Your letters, (and sometimes) my answers

Conan Doyle ms. Sherlock Holmes
Conan Doyle ms. Sherlock Holmes: Is this not fun?

I thought I had lost these copies of letters and emails from readers, but stumbled across the file today.  This isn’t all the correspondence, but a selection of notes that made me think or laugh or reminded me why I write.  Some of them go back twenty years, and I haven’t kept up this file (because I couldn’t find it) for ten years or so.

Today I was also reminded that my filing routine is god awful. Important docs can show up in one of four places, if they show up at all.  It’s not the way my mind works — that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.  The only upside is that while frantically searching for the 2016 business tax returns, I come across things like this file of letters.

Things I would love to have: a business manager, a housekeeper, a gardener, a zillion bucks.

Here are the letters:


Dear Sara, 
 
            I have never been much of a reader.  But, when I found Into the Wilderness that all changed.  I found I could not put the book down.  When I had finished it I rushed to find the next book.  I have since read all four books of the series and am currently waiting patiently (as patiently as possible) for Queen of Swords. I thoroughly enjoy snuggling up on the couch with your books and letting myself be swept into the characters’ lives.  It’s like having a break from all the hustle and bustle of reality.  If only life could be as amazingly adventurous as it is in the books.
            I have read the first 3 books at least four times.  I find something new each time I read them.  I will be re-reading all four books now while I wait for Queen of Swords.  Keep them coming!!!
 
Yours truly,
 
Jessica G.


I just discovered your first three books at the library and I love them – so much so, that I am buying all of them to retain permanently!  Can only seem to find hardback copies on Ebay, and not on Amazon.com which is really strange.  There is no bookstore in my town to purchase them direct.  I love your characters and their sincerity and honesty

Cheers

Maureen K.


Hi Sara,

 I live in Australia, a huge melting pot of different nationalities which like America grew from a migrant base,  was also a British colony but unlike you did not have a revoloution to sever out ties.

I love reading frontier fiction and am enjoying your books but must confess my interests are more toward the spirit world, such as the Aboriginal Dreamtime, Canadian Manatou, American Indian folklaw and all Celtic legends.

I feel a strong affinity with your indian caracters, more so than with the british ones but find myself wondering if you will ever write a book or a series just on folk law, do you have any plans along these lines?.

I look foward to your 5th book,

John.

[John — not at the present time. I have three novels crowded into my head at once, all needing to be written before I can take on any other projects. But I appreciate your interest in aboriginal laws/rights, and will continue to try to do the subject justice.]


 

Dear Sara…….I just finished “Fire Along the Sky”, yes, I did read the previous three…in order I might add!!  This is the best series I have ever read, you have an wonderful gift for storytelling.  I am going to have trouble waiting for “Queen of Swords”.  I am anxious to know about what Jennet’s been through and how long it takes Luke and Hannah to find her.  All four books were non-stop-reads…can’t-put-em-down.  Best wishes, Sindy

P.S.  This is gonna sound wacky but you look like a girl I went to high school with and of course I can’t put my hands on my year book (the thing has probably disintegrated by now). Did you graduate from Lakeshore High School around 1974?

[Sindy — I did graduate in 1974, and I did graduate in Chicago. But from St. Benedict High School.]


Dear Sara,

I discovered Into the Wilderness several years ago completely by accident, and have been hooked ever since.  I just finished Fire Along the Sky.  It’s a good thing, too, because I wasn’t able to put it down for three days.  My 16-month old daughter was upset with me, my work has suffered, and I have actually found myself dreaming about Lily Bonner.

Usually when an author gets this far along in a series, the writing suffers.  Or the characters do, or the plot just isn’t as compelling as the first one.  Not so with this series.  Hannah’s character has only gotten deeper (and she was never two-dimensional to me to begin with.)  Lily Bonner is a fantastic character, and I have very much enjoyed your writing about mother-daughter relationships, having become a mother myself so recently.  Simon Ballentyne is simply hot (if a trifle hairy for my taste) and my heart is breaking for Daniel.  I can’t wait to find out what Jennet’s been up to (I hope she’s making that b@stard’s life a living hell).

I was about halfway through Fire Along the Sky when I realized that there was no way you were going to wrap things up by the end of the book.  While my first response was an expletive that I will refrain from repeating, at the same time I felt profoundly grateful to have another adventure in the works.

I told my two best friends (who are also hooked) that I have enjoyed Fire even more than the other books – which I thought were fantastic, one and all.  It’s something about how you never seem to leave a character behind – not even Liam Kirby.  And the way you link characters together without being patronizing to the reader – it’s definitely something very special to read.

Thanks so much for this world, Sara.  Have fun writing Queen of Swords.  I know I’ll enjoy reading every word.

Sincerely,

~Andi

[Andi — I think the novels get better as I go along, too. Thanks for the lovely compliment.]


Hello. I am an avid reader of your work. I just finished Fire Along the Sky and then had to re-read all the previous books in the series. I can’t wait to find out where Hannah’s life will take her in the new book.

I just stumbled on your weblog and noticed an entry about 15 books you wanted your daughter to read. The list of 100 classics you referred to is one I have been meaning to read and check off for a year now, but it has been something I think I should do and haven’t yet done. I would be curious which 15 books made a lasting impression on you. In going through the webblog, I couldn’t access the final list of 15 you gave her. Can you please forward that? I am interested to see your list. So far, I have enjoyed many of your recommended books. Thanks, and I really appreciate your work.  Sharla

[Sharla — actually, I didn’t have a list of 15 books. I could make about ten different lists of 15 books each, depending on the topic. And maybe I’ll do that some day.]


Sara/Rosina;
Not quite sure which name to call you, but as I am a Sarah (with a H), I find myself liking the thought of a fellow S girl.  I know you are probably inundated with letters from fans, but I was once told that for every response you get, ten more people out there think the same thing.  I only write when the urge is strongest and I cannot get the subject out of my mind.  I just finished your fourth book.  I read them all in less than a month.  I found out about you from Diana Gabaldon’s website.  I will admit I felt a bit like a thirsty nomad having severe withdrawal’s from her books and yours were a godsend.  I truly love the characters and where you have taken them.  I am sure you would say that they have take you on a journey, but I really think that the true measure of an author is how much the reader cares for the characters.  I honestly gasped when Elizabeth’s children were taken away in the ship and I will say that your books are not predictable.  I also like the way you write the family understandings between each other, I never feel that the connections are contrived.   I was a bit skeptical that I would love your books as much as I  do, I realize that Diana didn’t want us to consider your books in light of hers, but when you like a series so much, it is hard not to.  But now, after four books, I do see them for their own merits and love them.  So now I feel like a rabid dog frothing at the mouth for your next book.  Not a very flattering vision of me, but I am sure you get my message, that I love your writing and will wait with great anticipation for your next book.  Thank you for your time, I hope this finds you well.  Sarah


G-DAY SARA, I LIVE IN A SMALL COUNTRY TOWN IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA,
I JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU HOW WONDERFUL YOUR BOOKS ARE, AND TELL YOU THEY HAVE GIVEN ME A LOT OF JOY READING THEM,

I LOVE TO READ THE STORIES YOU TELL
YOU MAKE ME FEEL I KNOW THE CHARACTERS SO WELL
I SIT AND READ FOR HOURS EACH DAY
FOR ONCE I START I CANNOT PUT IT AWAY
WHEN I TURN THAT LAST PAGE I SIGH
I AM SO SAD IT HAS TO END, I COULD CRY
BECAUSE NOW I MUST WAIT PATIENTLY FOR YOUR NEXT BOOK
I CANNOT WAIT TO TAKE A LOOK
YOUR BOOKS I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO TOUCH
SO. THANK YOU SARA SO VERY MUCH
SARA PLEASE DON’T EVER STOP WRITING THE WILDERNESS SERIES, I AM MOST SURE THERE ARE MANY LOYAL FANS OUT THERE, JUST LIKE ME, WHO WILL ALWAYS BE WAITING TO READ YOUR BOOKS.

FROM JULIE IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA


Sara, I’m 73 plus, and have just found your books. The first one I bought, was Lake in the Clouds. On getting it home, and starting to read, I discovered, there were 3 others preceding it. ( Oh dear ) I promptly put it down, and went hunting for the others. So far I’ve read Into the Wilderness,and Dawn on a Distant Shore, and am now waiting to find Hidden Wolf, which I believe is the third in the series ???? , and here I am still sitting on Lake in the Clouds. So I have tucked that one aside. Hoping to get Hidden Wolf sometime soon.
How I have enjoyed these books,
Please write fast, as I’m not sure how many years this Great Granny has got left. I believe you have another one to follow Lake in the Clouds.
Please God grant me another 10 years at least, to enjoy these books.
Sara, thank you so much, for writing them.
I remain a faithful fan.

Win D.

Note: Sara replied to Win and let her know that actually, Lake in the Clouds is the third book, and that Hidden Wolf was its working title. There’s more about this in the FAQ.


Dear Rosina,

I am on my lunch hour here at my place of employment, and I was kicking myself because I forgot to bring Into The Wilderness with me to read. However, I got onto your website and was thoroughly taken with your Q&A section. My husband and I live in the country w/four horses and Roxie (a red dog) and each winter since we’ve moved, I’ve had the pleasure of reading some of the best novels of my life, and ITW is certainly one of them. I’m halfway through it now (…) I Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift with me and the other people who have read your works. Historical novels such as this are not only entertaining but educational, and as precious as time is, I’m always happy to get the most out of even my leisure time. God bless you and your family and happy holidays.

Sincerely,
Rose


Dear Sara,

I have just finished Lake in the Clouds and I have to tell you how much I love your latest book in the Wilderness Series.

The first 2 were terrific and unforgettable, but there is something extra special about your latest. I think its the fact that now, after reading the first two and getting to know and love the characters so much (and hate some of them too!), I felt from the moment I read the first page of Lake in the Clouds, that I was back in Paradise, that I was an invisible part of the Bonner clan. To almost feel my own head flutter along with Hannah as she shares her first kiss with Strikes the Sky and so many other wonderful moments.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your amazing talent, to bring these people to life to millions of readers is incredible. Now enough praise, get in there and write us a fourth book!

Best wishes,
Nerida


Dear Sara,
I just wanted to write to tell you how much I love your Wilderness books; I’ve just rushed through Lake in the Clouds. I suppose I should have re-read the first two, but I was too impatient, to read the next installment. It’s like a treasure, the story, I love the narrative descriptions on the Mohawks, because it is practically gone now, the old ways, that is; the interweaving of the stories flows so well, I love all the wonderful characters, and can’t wait to find out how Hannah goes, what a beauty she is. I do love Nathaniel and Hawkeye and I’m so glad Elizabeth found such a hunk!.

Best Wishes,
Annette W.


I just finished Dawn on a Distant Shore, and I loved it.

Thank you for writing your books.

The only part of the first or the second book that moved me to tears was when Hannah asked Hawkeye to go the village with her as she had to kill the bear. I tell you, the tears were freely flowing!!

I also wanted to comment on something that I had read in frequently asked questions when the issue of borrowing Claire is discussed. I do not think you are a Diana Wannabe. I loved your series for what it was.

I look forward to reading book 3.

Your homepage says you live in the Pacific Northwest. I live in the most beautiful place in Washington State…Port Angeles :)

I look forward to going to one of your readings. I will keep an eye out for the next ones, as I found the three you have scheduled in Seattle to late to go to any of them.

Again thank you.

Sheri


Dear Sara,

I just moments ago and very reluctantly read the last page of Into the Wilderness, and am taking this brief moment to write to you before picking up Dawn on a Distant Shore.

I have recently arrived in New York from the countryside of Australia and seeking solace in the confusion of my new city life reached out to find unbelievable inspiration in your writing. At first, afraid I had chosen a soft romance that offered only company and kind words, instead I found your words provided me with inspiration, inner strength and renewed commitment to a new life on the East Coast of America. I have fallen in love with your characters and find myself newly appreciative and grateful of the comforts of my modern life in comparison to the hardships and trials that these pioneering men and woman of courage faced.

Thank you again, and I look forward with much anticipation to your future writings in the Wilderness series.

kind regards,
Penelope M.

[Penelope — My goodness. I am so pleased I could offer you some distraction in a challenging situation. Best of luck.]


Ms Donati-

Lake in The Clouds was well worth the wait!! I¹m half way through and cannot put it down. I¹m an avid reader but all mysteries and thrillers (James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, Hooper, Kellerman). I have never read a romance in my life. In fact when my grandmother gave me Into The Wilderness, I thought she was losing it.

Well, I figured I’d at least read the first chapter and add it to the library donation stack. Ha! I read that book non-stop, even called in sick one day so I could finish it. Your series is among my favorites and sits right next to Stephen King¹s The Stand and Preston/Childs Relic. There is enough excitement, history, and suspense that any self-proclaimed “romance hater” will say, “Please let her be working on the 4th in the series!!!”.

Can’t thank you enough for such a great story and will be keeping an eager eye out for your next.

L.Donahue

 


An author named Sara Donati
Writes novels that I like aloti.
Her books I don’t lend.
She gets more to spend
On luxuries like a Bugatti.

Nice work!
Yeah! Who else to play Nathaniel but D.D.L!
I read your tales on tape when I work and when I drive.
Keep it up!

Regards, John

[John — lovely. bravo. But just so you know, I drive a Honda.]


Hi,
These books were the first adult books that i have actually enjoyed. Where did you get your inspiration from?

My favourite sections of the books, were your amazing descriptions, the best one, in my opinion, would have to be in the first book, where Elizabeth sees Half Moon Lake for the first time, and you described the felled trees as mens morning stubble. For some reason it has lodged itself in my brain.

I have read many young adult books that have ‘involved’ me, and I really felt that I was the character, but never have i read and actually found myself; unaware of the time, feeling the wanting Elizabeth felt, emotions such as anticipation and excitement flowing endlessly through my dull veins. Your books are excellent and I would strongly recomend them to anyone.

I know that you will get an astronomical amount of e-mails that tell you how great you are, or what parts of your books you could change, but, and I know I don’t have a degree in English or anything, but whatever happens, don’t ever change any part of your books.They touched me in a way, I am sure any other book I read will find hard to out do. Go with what you feel in your heart, because if thats what you’ve been doing so far, keep on trusting it, because only you will know what is good, and believe me they are far better than good. They are amazing, and I am looking forward to your next book.

Thank-you,
Sarah W.


Hello again,

Well, I don’t understand why, but once again, I gave your books out to some friends for a good summer read. I feel like Oprah trying to get people to start reading. I just feel that most people don’t read due to the fact that they just don’t know how to find a fun book that they can enjoy, smile, and cry, with. Time always is the excuse but like anything you really want to do, you always find it if you want it bad enough. Anyway, I gave them out and I think I have created some Monsters, you were a big hit. I love to read and I seem to have been the brunt of jokes due to my habit. Now, I have to direct some friends in what to read next. Thank goodness I am retired and can spare the hours it takes to search for the best writers to dive into and become part of.

I really just want to say that you have and will always be one of the few writers I can just read and reread your books. I will always be keeping an eye out for the next book, but take time and enjoy some of the summer before it is gone.

 

Thanks for a great summer,
Diana T.


 

My name is Shaina. I am only 13, but I am in love with your books. You see, one day my mom was reading this book and all of a sudden she says, “oh my gosh! I know that character!”(or something like that) she had found the mention of Claire, Jamie and Ian in Into the Wilderness (we had already read Diana Gabaldon’s books; we own them in paperback and hardcover). So, I just HAD to read it. I’ll have you know that I am the biggest bookworm on earth and all my friends think I’m some sort of wacko. So I got sucked in. I’ve read them both at least 3 times and am hoping to own them ASAP.

A couple months ago, I somehow got talking to my Social Studies teacher about books. It turned out she is as crazy about Diana Gabaldon as my mother and I are. So I’m like… there’s these books you HAVE to read. Guess which ones I was talking about? So now she’s hooked on you too — I wonder who we’ll get next?

Just so you know — if you’re kind of shocked at a 13 year old reading books like yours, lemme put it this way: I read Outlander when I was 11 — my ma couldn’t stop me after that. I’m now a romance addict. My grandma thinks it’s scandalous. Oh well.

Shaina

=====
“Chocolate + Books = LIFE” -Me


 

dear rosina,

into the wilderness is the best book I have ever read and in my opinion the best book in the world and beyond,my name is Lauren and I am addicted to the written word and your book has opened my eyes and my heart . I often think that I may be thinking of myself in the characters and I can definitely see the characters in myself ,my friends often come across me curled up with this book every where and as most of them draw the line at books over 200 pages 876 is far out of their range. even though I got your book about 2 months ago I had read it within a day and have read it about a million times since and I have read dawn almost as many times . I was so happy when I read that there were 3 more books to come and I know that you will make them as good as wilderness although I think you have to be magical to be so good. I know you said no more name plates on your website but if you could find the time it would mean the world to me and I would treasure it always, you probably have many requests for an exeption but no one could love your books as much as I do

your #1 fan
Lauren M.
P.S. I am 14 yrs old


 

A couple weeks ago I was at the library, considering rereading Diana’s series, or starting over with Dorothy Dunnett’s, but instead I asked the reference librarian if she perhaps could give me a couple suggestions for similar authors. I can’t remember who she told me to look up, but when I went to the shelf, the author was a modern mystery writer — not a historical fiction. But I looked down from the stool and saw Diana Gabaldon’s name on a book, recommending it — and thus I found you, and Into the Wilderness. I finished it, and was overjoyed to find out about Dawn on a Distant Shore (almost done . . . ) — What a wonderful series, what beautiful and full research you have done. Please don’t take the time to write back as I want the next book out ASAP!

Rita R.


Dear Sara Donati,

First of all, let me tell you that my english may be not too good or expresively correct, but I will try to do it my best.

I am writing to you from SPAIN, on the coast nearby the mediterranean sea. This is to tell you that I have just read your book IN WILDERNESS, which has been translated to spanish as EN TIERRAS SALVAJES. I have liked very, very much the story of NATHANIEL and ELIZABETH and what I want to know is if the second part of the story will be published in spanish.

I am looking forward to reading how it goes on. Please, send me an e mail telling the date when it will be published in Spain. If you don’t know it yet, answer me anyway to be sure that someone has received this message. Many tahnks.

Eva S.


Sara,

I’d just like to thank you for your wonderful books. I have thoroughly enjoyed both “Into the Wilderness” and “Dawn on a Distant Shore”. Am eagerly awaiting “Hidden Wolf”.

It was sheer luck that I bought “Dawn on a Distant Shore”. I read the blurb and thought “maybe too mushy”, picked it up, put it down, and finally thought “I can ditch it if it’s no good”. Am ever so grateful that I bought it. In my opinion, you have a great gift. There’s nothing like a book that you can’t put down. Thanks again.

Gail R.


 

I have to tell you that I just loved your book Into the Wilderness. Last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have my left breast removed. I had to go thru chemotherapy afterwords and in one of my lucid moments, I picked up your book. It got me thru some hard times and as much as I loved to read, I just couldn’t get into a book and forget what I was going thru, but your book did that for me. Thank you.

K.N.


Ms. Donati,
I have just finished “DDS” and enjoyed each and every word. I find your writing style not only entertaining but intellectually stimulating. You actually give the reader some credit, and allow them to use their brains. I enjoy not being able to acurately predict each major event and it keeps me turning the pages. My favorite part of your adventures though comes from the writing itself. Your un-canny ability to intersperse pertinent character traits and gestures with an incredible dialogue gives the reader another dimension to work with. The reader can almost see the character under a microscope which keeps your story so real and alive. This precious glimpse of the characters is golden. I’m not sure I have read any other authors who make this look so easy -surely it is not. For this reason your characters are REAL. (In fact I ran into a clerk at the grocery store yesterday who startled me because of his mannerisms, facial expression, and stature – He was Nethanial- Thank God you space your books out or I would not have a life) But the ‘vacation’ has been great! Thank you, for such a wonderful treat. And please -keep up the hard work. I can hardly wait to find out what’s in store for Luke, Hannah, and Jennet -not to mention Nathaniel and Elizabeth.

Fondly,
Jeannie W.


Dear SARA DONATI,
I am on page 101 of your second novel
i am enjoying it.
Unfortunately ,a friend of mine, Jan ,wrote an email to me yetserday saying she was “upset that babies were kidnapped and she HOPED I had gotten that FAR in the book!!
wel do know what page that happens on?
I hope she has not ruined the whole book (suspense )for me i tell U,it takes all kinds

Nancy T.


Subj: Hi Mom!!!
I was searching for sites about your book (Well…I was really looking to see if there was anything about me) and came across an “E-mail Sara” so I did. There was only one thing about me, and all it says is that you live with your husband and daughter and three cats blah blah blah the usual… but lots of good stuff about you. By the way there was tons of stuff on the Altavista search “Into the Wilderness” By Sara Donati, I came across tons of sites and NO FlAMES AT ALL!!! (By the way… considering this message… perhaps you should… reconsider a certain movie… something like… The Sixth Sense… that was it)
Love Your always loving and very brave (When it comes to movies) daughter

 

INTO THE WILDERNESS is one of my favorite books. I’ve read it twice and plan to start it again soon.

I’ve always been an American History buff and you told an excellent “history” story. Your characters are good, have depth, and make you want to get to know them better.

I have been watching since last fall for the sequel.

I’m an avid reader who has a 4 hour per day commute from CT to NYC so I do read a lot. I primarily read Patricia Cornwell, David Baldacci, Linda Fairstein, and most everything on Oprah’s book club.

My only criticism of your book (which isn’t serious) is the weight. That’s one heavy book to be lugging around in a back pack.

Carol


 

Donati’s Tale

Just sit right down and read a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip.
It started up in Canada,
Aboard a Scottish ship.

The Man was a mighty Backwoodsman,
His Lady brave indeed.
Come follow them in their search
For three kids in need.
Three kids in need.

The story started years ago,
Surprises are in store.
If not for convoluted twisty turns
Of plot I’d tell you more.
Of plot I’d tell you more.

Dear Sara wrote our names in thanks, We’re
Pleased to see them there.
With Rosina, and In-laws, too
Brother Septimus and his nose,
The Sailor Guys, Diana, and Anonymous
Here in Dawn on a Distant Shore.

So this is the tale of the Bonner Crew,
We’ve been waitin’ a long, long time.
We’re glad to have them back again,
We like this book just fine.

So Sara go and garden now,
Your very best is out.
It’s up to us to spread the word,
“Must Read It” we will shout.

No phone, no work, no fam’ly time,
Just a single luxury,
We’re reading dear dear Sara,
It’s as WOWonderful as can be.

So join us here each page my friends,
The plot twists you’ll adore,
And meet a few new characters,
Here in Dawn on a Distant Shore


Hi Sara

I have just finished Dawn on a Distant Shore today – I really enjoyed it (maybe even more than Into the Wilderness). I was interested to read that you picture Nathaniel as Daniel Day Lewis – that’s who I pictured as well.

I wondered about Flora’s garden, which you described so feelingly – was it based on a real garden? As a keen gardener I always appreciate an author who notices gardens (I wonder if Elizabeth begged some cuttings to take home?).

Thanks for such an enjoyable read – I am looking forward to the sequel.

Kate M.


Dear Sara, I have completed reading Dawn on a Distant Shore. I had my doubts that the second book could be near as wonderful as the first but it was incredible. Your talent is such a gift that only God Himself could give. I received it on February 28th, and had finished reading it by March 10th. Every waking moment that was available to me I spent furiously turning the pages.
I know you said that you will not be writing about overseas travel any time soon, but you did a fabulous job. There were moments that I could smell the ocean myself. I almost fainted when the children were taken. My heart was racing, I was breathing so heavily, and I couldn’t read fast enough. Then when Rob died and I cried my eyes out! At first I was a little angry at you for killing him off, but it just flowed with the direction that the story was taking. I admire you now for doing that.
This book was also one of a love affair. Not of Elizabeth and Nathaniel, but one of a mother and her children. That bond of love is far greater than that of a man and a woman. This entire book was about the relationships between parents and their children and no matter what, that bond cannot be broken.
Thank you again for writing two of the most incredible books that I have ever read. You are a wonder to me. God has just given you so much! I hope that you feel blessed. I am insanely taken with both of these books and continue to read them over and over until your next one is available.

Your faithful fan and friend,
Nicole B.


Dear Sara

After years of trying to convince me that there was something magical to reading books, my little sister bought me Into the Wilderness.I now understand what she was meaning.

Thank you so much for letting me see how swept away you can get with a GOOD book. I havent experienced the feeling of emptiness I felt when I finished the book, since. After coming to know the characters so well it was heartbreaking when there was no more to read.

A few days ago I bought Dawn on Distant Shore, but as yet havent taken it out of its bag…..I am anticipating the day I can look into their lives again, but know that eventually I will have to experience that feeling of emptiness.

Thank you again, and I look forward to reading further novels.

Warmest Regards
Wendy J.
Tauranga – New Zealand


Ms. Donati-
Just wanted to thank you so much for the gift of Into the Wilderness! I read it last summer when I was going through a really rough time with my health. I was in constant and often severe pain, and the book really helped me to escape into another world and forget about my pain for awhile. I was reading a lot then, because it was almost the only thing I could handle doing, but this book really touched me like none of the others did. Rather than giving my copy away (as I do with most of the paperbacks I buy), I’ve hung onto it so that by keeping it on my shelf, it would serve as a reminder to get the sequel! Today I was online and saw the book on my shelf and thought I’d check into it – imagine my surprise and joy to find out the new book is due out in a few days! What timing! I am starting to get my health back, but still have a lot of painful moments and am looking forward to diving into the new book and forgetting all about what is going on with me for a short time, at least!

I just wanted to let you know that I felt like the book helped keep my sanity at a time when I was absolutely miserable…it was more than just a good book, but like a medication for me! Thank you so much for writing it and the upcoming sequel!

Warmly,
Tamie D.


 

I feel the need to share my story with respect to Into The Wilderness,,,, if you have time please bare with me as I need to set this up a bit.

Currently I live in N. Minnesota, but I am originally from Northern California,,,,lake Shasta area. I have a beautiful Native wife and 5 great children. 2 of my daughters are sun dancers (at sacred piercing ceremonies) and we are very close friends to Dennis Banks, his family, and grandchildren. I am a big proud, wannabee mountain man who is an avid reader of David Thompson’s “wilderness series”. I was definitely born 2 centuries too late. I am a logistics corporate investigator for a very large retailer. I am usually on a plane 3 days a week my area covers New York to Sacramento.

Better said, I am trying to paint a picture of myself as a big, proud, old school, old values kind of guy.

Late last fall I was walking through the Minneapolis airport looking for a book. I usually choose a book by its cover “new concept huh”, as a Ph.D. you have now figured out,,, I am not. Thank God for spell check. Anyhow, There is about 15 different little book store’s in msp airport. I saw “into the wilderness” and liked the cover, but liked the title even more. But then I saw it !!!!! the dreaded woman author @~$&~*$ and I put the book back down and walked to the next store. After 4 stores with your book on every shelf and 3 minutes before boarding I swallowed my pride and bought it. The thoughts chick flick, luvvy duvvy, mushy stuff was going through my head.

My destination was Wilton New York as we opened a new 1.5 million square foot Distribution Center there. This would be my first time in New York. On the flight there I started flipping through the book and noticed that the story was in the same geographical area that I was headed to.

I started reading, and was in absolute ahhhh, I could not put it down. When I arrived I could not believe it, your land marks were right down the street. I even found myself upset at our company for building this facility to close to the Sacandaga river in the book. Which is now damned and is also a lake.

Instead of working, I grabbed my local investigator and we drove up into the area. What a treat it is to be able to have this book in hand, and be looking at the surroundings. Your book is now a topic on email amongst a lot of people/friends in our company and they are hooked !

Your unintentional payback !

I HAD TO WAIT 3-4 MONTHS FOR DAWN ON A DISTANT SHORE ! However I had the pleasure of emailing my friends in Minnesota that I found it first !

I had Barnes and Noble look it up after you left me hanging. I have looked in 12 different airports in the last two weeks and could not find it. Well I picked it up today at a bookstore in Pasadena, Ca. called Vromans.

Please except my sincere apology for being so ignorant with respect to my preferences of a male gender author. You hooked me, I am a wiser and humble man. Thank you, and keep em coming.

Feel free to use my testimonial for all those other proud men that are as ignorant as I.

p.s. My other favorite book is Last of the Mohicans and of course Nathaniel is my hero. My 3 year old son’s name is Nathaniel, and David Thompson’s main character in the wilderness series main character is Nathaniel King.


Sara:

Being a devote of Diana Gabaldon, I was reluctant to read your books because I thought nothing could match the Outlandish series. Please accept my apologies. I have finally read Into the Wilderness and am in the middle of Dawn on a Distant Shore and now know how wrong I was..

Into the Wilderness was outstanding. I had many a sleepy morning at work because I couldn;t but the book down. I thought Elizabeth and Nathaniel and all of the other characters in the book were perfectly drawn and I KNOW that Elizabeth and Nathaniel are a match for Jamie and Claire any time. I am now at the part in Dawn on a Distant Shore where the children have been taken by Moncrief. I am trying to take my time because I don’t want the book to end but am having a difficult time slowing down. Will there be another episode in the Bonner’s lives or will this be it? I hope not.

Thanks you for these wonderful books and I look forward to more of your work.

Elaine B.

 

 
 

Novels I re-read and thus, recommend

I posted a list like this once before, some years ago, and find that it is out of date. So here’s a more recent take on the type of fiction that is most likely to draw me in. 

Note: I’m not claiming these are the best novels ever written. I know for a fact that some of them will raise eyebrows; the point is, I felt enough resonance with that piece of storytelling that I go back for more now and then. There are also novels I truly admire, but could not bring myself to read again.  So you won’t find them here.

This list is not divided up by genre, so let me warn you: you’ll find pretty much everything here, from espionage and romance to very dark crime and sci-fi. And then there’s Austen and Dickens.

  • Richard Adams The Girl in a Swing 
  • Jane Austen Persuasion; Pride and Prejudice
  • Toni Cade Bambara  Gorilla, My Love
  • Amy Bloom Come to Me
  • James Lee Burke  In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead; White Doves at Morning; A Morning for Flamingos
  • A.S. Byatt  Angels & Insects; Possession
  • Chelsea Cain Heartsick (Gretchen Lowell series)
  • Jetta Carleton The Moonflower Vine  
  • Michael Chabon The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
  • Loretta Chase  Lord Perfect; Lord of Scoundrels
  • Wilkie Collins The Woman in  White
  • Laurie Colwin A Big Storm Knocked It Over 
  • Jennifer Crusie Crazy for You; Faking It; Welcome to Temptation
  • Judy Cuevas  Dance; Bliss
  • Junot Díaz The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  • Stephen Dobyns The Burn Palace 
  • Dorothy Dunnett Niccolo Rising  (House of Niccolo; 8 volumes)
  • Daphne Du Maurier  Rebecca
  • George Eliot  Adam Bede 
  • Ken Follett Eye of the Needle
  • Ariana Franklin City of Shadows; Mistress of the Art of Death
  • Charles Frazier Cold Mountain
  • Thomas Hardy Far from the Madding Crowd; The Mayor of  Casterbridge
  • Mo Hayder Poppet  (the Jack Caffery series)
  • John Fowles The French Lieutenant’s Woman
  • Mark Helprin  A Soldier of the Great War 
  • Judith Ivory  Beast 
  • Baine Kerr  Wrongful Death 
  • Stephen King  The Stand; Black House; Dolan’s Cadillac
  • Barbara Kingsolver Animal Dreams; The Poisonwood Bible
  • Lisa Kleypas  Smooth Talking Stranger; Blue-Eyed Devil
  • Stieg Larsson The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and the next two)
  • Margaret Lawrence  Hearts and Bones (Hannah Trevor series; 4 volumes)
  • Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird 
  • Dennis Lehane Gone, Baby Gone; Darkness Take My Hand
  • Elmore Leonard Pagan Babies, Cuba Libre, Get Shorty
  • Gabriel Garcia Márquez A Hundred Years of Solitude
  • McCarry, Charles: The Bride of The Wilderness
  • Larry McMurtry  Lonesome Dove
  • Jacquelyn Mitchard  Second Nature; The Breakdown Lane
  • Toni Morrison Beloved, The Bluest Eye 
  • Jojo Moyes  The Girl You Left Behind 
  • Alice Munro  Friend of my Youth
  • Audrey Niffenegger  The Time Traveler’s Wife 
  • Tim O’Brian  The Things They Carried
  • Michael Ondaatje  The English Patient
  • Joseph O’Neill Netherland
  • Ann Patchett The Magician’s Assistant 
  • Susan Elizabeth Phillips Ain’t She Sweet 
  • Annie Proulx The Shipping News; Wyoming Stories
  • Mario Puzo The Fortunate Pilgrim
  • Mary Doria Russell A Thread of Grace 
  • Richard Russo   Straight Man; Empire Falls 
  • Karin Slaughter Will Trent series (8 volumes) 
  • Jane Smiley A Thousand Acres 
  • Scott Spencer Waking the Dead; Endless Love
  • Jessica Davis Stein Coyote Dream 
  • Kathryn Stockett  The Help 
  • William Styron  Sophie’s Choice 
  • Barry Unsworth Sacred Hunger
  • Gore Vidal  Burr; Lincoln
  • Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Edith Wharton  Ethan Frome
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder The Long Winter

 

 

all the novels. so far.

 

Publication Order of Wilderness Books

 
Into the Wilderness(1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dawn on a Distant Shore(2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lake in the Clouds(2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fire Along the Sky(2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Queen of Swords(2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Endless Forest(2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
 

Publication Order of Gilded Hour Books

 
The Gilded Hour(2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Where the Light Enters(2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
 

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

 
Homestead(1997)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Tied to the Tracks(2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square(2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle