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Dawn on a Distant Shore

(Wilderness #2)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  15,792 ratings  ·  613 reviews
Settler Elizabeth Bonner must cross the frozen wilderness of New York State in the winter of 1794 in a desperate bid to save her husband from being hanged as an American spy, in the exciting sequel to Into the Wilderness.
Mass Market Paperback, 647 pages
Published May 29th 2001 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2000)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  15,792 ratings  ·  613 reviews

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Start your review of Dawn on a Distant Shore (Wilderness, #2)
He thought anger would cripple her, that grief would rob her of purpose. How little men knew of women; how little this one knew of anything at all.

I wasn't supposed to finish this epic in one day. I wasn't supposed to skip meals. I wasn't supposed to lose an entire day on a distant shore (or two). I wasn't supposed to be swallowed up by the unpredictability of a series with the purity of the wilderness at its heart. I wasn't supposed to outpace my buddy.. but thankfully she is kind and forgiving
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was recommended this series because I loved the Outlander series. The first book was ok, and interested me enough to read the sequel.

This book was not as good as the first one, and the first one wasnt great. I never became very attached to the characters, they didn't seem to have much depth and didn't seem real to me. The story was silly. The last quarter of the book takes place in Scotland, and all the Scottish characters' dialogue is written phonetically. It was annoying to read, and very di
Jun 16, 2009 rated it liked it
update at end

Following up on my "rejoice, fans of Diana Gabaldon" review, I now urge you all to sit down with a proper cup of strong tea. Chai, if you have it. It's time for a reality check.

My previous whole-hearted "two thumbs up" for Sara Donati's "Into the Wilderness" -- the precursor to this book -- still stands. I was thrilled to find the second novel in my local Half Price Books for a measley $3.50. "Dawn on a Distant Shore" (terrible title) follows our Claire-esque heroine traipsing acros
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the Wilderness series by Sara Donati. I love reading this kind of historical fiction. I always love when I feel like I get to know the characters. Elizabeth and Nathaniel are the two MCs in this series. This book brought other characters to the spotlight. I liked getting to know them, but I kind of missed Elizabeth and Nathaniel.

I like the way the story flowed. It felt very structured and maybe even orchestrated. But it worked with main story line. So 4 stars.
This is the 2nd book in the Wilderness series.
I really enjoyed this series so far. This book is an amazing and engaging tale about life in the 18th century among the wilds of the forests of New York.
It pulls you in right from the start. It is very well written.
This book takes you from NewYork to Canada during the most adverse weather conditions to Scotland.
The Bonners infants are kidnapped. Nathaniel and Elizabeth are separated during their perilous journey to Scotland. Nathaniel’s father is hei
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My heart is still pounding. What a rush. Wonderful sequel. Loved every page.
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
1st read 12/17/11-1/24/12
Audiobook 5/31/16 - 6/6/16

Love this series. I feel like I know the characters.
Bookphenomena (Micky)
GR has lost my review once and I can't find the words a second time to review this book. I kind of put my soul into the review and I'm over it. This was a great second in the series, I love the main characters in an unrelenting way and I look forward to the rest of the series. #grsucks
Jenny Q
Jan 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

This book is the sequel to Into the Wilderness, which I read late last year and really enjoyed. The story picks up right where it left off with a gripping series of scenes in which Elizabeth gives birth to twins at home on Hidden Wolf with only the help of her ten-year-old step-daughter. Meanwhile Nathaniel is trapped in the village by a blizzard, desperate to get home to his wife, whom he thinks is only having one baby. A good way to draw the reader into the story and w
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Despite changing the setting not only to a different country but also a different continent and introducing a whole new cast of supporting characters, Donati never loses sight of what made Into the Wilderness so special in her followup novel Dawn on a Distant Shore. After the Bonners learn of their connection to an heirless Scottish Earl, forces seem to conspire against them, taking the family across the Atlantic Ocean to confront their long lost relative. During their adventures, they face jail ...more
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
“It was a rare gift she had, this ability to look ahead, through the loss and heartache, beyond the hardship, to see so clearly the possibilities that waited for them. If they could be strong, if they could persevere.”

Elizabeth and Nathaniel Bonner have settled into life together at the edge of the New York wilderness in the winter of 1794. “Dawn on a Distant Shore,” the second installment to the, “Wilderness” series weaves more of the tale of romance and adventure with the backdrop of the found
Jun 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
Since I enjoyed the first book in this series, Into the Wilderness, I'm not sure why it took me so long to pick up the second book. However, now that I've read it, I don't think I missed much by waiting. This novel just misses some vital spark for me. I also felt a lack of connection to the characters. The fact that I plowed my way through most of this book and then decided to bring other reading material with me on my vacation says it all. I didn't dislike the book, but it was just OK and I wan ...more
Dec 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
The 2nd book in the series, after Into the Wilderness, and a great read. This one didn't keep me up at night like the first one did but I really enjoyed it very much.

It was filled with the same characters I had grown to love and surprises that make me speak out loud in a crowded room with exclamation.

This one is definitely one that flows so well that you realize the book is almost ending but you have yet to get to the end of the story. I am looking forward to reading the sequel.

I would definit
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am really enjoying this series. This 2nd book was much better than the 1st. More character development, more detailing and good plot twists.
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
Rereading: Audiobook from

The Into the Wilderness series is one of my all-time favourite sagas. Filled with adventure, romance and family drama, Donati has written an engaging story that pulls readers into the lives of the Bonner family as they experience the tumultuous issues influencing 18th century North America.

While I liked that this book takes Elizabeth and Nathaniel on a wee bit of an adventure, this wasn't my favourite book in the series. Still a great read but I think I prefe
Angelique Simonsen
And so the epic continues with great twists and turns in their lives!
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
So good! Loved the dynamics at the end!!
Haley Harger
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Better character development and more clear storylines than the first book in the series. Interesting perspectives on this point in American/Canadian/Scottish history.
I had hopes that this second novel would have been filled with corrections of the past sins of it's predecessor, only to find that it had plenty of sins on it's own.

The plot was enjoyable enough- it had twists and turns that weren't quite believable but I was able to swallow them well enough. The problem I had with it was while the first novel in the series had moments of laughable satirical drama, the drama in this sequel was lacking in any realistic solutions. If you have the upper hand, the s
Apr 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Well! The thing I like best about a good romance novel is - DETAIL! I like McNaught's for the same reason. All the characters are portrayed so thoroughly, emotions are whipped, situations are usually explained in such great detail and of the lead characters makes a major decision and the plot takes a twist. Donati's are different here. Its an almost predictable plot, with almost unwavering characters, steadfast in decisions and all of that. Its usually the situations that play a major r ...more
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Nathaniel and Elizabeth Bonner do not have easy lives. Being the central characters in a continuing saga is hard work! This second installment finds them barely starting to build their lives together when wham bam they are separated when Nathaniel must leave for Canada to bail out his father and cousin, who have run afoul of the law. Circumstances conspire as they are wont to do, and Elizabeth is soon on her way to Canada when it reaches her that the trio is being held as spies!
This second ins
Lori McD
I've seen many negative reviews about this book on this site... I'm surprised! Yes, there are elements in the book that Outlander fans could say, "been there, done that", but "Dawn on a Distant Shore" doesn't mimic nor imitate Outlander.

Admittedly, it took a bit for me to become captivated, but I enjoyed the ride. The main characters reveal more of themselves and their past lives... all in character. Newer characters to the story take on deeper nuances.

Suspending belief is part of what fiction
Jan 02, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Perhaps my expectations going into this novel were a little too high. After all, I absolutely LOVED Donati's first in this series, Into The Wilderness. I found this novel to be boring and lacking. It took them 400 pages to get to the titular "distant shore". Very little happened in the lead up to Elizabeth and Nathaniel's arrival in Scotland- we were introduced to some new characters, Nathaniel and his father got tossed in jail. They escaped, Elizabeth and her entourage (Curiosity, Hannah, and h ...more
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm still warming to this series. It's full of characters and sometimes I got lost with all those people. Besides most of them have a double name and sometimes it's difficult. I would need a name list ;)
But it's a really good series, full of surprises and it's well written.

That's only a thing I cannot stand and it's Scottish talking, I don't understand a word. Let's hope our Scottish days are in the past (I cannot believe my eyes! ;) )
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I find I am pulled into these books. They characters and the plots are very layered and there is a lot of action. Almost too much, but none the less I get sucked deeper and deeper into them. This was interesting and nice that it took place somewhere other than Lake In The Clouds. I find that sometimes there is too much description but it really does helps paint a very good picture. Really excellent.
Andrea Wright
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This second book in the series took me longer to read as it was set mainly on ships and in Scotland rather than in the wilderness of the New York area and it seems to have slowed my interest down. The end was sad but good and I am now excited to read book 3 to see what happens next. I sure hope Liam comes back and was just waiting out the sickness that struck while everyone was away!
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this second installment of the Wilderness series though not quite as much as the first. The history was still really interesting and she expanded it to more of a world view which I really liked. Four stars instead of five because the Scots dialogue got very tedious at times, to the point of distraction from the wonderful storytelling. I’m hoping for much less if it (or maybe none 🤞) in the third book.
May 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Well it’s probably bad that the main character annoys the heck out of me, individually and in her pairing/marriage. All my favorite characters are secondary or tertiary ones - Curiosity, Granny Stoker, and Robbie especially. It also took me forever to get into this, but I enjoyed the story of the second half of the book. I do recommend the audiobook - I love the reader’s Scottish accent!
Anita Jackson
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
oh my goodness, I love this series so much!
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There's a new novel coming out September 10,: Where the Light Enters. More about the novel here. or on Sara's FaceBook page.

Sara Donati is the pen name of Rosina Lippi, also here on Goodreads because she writes too. All book reviews you'll find under Rosina's name.

Other books in the series

Wilderness (6 books)
  • Into the Wilderness (Wilderness, #1)
  • Lake in the Clouds (Wilderness, #3)
  • Fire Along the Sky (Wilderness, #4)
  • Queen of Swords (Wilderness, #5)
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