Set in 1792 the entire story covers a period of American history which I know absolutely nothing about. Elizabeth sets out from England to reunite with her father - a judge - in a very remote part of New York and establish a home and a settled life for herself. At 29, she sees herself as a spinster and one who is very content with her state of life. A school teacher by profession, she hopes to establish a school for the children of Paradise, New York - even a small one - because she knows this is where her satisfaction will lie.
Life never turns out the way you think it should be! Elizabeth falls in love with Nathaniel a white man but one who thinks, feels and lives like a native American Indian having been brought up with them his entire life. His feelings and loyalties are to his clan and he will do anything and everything to protect them from the vagaries of war, the animosity and fear of the white man (the feelings of animosity and fear are absolutely mutual here).
Telling more would be spoilers but detailed descriptions of American native life, its customs and the way nature is so much part of their lives makes this a very good book. Apart from native Americans, the way of life of the white settlers is far from easy and how they adapted to this rugged, harsh land is amazing. The determination to make new lives and to survive and prosper must be part of the indomitable spirit of this age. They took a raw land nurtured it, settled it and turned it into a very livable environment for all.
I also liked the very small cross reference to Jamie, Ian and Claire from the Gabaldon series. They were just mentioned in passing but it was nice to see them again!
I enjoyed this book.