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 readers 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 the last page is turned.
Say good-bye to Elizabeth Bonner and her brood with this graceful, sweeping conclusion to Donati's frontier-era Wilderness series (following Fire Along the Sky), focusing mostly on returning characters Martha, Callie, Daniel Bonner and Ethan Bonner, and their perpetual adversary, Jemima Southern, as close to a witch as [the town] had ever come. In 1824, troublemaker Jemima returns to rural Paradise, N.Y., and Bonner men Ethan and Daniel realize the only way to save the property of their friends Callie and Martha is to marry them, arrangements born of necessity that quickly become stronger than anyone expected. Before leaving for good, however, Jemima surprises the people of Paradise by revealing the secrets that they've kept from each other. Donati will satisfy and, in some cases, delight her longtime readers by wrapping up nearly every story line, confidently tracking a huge cast and their individual conflicts. Those new to Donati's work would be better served starting at the beginning of the series with Into theWilderness-it's nearly impossible to pick up at this point-but any reader will be won over, sooner or later, by Donati's affection for her tough, complex characters. (Jan.) Publishers Weekly