Sara Donati is the pen name of Rosina Lippi, a former academic and tenured university professor. Since 2000 she has been writing fiction full-time, haunting the intersection where history and storytelling meet, wallowing in nineteenth-century newspapers, magazines, street maps, and academic historical research. She is the internationally bestselling author of the Wilderness series (Into the Wilderness, Dawn on a Distant Shore, Lake in the Clouds, Fire Along the Sky, Queen of Swords, and The Endless Forest) as well as The Gilded Hour, the first in a new series following the descendants of characters from the Wilderness series. She lives between the Cascades and Puget Sound with her husband, daughter, Jimmy Dean (a Havanese), and Max and Bella (the cats).
Elizabeth and Nathaniel Bonner's adult children take center stage in this fourth novel (after Lake in the Clouds) in Donati's "Into the Wilderness" series, which takes place during the War of 1812. Daughter Hannah returns home without her husband and child, bearing emotional wounds too deep to discuss. Meanwhile, twins Lily and Daniel, now young adults, set out on their own, Lily to study art in Montreal and Daniel to fight in the war. Donati's usual cast of villagers play a central role: widowed Bonner cousin Jennet Scott leaves her family home in Scotland to reunite with the man she's loved since childhood, conniving Jemima Southern is suspected of the mysterious deaths of a mentally ill woman and a freed slave, and housekeeper Curiosity Freedman serves again as a voice of patience and reason. Fans of earlier titles will not be disappointed, as this novel contains the same combination of romance and adventure, not to mention the most intriguing mystery in the series yet. However, references to characters and events in the previous titles may distract newcomers. Recommended for libraries where historical fiction is popular.-Nanette E. Wargo, Champaign P.L., IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Donati continues the saga of the valiant Bonner family, last seen in 2002's Lake in the Clouds, in this sprawling, slow-to-start epic starring four formidable women. It's 1812, and Elizabeth Bonner-teacher, crusader and second wife of hunter/trapper/farmer Nathaniel-is still living in a mountain cabin above the village of Paradise in upper New York State. With her is her restless, independent daughter, Lily, whose plans to study art in England were dashed by the beginnings of the war. Nearby in Montreal is the newly widowed Scotswoman Lady Jennet, who has come to the new world to find the man she should have married, Nathaniel's son Luke. And arriving presently is Hannah, Nathaniel's half-Mohawk daughter by his first wife; after 10 years as a healer with her mother's people, Hannah comes home to recover from a terrible personal tragedy. This saga sees Lily through one disastrous romance and then a second, tempestuous but ultimately successful one, and Lady Jennet-a charming storyteller and Tarot reader-through the American invasion of French Canada, where another Bonner son is wounded and imprisoned. Hannah embarks on a search for peace and, along with Jennet, aids the prisoners held in Canada's Nut Island stockade. This is an episodic but entertaining novel held together by the kind of family loyalties that defy cruelty, war and even fate itself. Agent, Jill Grinberg. (Aug. 31) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.