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Into the Wilderness Mass Market Paperback – 27 Mar 2009


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books; Reprint edition (27 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553578529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553578522
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 3.8 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,566,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘One of those rare strories that lets you breathe the air of another time and leave your footsteps on the snow of a wild, strange place.’ 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

‘Epic in scope, emotionally intense.’ BookPage

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

sequel? tribute? retelling? the mystery explored...
I will admit that I am fascinated and (usually) entertained by the reviews posted here by Amazon customers -- writing is a solitary undertaking with so little direct feedback, and sometimes when I'm procrastinating over a difficult scene I'll wander over to Amazon (as some wander to the water cooler) to see who's here and what they have had to say about this story of mine.

What I want to do is clear up something that seems to cause many people confusion and some of them even unhappiness. Is this a sequel to Last of the Mohicans? Why do the same characters show up? Why are some of the names changed? What gives?

To situate this story in relationship to other stories set in this time and place, you do have to begin with James Fenimore Cooper, he of the flowery dialogue (I defy thee, wretched Huron!) but interesting conflicts. This is not a sequel to Last of the Mohicans, but it is a very loose retelling of The Pioneers. I begin with some of his characters, and make them my own. Natty Bumppo, Nathaniel Po, Daniel Boone, to these I add my incarnation of Nathaniel Bonner. Just as my Elizabeth Middleton is modeled on Jane Austen's Elizabeth and Mary Bennet. Retellings are very common in fiction -- some claim there are only twenty plots that get used over and over again. Thus West Side Story might be seen as rewarmed Romeo and Juliet.

So take this for what it's meant to be (a good solid adventure/love story with careful attention to historical detail, and characters who keep you intrigued) or take it for warmed over Cooper -- the choice is yours. Another point of some contention -- If you'd like to call it a romance, that's fine with me too -- there's a love story at the heart of it, after all. If you're looking for a traditional romance, you will find that it doesn't quite follow all the rules of the genre -- but you might like it anyway. You never know. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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First Sentence
Elizabeth Middleton, twenty-nine years old and unmarried, overly educated and excessively rational, knowing right from wrong and fancy from fact, woke in a nest of marten and fox pelts to the sight of an eagle circling overhead, and saw at once that it could not be far to Paradise. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback
This novel is the first in a series of three such novels published to date. It is a riveting, page-turning work of well-written historical fiction. It is a story woven from the gossamer threads of history and infused with the creativity of this author, so as to produce an utterly spellbinding and ambitious, sweeping epic novel. This is a novel that will appeal to those who love rousing historical fiction that carries with it a sense of teeming and timeless adventure.
Those readers who have enjoyed the enormously popular
"Outlander" series of novels by author Diana Gabaldon will especially enjoy this book. It should be noted that Diana Gabaldon herself has warmly endorsed this book. Moreover, that its author is herself a fan of Ms. Gabaldon, there can be little doubt, as the two main characters in Ms. Gabaldon's best selling "Outlander" series make a brief appearance nearly midway through this book. Moreover, the author also incorporates James Fennimore Cooper's character "Hawkeye" from his book, "The Last of the Mohicans", adding to the intriguing pastiche of characters, historical, literary, and imaginative, who pepper this book.
The book is simple in its premise. An independent and outspoken, intelligent Englishwoman in her twenties, Elizabeth Middleton, leaves England with her brother Julian, to join their father, Judge Alfred Middleton, in the mountains of upstate New York, northwest of Albany. There, she meets Hawkeye's son, handsome backwoods man Nathaniel Bonner, a man who straddles two worlds, that of the white man and that of the native American, and finds herself falling head-over-heels in love with him.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Aug. 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book starts off promising enough, but after about a hundred pages or so, you realize you are dealing with simple, one-dimensional characters. The good people are very, very good, and the bad people are very, very bad, with no gray area or subtlety in between.
Naturally, the Indians and black people are all kind, noble, intelligent and brave. The bad white people are vicious, venal, murderous and stupid. Like most dull novels, there is also a contrivance which makes our heroes almost invulnerable.
I was initially attracted to this novel because it takes place in 1792 upstate New York, but other than there being a lot of trees and lakes, one never gets the sense of colonial America. At least, one never gets the sense of colonial America beyond what one has already learned from grade school texts. This could have taken place in 1892 or 1692, or, in the way Nathaniel is cupping his hand around Elizabeth's breast every thirty pages or so, 1992.
I gave up
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Aug. 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
At first this book had many assets to make one consider it a worthwhile read. The intermingling of the historical setting (which was believable) with the growing attraction of the major characters (I pictured Nathaniel as Daniel Day Lewis in breechcloats) helped to sustain this first impression. However as the book went on and adventure after adventure was piled on at a most unbelievable rate, I found my attention and my credulity flagging. I felt that the author had written her story in pieces. Each adventure was like a small short story. While this worked in the beginning, it did not work in the end. I have always thought that the final pages of a novel should be a denouement where all the separate threads of story are finally pieced together. Not so in this book; instead new characters are added and the story ends on a note of 'what-if' which I assume will be the lead in to the sequel, but in no way makes the novel a complete or satisfying work of literature. One further note of criticism: I found the romance a bit cloying at times and with a man of Nathaniel's obvious experience, more than a little far fetched.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Sept. 1998
Format: Hardcover
I too picked up this book because of Diana Gabaldon's words on the dust jacket. I thought I could bide my time with this one until her next book in the Oulander series was released. Into the Wilderness is well written with wonderful descriptions of the various places that the characters travel. However, I found the first half of the book to be lacking something. The romance between Nathaniel and Elizabeth happened a little to quickly to be believable and Todd's transformation from charmer to psychopath was interesting, but went a little too far. I felt that this book was trying to be a part of the Outlander series with its tight group of interesting characters, but it fell a bit short. I did enjoy this book and once I got past the halfway point, I couldn't put it down!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Demaris on 29 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
I have read many a review that compares Sara Donati's Wilderness series to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. So I came to Into The Wilderness with certain expectations and though I can't say I was disappointed, with what I found within the pages of this book, I'd be lying if I said the comparison is a fair one. Donati has a great deal of talent, she is an accomplished and engaging writer but Into the Wilderness is no Outlander.

Elizabeth Middleton is a woman with 20th century sensibilities stuck in the 18th century. What she wants is freedom and the independence to determine her own fate, what she gets on arrival to the New World is an overbearing father and the possibility of an arranged marriage....She is seriously pissed. So what better way to circumvent around this unwelcome situation but to hitch her wagon to the last man her father would want her to marry; enter Nathaniel Bonner.

I read a review that implied that Into The Wilderness is Outlander fanfiction I wouldn't necessarily agree overall with that statement but in Nathaniel Bonner I see where Gabaldon's Jamie Fraser may have had a serious influence. Again we have a man who stands outside the norms of the times and accepts a woman's equality; a fierce fighter, with a principled character that puts family before all, Bonner is not Fraser, no romantic hero could ever be, but I'd go so far as to call him Fraser light

Overall, the scope, the sheer breath of the Outlander story is such that I doubt any book could stand in comparison to it, and as such I don't think its fair to even try. Into the Wilderness should just be read for it's own sake, I think readers will enjoy it better if they did that. Remove from your conscience any mention of comparison that you may have read, including this one (hahahah!) And just prepare to enjoy a good story, well told.
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