I can't say enough about how much I have enjoyed this series, and I read this last book almost in one sitting, in spite of it being over 600 BIG pages long! I loved the characters, and this final book brings together a number of stories that had been built up to over the series, and the suspense was amazing -- I just couldn't stop reading until I found out how things came out, which didn't happen until almost the last pages!
I was afraid I wouldn't like this book so I put it off for a long time. I'm a little disappointed I waited so long because this book was fantastic. The stories seemed so real and you really started to feel like you were part of the Bonner clan.
I have been a fan of this series since the beginning. Originally, I wanted to read the first book simply because Donati paid homage to Diana Gabaldon by mentioning Claire Fraser and young Ian Murray, from the Outlander series, in passing. As a huge Outlander fan, it was quite the thrill to see their names in another author's story.
Diana Gabaldon also recommended this book. So I read Into the Wilderness. I became hooked. In the first book, you meet Elizabeth Middleton who believes she is to remain a spinster. Because of this she decides to move from England to Paradise, New York where her father still lives. Upon arrival she meet's Nathaniel Bonner, a backwoodsmen. The attraction between them is undeniable despite Elizabeth's continuing efforts to do so.
Everything comes to a head when her father decides to gift her with the land the Bonner's rent, and believe to be rightfully theirs, to Elizabeth for her marriage to another man she has no intention of marrying. So Nathaniel and Elizabeth elope and their love story begins.
There are six books in total that span their lives and their children's lives. My favorites are Jennet and Luke, Simon and Lily, and now Martha and Daniel.
This book was wonderful; one of the best books I've read in a while. I really equate this series with the Outlander series because both are excellent.
Now, I know some of you might be thinking or don't even know that this series is basically a follow up to the movie The Last of the Mochians which is nothing like the book. Some people won't even consider it because of that but I'll tell you; because it starts from Cora and Hawkeye's child's adulthood and continues you can forgive it and love the series for what it is, a wonderfully written story about a family in 18th and 19th century rural New York.
This book was particularly wonderful. I love the first book and the one where Simon and Lily fall in love, though for the life of me I can't remember which one contained that story and now this one is very much in a tie with the first book. Daniel and Martha's story mimics Daniel's parents, Elizabeth and Nathaniel.
Martha and Daniel's love story grows quickly and yet it feels so real and plausible. The characters are fun and enjoyable and we meet the youngest Bonner Birdie who takes full responsibility for the matchmaking of Daniel and Martha.
All of Donati's characters really come to life and leave you wanting just a little more time in Paradise.
Donati did a fantastic job and I loved every minute though I must say if you read this book, have tissues handy for the epilogue.