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Publisher's Summary

Weaving a vibrant tapestry of fact and fiction, Into the Wilderness sweeps us into another time and place...and into the heart of a forbidden, incandescent affair between a spinster Englishwoman and an American frontiersman. Here is an epic of romance and history that will captivate listeners from the start.

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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Wonderful surprise

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. I thoroughly enjoyed this book more than I expected to. People said if you like Outlander then you'll like this, but I'm not sure why because it's totally different. I guess maybe because its a well written historical fiction?

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the rapidity of the story so you werent sitting hanging to any storyline too long. I hate when a book leaves you wondering for endless chapters. it just kept moving while still keeping the integrity of the whole story.

Have you listened to any of Kate Reading’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I have not. She did a great job though. Any time I listen to a new narrator, I right off think they are horrible just because they are unfamiliar, then as we move forward, I become accustomed to their voice. No narrator is perfect, and it gets kind if annoying reading reviews where people dissect one.

Any additional comments?

Loved the length. I really appreciate being able to get the most bang for my buck. Loved this book amd look forward to the entire series.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Into the Wilderness

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.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nancy
  • South Beloit, IL, United States
  • 10-04-09


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 was well worth it. I can't wait to continue on with the series. Thank you Sara Donati.........keep 'em coming !

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Into the Wilderness

I bought this book several years ago and loved it. Have bought all the books in the series, then bought all the audio books.

Love them!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Maria
  • Oscoda, MI, United States
  • 01-02-16

Terrific! Listened nearly the entire way through!

I loved this book! I don't know how I've gone so long without reading this series. It was enjoyable the entire way through, and I almost listened non-stop. I can't believe there are several more in the series, and am looking forward to downloading all of them. Sara Donati is brilliant in her writing, with enough action and dialog to keep it interesting and moving along at just the perfect pace. Oh, and for all you Outlander fans out there, you'll get a kick out of the Claire and Jamie Fraser reference. That was fun! I kept picturing Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary, from Downton Abbey) as Elizabeth Middleton. I hope this gets turned into a TV series or movie someday. It's brilliant! I highly recommend to anyone who loves historical fiction and Americana.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

So much for "if you like Gabaldon"

I kept getting recommendations for this book saying "if you liked the Outlander series, you'll like this!" No. This book is a rather juvenile attempt at being real historical fiction that gets tangled up in its Mary Sue's ripped bodice. I kept hoping it would get better. There was one part of about 3 hours where they were actually in the wilderness that was interesting, but on a whole that wasn't enough to save it. The only genuinely shocking bit was when Gabaldon's characters briefly popped up in a bit of back story. It was confirmation to what I had suspected the whole time: someone trying to imitate Gabaldon and falling way short of the mark. Their appearance solidified my decision on the book reminding me (painfully) of everything Donati's characters weren't: interesting, compelling, complicated, and imperfect. What they are is flat. Reviews I read before spending my precious one credit a month indicated that this series started rpugh and the author grew into it. I hope that is the case, but I will not be sticking around long enough to see if it's true.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I loved this book

It reminded me of the Outlander books, which I'm addicted to. It was fun to have Jamie Fraser show up.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Lia
  • Sutton, Australia
  • 04-23-17

Fantastic Book

It was a wonderful escape and offered a very accurate and adventurous perspective of fiction and history, mixed together in an articulate and lovely manner. While there are some minor grammatical errors I noticed, this didn't stop me from really liking the book.
I am also an Outlander fan, which is why I tried this book out. It's not as nuanced as Diana's writing, (in my opinion), but if you're looking for a pleasurable and relaxing listen, I'd recommend this. It's very easy, makes you think about history, and extends a voice to First Nations' way of life too. I try not to directly compare authors or their books, as that can be detrimental to the experience of reading said book.
Basically, you'll either like this and read it through, or you'll not care for it, and put it aside. For some readers, it will depend on how much comparison you weigh it with Outlander. In my personal opinion, Diana's books are such saga-like, rare, unique, and rich pieces of literature, that it's hard to compare most books in the similar genre to them. Whatever you choose, I wish you happiness in your listening!

Kate Reading was outstanding with the delivery of the story

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Beverly
  • West Point, GA, USA
  • 04-09-10

Could not stop listening

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!

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Into the wideeness

Very good,the reading was at the speed,and very clear,nice voice to listen to,and educational.
Keeps your interest.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful