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INTO THE WILDERNESS (The Wilderness Series Book 1)

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I've read all Into the Wilderness books and loved them all until the Epilogue and honestly I agree with Melanie about the Epilogue. 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. The author could have built tension and developed her characters through dialogue or more thoughtful plotting. If you are one of those readers who attempted ‘Outlander’ but weren’t patient enough to trudge through the slow start, then ‘Into the Wilderness’ is probably more your pace.

Donati needed to have tightened up the plot in Part III especially, and edited Part II much more than she seems to have done, as those where the ones I felt were yelling for better editing. However, two examples of a lack of grounding in the period stood out to me before the fifty page mark.Sorry, no turtle soup here, but there is an annual visit to a secluded waterfall cave that will keep your attention. From there the central focus of the book is on the Romeo and Juliet romance between Nathaniel and Elizabeth – a white woman and an adopted Indian. Diana and I had many of the same interests, as our characters were involved in some of the same historical events. Elizabeth persuades the judge to sign over the deed of ownership, and instead of marrying Todd she slips away and marries Nathaniel. Diana Gabaldon’s popular Outlander series, and the TV adaptations, are full of danger, steamy passion, and Scottish history.

People said if you like Outlander then you'll like this, but I'm not sure why because it's totally different. My understanding is that Diana has said she allowed Sara Donati to "borrow" her characters for this scene (because the author is a personal friend) but that it was a one-time thing, and Diana won't do it again. In contrast; in Diana Gabaldon’s books I am never totally easy with domestic scenes – whether they be on the mountain or Lallybroch. But their growing bond is threatened when Martha’s mother arrives back in Paradise a decade after abandoning her daughter.Nevertheless, there was something appealing about the book and I not only finished it, I moved on and read the rest of the series. In contrast Diana Gabaldon had a very helter-skelter plot, clear good guys and bad guys and high stakes to get caught up in.

The historical aspect of the novel was the big drawing factor for me, since I enjoy North American history. The Wilderness book series by Sara Donati includes books Into the Wilderness, Dawn on a Distant Shore, Lake in the Clouds, and several more. Into the Wilderness provides a unique interpretation of sin as a basic self-absorption that grips every human being and is the source of unhappiness. Obvious borrowing is really distracting, from the Gabaldon series (the hanging scene in a later book in the series and names from Cooper and Gabaldon) and details that are interesting but don't add to the story (like including Burns as exciseman and poet but not AT ALL necessary to the plot) are distracting.While she encounters new situation that challenge her world view, she does not convey this as a dillemma in a convincig manner. Donati’s series has a few major differences with ‘Outlander’; the main one being an absence of fantasy, because there is no ‘time travel’ plot. Not only does Swanson articulate all the ways we are enslaved by sin, but he also actually offers a way to break the cycle through the penitential rite and forgiveness.

In the spring she had given birth to Luke’s son, and in the summer Jennet had found herself compelled to surrender the infant to a stranger in the hope of keeping him safe. I found myself comparing it too much to DG's writing at first which was a mistake - they are very different authors and once I leared to appreciate Donati's style and prose and let go of my DG obsession (I bring this to every book I read!Not only wouldn't a person assume a teacher would be female--the feminization of the profession didn't begin until late in the 19th Century--but Miss Middleton would invariably have stirred up opposition because of her gender. The book concludes with an addendum which answers the book's fundamental question--how can one move from the enslavement of sin into God's redeeming grace?

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