire that will bend her hard will to compromise and transformation.
Elizabeth's ultimate destiny, here in the heart of the wilderness, lies in the odyssey to come: trials of faith and flesh, and passion born amid Nathaniel's own secrets and divided soul..
©2009 Sara Donati; (P)2009 Random House
"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)
I am a wife of 1, mother of 5, grandmother of 13, gt.grandmother of 2, manager of a senior apt. complex, AND an avid audio book listener!
I LOVED THIS BOOK ! As one review stated, it reminds me of the Outlander series. I wonder how many noticed that Claire and James Fraser (from the Outlander series) were mentioned in "Into the Wilderness" story. I loved that little sneaky item. The story drags you into the story and you feel like you know each person personally. I vowed never to spend 2 credits on a book, but I am so glad that I did for this one......it was well worth it. I can't wait to continue on with the series. Thank you Sara Donati.........keep 'em coming !
I have listened to 216 books since becoming a member in 2001. Out of the Wilderness is at the top of my list. The production and narration is outstanding of this very well written book, looking forward to the next in the series.
A great romance and adventure story with plenty of plot twists. As I read the pages, I felt like I stepped into the story and was apart of the adventure. The story really ties you emotionally to the people and their struggle with a new way of life, bigotry, and cruelty. Along with their love for each other and their families, and the challenges they face living on the frontier. This series pulls you in to a time where just living was a challenge. You will get addicted to this book and every book in the series, they get better and better.
...but not worth 2 credits, especially the ones that follow.
Obvious borrowing is really distracting, from the Gabaldon series (the hanging scene in a later book in the series and names from Cooper and Gabaldon) and details that are interesting but don't add to the story (like including Burns as exciseman and poet but not AT ALL necessary to the plot) are distracting.
It's like an historical epic that might be better abridged than unabridged. It lacks the wit and complexity of Gabaldon's Outlander series, but it has adventures on sea and land, and it is--for the most part--historically accurate.
I admit, I stopped listening to the author's notes at the end, so it is possible that the factual/timeline errors are addressed.
That said, I did listen to them all and I enjoyed them; yet I'm sorry I paid two credits for the rest after listening to the first novel; not because I begrudge the credits, I love audio books and would happily pay two credits for many of the audiobooks I have purchased, but not this series.
I bought this book several years ago and loved it. Have bought all the books in the series, then bought all the audio books.
This is the first book I have reviewed, even though I have listened to more than several hundred books. I guess it is because Donati had the temerity to make a nod to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series (with a short passage about a few of Outlander's characters). I love the Outlander series, and I appreciate the nod. In fact, my esteem for the writer of this book has risen due to this nod. However, this book is not comparable to Outlander. This book is full of "kissing," "thrusting," and "riding" — to the extent that I have quickly forwarded through these scenes to return to the plot.
In addition, I would swear this book was not written by a woman at all. I find the lead female character inconsistently intelligent, inconsistently rational, inconsistently inexperienced, and rude to her husband as a result. While she encounters new situation that challenge her world view, she does not convey this as a dillemma in a convincig manner. While Gabaldon's main character, Clair, is comprehensible in her moods, Donati's Elizabeth is an embarrassingly cliché example of female irrationality. Being female myself, I find this disappointing.
My first observation about the book was that it is, primarily, a romance novel. I like historical novels, which is the category in which I discovered this book. I also like thrillers, science, fiction, and anything that presents women in a refreshingly truthful manner (see Stieg Larsson). This book does not meet that criteria.
However, I will continue to listen to it. In addition to the fact that I can't help but be charmingly amused by Donati's reference to Outlander, I paid good money for a nice, long book. It is not the worst book I have listened to.
I think Donati has potential. I hope she can develop, as a writer, the ability to convey a deeper understanding of human and, in particular, female, issues. And of how to convey sexy scenes and other scenes without clichés and with some novelty. (Ribbons?! — ugh!)
I love the characters and the wonderful story begun in this book. I've continued to listen to every book in the series and haven't been bored yet. Can't wait for the last book!
But best of all, I've discovered Kate Reading - she is absolutely the best Narrator I've come across. Her voices are always consistent and her accents for different nationalities & dialects are perfection. She quickly switches back and forth in conversations between characters without a bobble. I will search for more books with her narrating. You won't be sorry if you do the same.
...A good book. This is a good start to the series. A little slow in starting but worth the wait. I was so surprised by the "Outlook Series reference", by D. Gabaldon ,in the story line. I would recommend this book to anyone.
The down side is that this is 2 credit/book and The Outlook series is only 1 credit/book( an excellent series in the same style.) Both worth the time as they are both long books and in a series. If this was 1 credit I would definitely finish this series. As I did the "Outland series." At 2 credits I have to think about it as it uses up my monthly amount and I can read it in a few days
Started the audiobook upon my departure to my vacation spot 5 hours away. Listened in the apartment, at the grocers, on the beach, during daily bike rides, just could not put it down. Wasn't even tempted to go shopping, just wanted to hear this story! Saved tons of money! I didn't even watch TV. Great book! Just downloaded the second audiobook in this series! Well written, extremely well read!
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