Harper Collins, £6.99

In the late eighteenth century all women did what their fathers bid them, but Elizabeth Middleton decided she was different. Raised by an elderly aunt in England, Elizabeth travels to join her father at a remote American outpost. Her dream is to teach the local children and run her own school, but she soon realises that her father has brought her to America under false pretences and actually intends to marry her off to the local physician, in order to secure some native land for himself.

Elizabeth becomes increasingly discouraged by colonial attitudes and finds herself drawn to the local Mohawks, and in particular to the white Mohawk, Nathaniel Wolf-Running-Fast Bonner. Before long she is embedded in a bitter row between the Colonials and the Mohawks revolving around one piece of land.

'Into the Wilderness' is the tale of how a genteel young woman adjusts to a new land and a new culture, eventually earning her own Mohawk name: Bone in her Back. Donati's impressive historical novel interweaves the destinies of two young lovers torn between English and Mohawk cultures, in a brilliant account of colonial America. It's the story of a fiercely independent young woman, who believed in herself long before women were allowed to.

Charley Maine