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Lake in the Clouds Mass Market Paperback – April 29, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
In this overly long and melodramatic sequel to Into the Wilderness, Donati continues the saga of the Bonner family as they struggle to survive in the wilderness of New York in 1802. They live on a secluded farmstead, high up on a mountain; the nearest town is named Paradise, a cruel joke for a place full of suspicious, fearful gossipmongers. Nathaniel and Elizabeth Bonner are solid citizens and loving parents, a kind of Ward and June Cleaver in buckskin. Hannah, a bright, courageous young woman who dreams of becoming a doctor, is Nathaniel's half-Mohawk daughter by his first wife. The plot involves all the Bonners, and their white and Indian relatives and friends, in the dangerous scheme of smuggling escaped slaves north to freedom in Canada. Add spurned lovers, bounty hunters, scheming women, colorful crackpots, racial prejudice, cruelty, murder, robbery, illicit sex, smallpox and an epidemic of scarlet fever, and 600 pages go by pretty quickly. There is little suspense, despite the smuggling plotline, and the reader is left merely to keep track of scores of characters (many of whom die during the epidemic). Hannah is the most compelling figure, as she tries to combine Indian and white man's medicines and be accepted in an insular, male-dominated profession while also dealing with an old flame who's tracking a runaway slave. Donati's descriptions of early 19th-century medical procedures, remedies and primitive vaccination techniques are graphic and authentic. Although the story could have been trimmed by at least 100 pages, it will still please fans of soap-opera-style historical fiction.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Set in late-eighteenth-century upstate New York on the edge of the frontier, Donati's latest novel continues the story of Elizabeth, Nathaniel, and Hannah (Nathaniel's half-Indian daughter) Bonner, other members of their extended family, and the various cast of quirky, ill-behaved, or good and honorable characters inhabiting the lonely town of Paradise. The Bonners have been through quite a lot in Donati's past two books; the action this time centers on Hannah, a beautiful and independent-minded young woman who also is celebrated in Paradise for her exceptional healing skills. When a dangerously ill and extremely pregnant runaway slave is discovered near the Bonner home, Hannah insists on nursing the woman back to health, despite the fact that hiding and helping the runaway slave puts her and her family at risk. A further plot twist arrives in the form of a bounty hunter looking to capture the runaway slave. He turns out to be Hannah's childhood friend and first love, the handsome but troubled Liam Kirby. Donati's fans have been eagerly awaiting this third installment in the dramatic lives of the Bonner family, and they will be pleased, for this is a sweeping, enjoyable historical adventure-love story. Kathleen Hughes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Bonner's with their strong moral code of freedom for all are caught up in the mess. All the while Hannah, struggles with her heart and her own moral compass as she travels away from the mountain for the first time to expand her medical knowledge.
I found this to be a satisfying read. I'm invested in the characters and their never a dull moment lives. The author knows how to spin her web.
As families grow, branch out in different interests and move on in their lives, so does Hannah and the Bonners. Hannah's interest in medicine has developed and she takes instruction, temporarily, in Albany under prestigious Drs. She (as well as Elizabeth and Nathaniel) are indirectly and unintentionally involved in running slaves to their freedom and thwarting the slave trade in general. There are bounty hunters and black riots. And Hannah meets a few famous people including the sitting Presidents' Secretary. Quite a coup for a half breed female of this era.
This story gives us a little bit of NY Smallpox vaccination history as well as a scarlet fever epidemic and Hannah's involvement in those areas. And Hannah continues to generate respect from just about everyone she meets.
Personally I loved this story and I thought it was well played. It held me captive with all the drama of slaves running for freedom and all the ugliness involved in slave trade. I love Hannah's character...I love her strength and wisdom. She's complex, serious and all things good.
I continue to feel sorrow for Dr. Richard Todd..and I only hope we hear that he finds happiness in book four.
This book is of the same high quality as her previous ones, with a mix of romance, humour, danger, and always, historical accuracy.
Eight years have passed since the ending of the previous book. The twins are eight years old, Hannah is a woman grown who has been studying under Dr. Todd, and there have been many other changes.
As opposed to slavery as Elizabeth Bonner has always been, it is not surprising that she becomes involved in the rescue of run-away slaves, and her intervention brings danger to them all.
Hannah goes to Manhattan to learn how to protect her people from small-pox, both in her village of Paradise and elsewhere, but her expertise is not always well-received.
Romance comes to her from un unexpected source, and she leaves home again, this time to join her husband in the fight for Indian lands which are forever being taken over by the white population.
Donati moves seamlessly from one venue to another with her characters, keeping all of them `in character' each with their foibles and their distinctive speech patterns.
This is a great gift, and anyone who enjoys good writing and a good story should enjoy this book as much as the preceding ones.