Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Endless Forest


Title: "The Endless Forest" (6th and final book in the "Into the Wilderness" series)

Author: Sara Donati

Type: Historical Fiction

Published: January 2010

Pages: 623

Synopsis: The spring of 1824 begins with disaster for the small town of Paradise when a flood devastates the entire town. Even so, Elizabeth and Nathaniel Bonner have something to look forward to since some of their children are finally returning home. Lily and her husband from Italy and Martha Kirby, the Bonner's ward, from Manhattan.

Martha arrives in Paradise after being humiliated in Manhattan. She longs to return to a normal life but her long-lost mother, Jemima Southern, soon returns to town after abandoning her daughter and step-daughter a decade before. Jemima is known as "close to a witch as the town has ever come" to the townspeople who wait to see what the evil woman will do next to create havoc in their small town.

My Thoughts: I loved this book. Although it didn't have as much adventure as previous books, Donati was still able to keep up the momentum and keep the reader interested. I have to give Donati credit. She knows how balance the overall storyline in her 6 book series from one generation to the other. Other major series, like Outlander, tend to focus too much on one generation (ie Claire and Jamie) and don't develop other characters to take over the storyline in future books. Donati has been able to keep Elizabeth and Nathaniel as key characters while introducing their children as main characters with their own interesting storylines. I loved being able to see Elizabeth and Nathaniel's children grow up throughout the books and take over the storylines.

Donati was able to make small town Paradise and it's inhabitants very realistic. The inhabitants had their own issues, storylines etc that intertwined with the main characters. This book ties up some of the loose ends in storylines concerning Paradise citizens left in previous books.

This final book was a great way to end a wonderful series of books. I loved the final chapter which were excerpts from the newspaper in Paradise. Each installment told what happened to individual members of the Bonner family. Donati kept her book based in reality when dealing with the normal mortality in 1800's North America. Even so, I was literally shocked and saddened at the end when one of the main characters obituary is read. Like I thought that the character would never die?!? lol

I will definitely sad to let this series end but I'm glad that Donati could do it on such a high note. Donati didn't get bogged down by over describing scenes and was able to help the reader picture the scene in few words. She keeps her storyline moving and the reader interested (which, sadly, cannot be said for the Outlander series as many of us trudged through "The Fiery Cross").

I definitely recommend this book as well as the whole series. This is one of the series that I will be adding to my own personal library and the characters will stay with me a very long time.

My Rating: 4.5/5

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great read, can you tell me what the title of the first book in the series is?

Laurie said...

The first book in the series is called "Into the Wilderness" followed by:
"Dawn on a Distant Shore"
"Lake in the Clouds"
"Fire Along the Sky"
"Queen of Swords"
"The Endless Forest"

You can check out this author on one of my favourite sites : http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/d/sara-donati/. Great for finding out what books authors have written and in what order. This series by Donati must be read in order. I hope you enjoy it! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lori,

Looking for some new book ideas today, love all your lists & comments!! I read for the 1st time your 101 things about me list - LOVED it!! You are fun to read ;-)
Maria

Laurie said...

You are most welcome, Maria. Glad you like the blog. I love getting comments from people about the blog! Makes my day!

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