Into the Wilderness

Written by Sara Donati
Review by Deborah Sanford

Elizabeth Middleton, an Englishwoman, arrives in upper New York State in December 1792 with the hopes of fulfilling a lifelong dream, to be a schoolteacher. She joins her father at his holdings in Paradise and quickly discovers that plans have already been made for her. Her father needs cash, and in order to get it he makes a bargain with Richard Todd, a wealthy doctor who wants the rights to one of her father’s parcels of land. In return for this land and Elizabeth as a wife, Todd will pay off all her father’s debts.

Elizabeth has no interest in Richard Todd as a husband. She has also become entangled in the lives of the Bonners and the Mohawk Indians who reside on Hidden Wolf Mountain. Nathaniel Bonner catches her interest in particular. Nathaniel is a white man that dresses like an Indian, a backwoodsman raised and trained in the Mohawk way. Although the Mohawks have caused no trouble in the area for some time, there are many, including Richard Todd, who would like to see the Indians run off Hidden Wolf Mountain.

To save the Mountain and preserve the heritage of the Mohawks, Nathaniel and Elizabeth devise their own scheme to get control of the land. Elizabeth persuades the judge to sign over the deed of ownership, and instead of marrying Todd she slips away and marries Nathaniel. Elizabeth and Nathaniel are now on the run “into the wilderness,” and this is where the true romance begins.

I highly recommend this novel. Once I got into the story, I couldn’t put it down; every page brought a new adventure and character, another friend or foe to learn about. This is a long novel, but for those who persevere the rewards are great.