Bantam, Aug 2002, 24.95, 608 pp.
In 1802 escaped slave Selah Voyager arrives in Paradise near Half Moon Lake, New York. The ailing Selah seeks Curiosity Freeman, but runs into Elizabeth Bonner and her stepdaughter Hannah instead. Because Selah is sick, Hannah a healer insists on helping the runaway slave regain her health.
On Selah's tail is bounty hunter and former Paradise resident Liam Kirby, who Hannah loved when they were children. Though Liam's appearance tosses her heart for a loop and avaricious neighbors see reward money for turning in Selah, Hannah believes she must follow her values and do the right thing for the runaway slave. Though her actions are noble, Hannah's endeavor places herself, her school teaching father, and her stepmother in danger.
Fans of historical novels need to read LAKE IN THE CLOUD, a tremendous early Americana tale that brings alive the first decade of the nineteenth century as few books have accomplished. Though rich with interwoven detail, the intelligently and exciting plot contains era issues that the strong cast enables the audience to comprehend including how courageous the Bonner family is. Mindful of the great works of Van Reid, Sara Donati continues her epic adventure (see INTO THE WILDERNESS and DAWN ON A DISTANT SHORE) with another winner.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner