Title: The Valley
Author: Helen Bryan
Publisher: Lake Union
Publish Date: July 19, 2016
Source: TLC Book Tours
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Left suddenly
penniless, the Honorable Sophia Grafton, a viscount’s orphaned daughter,
sails to the New World to claim the only property left to her name: a
tobacco plantation in the remote wilds of colonial Virginia. Enlisting
the reluctant assistance of a handsome young French spy—at gunpoint—she
gathers an unlikely group of escaped slaves and indentured servants,
each seeking their own safe haven in the untamed New World.
follows will test her courage and that of her companions as they
struggle to survive a journey deep into a hostile wilderness and
eventually forge a community of homesteads and deep bonds that will
unite them for generations."
My Two Cents:
"The Valley" is the first in a trilogy of books about Sophie, a young woman who leaves her comfortable life in England to the wilds of Virginia to stake her claim on a plantation. When the book opens, it is the late 1700s and Virginia is a wild place. This very lengthy book shows Sophie's transition from a debutante to a settler.
There is a huge cast of characters in this book. We have Sophie, our main character and most definitely the one that we get to know the best. I thought some of them played so small of a role, that including them was sometimes a hindrance to moving the story along.
I am intrigued by the stories of people who so willingly go into the unknown. The idea of leaving everything you know to be tossed upon a tiny ship and then to do all that Sophie goes through to set up her life in the new world. I did like seeing how the author showed the transition of Sophie throughout the book. The author talks a lot about what her life is like in England. It gave me a good idea of what she was like before so you can appreciate her transition even more.
At over 600 pages, this book is quite long, especially for being a part of a trilogy. I did think that there were many sections of the book that could have been slimmed down a lot in the book. The author includes a lot of detail but sometimes it verges on too much and limits the ability of the reader to imagine the story through their own lens.