Top positive review
A must-read series for Historical Fiction fans
November 1, 2018
Into the Wilderness is one of my all-time favourite series so I was happy to make time to re-read this first book of a series that has stayed with me for many years. It's an epic adventure that's a great mix of Historical Fiction and Romance set in the late 18th century in New York state.
The similarities between this series and Diana Gabaldon's popular Outlander series are inevitable -- they're both exciting sagas with compelling characters, vivid descriptions of the era and a blend of main and sub plots to keep the pacing high … plus Donati and Gabaldon are friends in real life. Nathaniel and Elizabeth are good competition for Outlander's Claire and Jamie in the 'swoon-worthy' and 'aren't they amazing couples' categories. Claire and Jamie Fraser (and their nephew Ian) are briefly mentioned in this first book but this series is amazing in its own right. Personally, I enjoy Donati's series more because it's just as riveting as Outlander but it's more concise and less verbose than Gabaldon's series which often rambles and strays too far from the main story line for me.
Into the Wilderness loosely follows the family of Dan'l Bonner (who you may remember as Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans) but the focus is on his son, Nathaniel Bonner. I enjoyed the strong focus on Indigenous culture and how well the residents of Paradise, big and small, are blended into the large and smaller plots. Fans, eager for a strong connection between the two main characters, will enjoy that the romance blossoms quickly. Elizabeth is a wonderful, strong female character and her connection to the other characters is what made this book for me.
I highly recommend this fantastic series which has six books in all. Readers will be immersed into the lives, loves and struggles of the Bonner clan and will be enthralled by the scandals and hardships of the diverse residents of the village of Paradise. Once you start this series, you'll look forward to getting back into this world of adventure, romance and an unforgettable cast.