16 April 2010

Book Banter -- Dawn on a Distant Shore

Title: Dawn on a Distant Shore (Wilderness, bk 2.)
Author: Sara Donati
Length: 461 pages
Genre: historical fiction
Where Word Nerd's Copy Came From: Indianapolis Marion County Public Library
Plot Basics: (Can't help the spoilers here, given how closely this book picks up after the first one...)

Soon after becoming the mother of twins, Elizabeth Bonner must once again go to her husband's aid. Nathaniel, along with his father and outdoorsman Robbie MacLachlan, are being held in a Montreal jail. Elizabeth, along with her step-daughter Hannah and Curiosity Freeman, set out with the babies to Montreal to get them out of jail. But their captivity is part of a giant ruse to get the Bonner family back to Scotland to determine if they are they can be heirs to an earl. They cross the Atlantic, plagued by pirates, homesickness and fear of what lies ahead for them in Scotland.

Banter Points: A good second entry in this sweeping historical epic. Donati takes her readers -- who love Nathaniel and Elizabeth -- and puts them in an entirely new setting. Also, it's a great hook because this plot doesn't wrap up some of the loose ends from Into the Wilderness meaning a third book has to happen to resolve those things.

Bummer Points: Maybe it's because Word Nerd read this one too close to the first one, but it felt long. The sea voyage got cumbersome (pages and pages of crossing the Atlantic) when much of the action happened right at the beginning and right at the end. Yes, there were pirates, but not memorable ones and the plot sort of dragged for a time.

Word Nerd Recommendation: She's going to take a short break from this series and then come back to it. She really likes the characters, but spreading out the immersion into 1794 New York will help keep the story fresher.

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