Friday, January 29, 2010

The Endless Forest-Sara Donati

The Endless Forest
Sara Donati
Delacorte, Jan 2010, $27.00
ISBN: 9780553805260

In 1824 the Sacandaga River overflows its banks flooding what had been Paradise, New York. The devastation is everywhere with no family immune from what is described as the hundred year flood. However, after the storm comes calm as people go about the business of surviving, caring for one another and hopefully rebuilding.

Elizabeth and Nathaniel Bonner are sad about the destruction but euphoric that their thirty years old daughter Lily accompanied by her husband Simon has come home from Italy. Also adding to their elation is their adopted daughter Martha is back in town too. However, following Martha to Paradise is her biological mother Jemima, who abandoned her daughter over a decade ago. A cruel woman, she apparently caused the end of her daughter’s engagement to Peyton. Lily’s twin brother Daniel offers to marry Martha, but though she no longer sees him as a sibling but much more she does not want a pity marriage. He does not either as he sees her as a wife not a sister. Neither does his brother Ethan who proposes to family friend Callie.

The final Bonner family historical saga is an interesting tale that provides readers with a glimpse of Upstate New York around the time James Fennimore Cooper was writing the Leatherstocking classics. The story line ties up major loose ends, but the key cast next generation pale next to the villainess who steals the show from the Bonner brood who seem two dimensional in comparison. Still fans will enjoy The Endless Forest.

Harriet Klausner

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