Book Review: Wilderness Series by Sara Donati

Last summer I did a vacation reading series of book reviews, and ever since then I’ve been reading more and more. I guess you could say I rediscovered my love of reading and made a commitment to making time for it. I read a lot of informational books on health and food, but I also love historical fiction.

Last winter, my sister-in-law recommended The Wilderness Series by Sara Donati. That night, I downloaded Into the Wilderness to my Kindle, and I was hooked by page two.

I have read all but the last book in the series, and I have thoroughly enjoyed them. I’m actually kind of sad to start book #6 because I don’t want the series to end!

First, a disclaimer. I can be a bit of a prude. I’ll just put it right out there. I’m all for a little romance, but I don’t need to know the details. And I certainly don’t need to read about more violent encounters. Unfortunately, for my comfort level, Donati crossed the line a few times on both counts. But otherwise, I found the books delightful. The characters were engaging, if numerous. And I love how she worked in the history of the time — I actually learned a lot about the War of 1812, which is often glossed over in high school history class.

These stories take place mostly in the backwoods of upstate New York State around the turn of the 19th century, and the author addresses the delicate relationship between the Americans and the Native Americans at the time. The heroine, Elizabeth Middleton, an educated English spinster who comes to the rugged wilderness of America to teach school marries the son of the famed Dan’l “Hawkeye” Bonner, hero of the James Fenimore Cooper classic, Last of the Mohicans.

Much adventure ensues, and I can never close one book without downloading the next, eager to see what happens next. This is a great series to keep you entertained throughout the summer as you sit by the pool. (Ha! As if. I’m still waiting for the day that I can sit by the pool and read. They tell me it’s coming.)