• The Endless Forest

  • A Novel
  • By: Sara Donati
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 22 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (2,263 ratings)

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The Endless Forest  By  cover art

The Endless Forest

By: Sara Donati
Narrated by: Kate Reading
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Publisher's summary

With a master storyteller’s skill and a historian’s precision, Sara Donati has delighted readers and critics alike with her bestselling novels of the nineteenth-century New York frontier. Now she brings us The Endless Forest, set in the remote village of Paradise, where the Bonner family that listeners first met in Into the Wilderness make their home.

The spring of 1824 is a challenging one for the inhabitants of Paradise N.Y. when a flood devastates the village. But for Nathaniel and Elizabeth Bonner, it’s also a time of reunion as their children return from far-off places: Lily and her husband from Italy, and Martha Kirby, the Bonners’ ward, from Manhattan. Although Lily is nursing her own grief, it is Martha, fleeing a crushing humiliation, who brings with her trouble that will reverberate in all their lives.

In the sudden peace that follows the storm, as families struggle to rebuild, childhood friends Martha and Daniel, Lily’s twin brother, suddenly begin to see each other in a new light. But their growing bond is threatened when Martha’s mother arrives back in Paradise a decade after abandoning her daughter. Jemima Southern is a dangerous schemer who has destroyed more than one family, and her anger touches everyone, as do her secrets. Has Jemima come to claim her daughter–or does she have something else in mind? Whatever happens, Martha and Daniel and all the Bonners must stand united against the threats to both heart and home.

Painful secrets and hidden sorrows, joy, heartbreak, and passion follow the Bonners through a season of change and renewal. A rich, passionate, multilayered portrayal of family strength and endurance in a fascinating place and time, The Endless Forest will be remembered long after it is finished

©2010 Sara Donati (P)2010 Random House

Critic reviews

“Magnificent . . . [a] sweeping saga . . . highly recommended.”—The Historical Novels Review


“A splendidly drawn cast of characters.”—The Seattle Times

“Graceful, sweeping.”—Publishers Weekly

What listeners say about The Endless Forest

Average customer ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars

Only one Regret

My only regret upon finishing this book is that it is the end of one of the most outstanding series I have read or listened to. I have read reviews of people who said it is not as good as Outlander. I disagree. I have listened to all the Outlander books and loved them, and I've listened to all of this series and in my opinion this series was the better of the two.

This series expanded the family and built a cast of characters more realistic and enjoyable than those in the Outlander series.

Ms Reading's narration throughout the series was outstanding, and having such a good narrator for every book made the journey smooth, while the change of narrators in the Outlander series was often jarring.

The bottom line is that Ms Donati has written a wonderful series that takes the reader on a 34 year journey through some of the most deadly years of the American frontier with a family who stands strong together throughout the journey, and Ms Reading's dramatic narration with almost perfect accents of all the varied characters brings it to life for the listener.

The entire six books of this series is an investment well worth the credits.
I will be listening to it again very soon.

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28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Well Worth The Wait

About time! I have been waiting for this since Queen Of Swords ... and it was well worth the wait. Sara wraped this series up very nicely.

While I will truly miss NEW adventures of the Bonner family and Paradise .... Their story will be with me always since I am positive I will re-read and/or re-listen often. THANK YOU Sara for sharing this wonder family with us. And THANK YOU Kate for breathing true life into each character thru your reading. BRAVO!!!!

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16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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On the fence

I love this series by Sara Donati almost as much as outlander. This book, however, was my least favorite because of the child, Birdie. Her character was so annoying that I almost didn't finish the book. I guess the author was going for precocious but all I could think was if this was my child I would teach her to have some respect for other people and quit whining and that the whole world does NOT revolve around her! Ridiculous and ruined the book for me.

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6 people found this helpful

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Kate Reading

So much of an audio book is dependent on the reader. I have listened to all six (I think six) books in the Wilderness series. Ms. Reading’s performance and the sound mixing are by far better than other audio books to which I have listened.

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4 people found this helpful

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Excellent series!

I am sad to have this series end. I truly enjoyed every book and I loved how the characters evolved throughout the series. I highly recommended it!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Love this series of abooks

Hated for this series to end, really enjoyed it from the first book to the last. Highly recommend

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Sara Donati is brilliant!

I must say I am a huge fan of Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness series and this final book did not disappoint. She has an amazing way of incorporating multiple charachters with their varying stories, and not losing the close weave of the story. I feel a little hearbroken that the story has come to an end. I appreciate the epilogue as I was not left hungering for information about these characters that I feel close to, although it brought tears to my eyes. Kate Reading is a master. You don't feel as though someone is reading a story. A different, disctinct and realistic voice for each charachter whether male, female, young or old. A true delight. I will gladly listen to the entire series again and know I will not grow tired of it.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Jacksonian Soap

I have much enjoyed this whole series, but this one lost my interest. If John Quincy Adams or Andrew Jackson could have watched TV they might have seen "How the Bonners Breed" with the wicked sister spreading gloom.

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Good wrap up

Loose ends of the series are tucked in. Lively satisfying way to wrap up the series in this 6th book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great series

Highly recommend this series and beautifully read. Start from the beginning! You won’t be disappointed.

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