04 February 2010

Love of Reading Month

For those without school-age children nearby to tell you, February is Love of Reading month. And I thought I'd take this opportunity to mention a book that I recently finished reading that I loved. (Get it, love, reading, Love of Reading month?)

The Endless Forest by Sara Donati, aka Rosina Lippi, is the final book in the historical fiction series started with Into the Wilderness. In the series, the Bonner Family, headed by Nathaniel and Elizabeth, have trekked into the back country of New York and Canada to preserve family holdings, crossed the Atlantic Ocean to reclaim stolen children to find unknown family in Scotland and Canada and survived the war of 1812 with many scars. Characters brought together through hate, greed, conniving, manipulation, friendship, courtship and love.

I've read each book many times and now, with my Audible subscription, listened the audiobooks as well. (I'll use this month's credits to purchase the last audiobook in the series. Can't wait.) I was drawn in to the Bonner saga with that first book when Elizabeth rode into the village of Paradise and could almost feel the electric spark between her and Nathaniel. I instantly fell in love with the characters. (Thanks to Jen for introducing me to the series.)

Please forgive me if I just give you just the highlights without much background detail. Trust me, you'll want to read all the books for yourself.

Onto this last book ... it made me laugh, made me cry, made me gasp.

I chuckled when Curiosity, a dear Bonner family friend, welcomed me back to the story, letting me know that the Bonners are still around but not unaffected by change, and wouldn't I like to know what change? Of course I would, but she makes me settle in and wait for the story to unfold. She's a tease that Curiosity. I laughed out loud when Daniel Bonner gets the best of Martha, his new bride, as she found the note he left for her, letting her know he's onto her and her search for that special book he used to educate himself on learning how to please a woman. Tears rolled down my cheeks when Curiosity received kind justice from Elizabeth after Curiosity revealed her hand in preventing a love union so she could save her own future. After years of heartache, Lily and Simon finally get the one thing that's eluded them, but Lily must give up some of the art that makes her heart sing, cruel I tell you. And that 'Mima, always crass, crude and stone-hearted. Is it really possible she finally learned to love, at least a little?

And the Epilogue! Truth be told, I peeked at this section first and gasped when I read the inevitable news of Nathaniel's passing, then Elizabeth's own obiturary. After reading the first 100 pages, I read went back to the Epilogue again, it still made me sad. The last time I read it, at the place it was supposed to be read, at the end, I cried again, grieving the loss of so many ... what can I call them but friends.

This was a bittersweet reading experience ... I loved the story, I couldn't get to the end fast enough but I didn't want to get to that Epilogue. I want more Bonner stories, and here's hoping that the book fairy grants my wish. But as of now, alas, it is the end.

It's stories like this one that make me love reading. So, if you are looking for a excellent read to celebrate Love of Reading month, buy yourself this book. And heck, the rest of the series too. Then sit back with a warm blanket, a cup of hot tea and enjoy. And if you are so inclined, then head over to Rosina's weblog to join in the story discussion.

Here's to a fantastic story. Thanks, Rosina. Happy Love of Reading Month.


Alfonso said...

This is a great month - and I say this in my unbiased perspective as an avowed book worm.

Overall, I have heard about your fascination with this series over time and am glad this latest book meets up to the lofty standards set by the rest of the books. Perhaps the book fairy will listen to your comments and grant you your wish.

In any case, I'm going back to my science fiction or non-fiction/policy books.


Anne Velosa said...

Me too, about the book fairy. You listening, book fairy?