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The Valley

The Valley

Написано Helen Bryan

Озвучено Kate Reading


The Valley

Написано Helen Bryan

Озвучено Kate Reading

оценки:
3/5 (5 оценки)
Длина:
21 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Jul 19, 2016
ISBN:
9781522639282
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание

The first installment in an epic historical trilogy by Helen Bryan, the bestselling author of War Brides and The Sisterhood, The Valley is a sweeping, unforgettable tale of hardship, tenacity, love, and heartache.

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.

What 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.

Издатель:
Издано:
Jul 19, 2016
ISBN:
9781522639282
Формат:
Аудиокнига


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3.0
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Отзывы читателей

  • (1/5)
    This just fell flat for me and I was not able to finish this 600 page door stop.
  • (3/5)
    Big, fat books promising a sweeping epic story (and sequels) can be simultaneously intimidating and intriguing. When done well, they leave a reader wanting more: more from the characters, more of the plot, more of everything. When these sorts of books miss the mark though, it's a hard thing, especially after the time commitment that a reader has given to living in the book's world. Helen Bryan's novel, The Valley, the first in a trilogy based on Bryan's own ancestors, starts off with promise but it doesn't quite deliver on that promise.The Honorable Sophia Grafton is an English lady. As a child she was indulged and allowed to become an ill-mannered, spoiled brat before being bribed to conform to society's strictures and turned over to her straight-laced godmother to be molded into a marriageable miss. When her father dies, leaving behind enormous debts, Sophia's only recourse, since she has resisted marriage, is to travel to the American Colonies and the one estate left to her. Along the way to this unknown plantation, she collects a whole coterie of people: French spies, a deported Englishman and his two sons, slaves she frees, a young Welsh woman and her half Native-American husband. This odd collection of people will create a settlement, adding more people as they trickle past the trading outpost nearby.The story starts before the American Revolution and ends with the start of the Trail of Tears. Spanning such a long period of time, the novel is necessarily long but it is uneven in emphasis. The structure is most like a backwards telescope with the beginning elaborately detailed but as the narrative continues, it eventually narrows down to brief snapshots which are only tangentially related to what has gone before. Rather than a daily recounting of life, it becomes a time jumping highlights brief. The cast of secondary characters grows and grows as the story continues and they eventually overtake the story entirely. As the main focus throughout the majority of the novel, Sophia feels anachronistic in her attitudes and actions, especially towards the slaves she meets in her journey. Her attraction to Henri, which has roots early on in the story, never quite seems convincing and it feels like he stays at Wildwood simply out of inertia. And unfortunately inertia describes much of the story. Characters were introduced as important but their parts then fizzled out without much development. The narrative tension is definitely uneven and the ending feels like a scene from a different book entirely. Perhaps this is the set-up for book two but its different feel, new characters, and all new conflict leaves it out of place, tacked on. Despite the problems of the novel, there are some interesting themes introduced into the story: the value of all people, acceptance, survival in a hard land, community, and a mystical Native American thread. This had a lot of potential for chunky historical novel fans but it just didn't live up to that potential.
  • (3/5)
    I do love a big, doorstopper of a book! They are few and far between these days – I don’t know why I don’t see many books of 500+ pages any longer but I miss them. Granted this book could have used a healthy edit that would have probably brought it under 500 pages but there is a solid story in it if you have the patience to wade through the fluff.I’ve long noted my lack of reading and knowledge of the history of my own country so when presented with this book that offered me a glimpse into the beginnings of the settlement of Virginia I thought it would be a deep read about that topic. Turns out that a solid third of the book takes place in England setting up way more back story for the heroine than is really necessary. The author does have an eye for detail – painstaking detail of the kind that really isn’t necessary to the ultimate story but somewhere in all of that detail one finds bits and pieces that drive the tale forward.The story is ostensibly about the settlement of a valley in Virginia. It ends up being the only unencumbered property that our heroine, Lady Sophia Grafton has after her father dies. So of course she up and leaves all she knows and high tails it to the colonies to find this tobacco farm and run it. I’ll just leave that there – a sheltered English girl heading to the colonies to run a tobacco farm. Oh, without using slaves because she doesn’t believe in them. In fact she ends up running off with some and they become the best of friends. Equals in fact. In 18th century Virginia.All of the anachronisms aside it gets even more interesting in the last chapters when time advances, new characters appear as if from the sky and the reader is left with what is the set up for the second book in the trilogy. I honestly don’t know where to go with this review because parts of the book I really enjoyed. Other parts were absolutely confusing and the ending was so unbelievably rushed after the attention to detail in the first 3/4s of the book I almost got whiplash. Was I happy I read it – yes. Was I disappointed in the ending – also yes. Will I read the next installment – I don’t know, maybe.
  • (3/5)
    The Betsy Wisdom docked at Yorktown in September 1754. Sophia Grafton was on board. She was heading for a plantation in Virginia called Wildwood. Her father had heavily mortgaged their London home thinking that Wildwood would provide a good crop of tobacco. It did not. The lawyers that were settling Lord Grafton’s estate had to let the London house go. Sophia determined that she would go to Virginia; learn about growing tobacco; and how to transport it to England for profit to pay off the debt her father had left.In the New World, she faces many hardships, difficult winters, and a far more primitive life than she was used to. She reconnects with Henri de Marechal, a man who knew Sophia when she was just a child. He was a spy for the French government. He has agreed to help Sophia to get to Wildwood.This is quite a long book (over 600 pp). In my estimation, it is much longer than it needs to be as it has a lot of mundane information to fill the pages. It took quite a while, for instance, to get to the heart of the story. We first learned about Sophia Grafton from early childhood and how she grew into a young and very attractive young lady meeting young men that her father would prefer her to marry. The dialogue was delightful and very fitting when it was utilized. However, much of the story was told through narration. This is the first of a trilogy and does have ‘hangers’ intending to lure the reader to continue with books 2 and 3. The historical aspect was an interesting take on young America, but I’m not sure it includes actual history. I did a google search for the Betsy Wisdom and came up with nada. Rating: 3 out of 5.
  • (3/5)
    I do love a big, doorstopper of a book! They are few and far between these days – I don’t know why I don’t see many books of 500+ pages any longer but I miss them. Granted this book could have used a healthy edit that would have probably brought it under 500 pages but there is a solid story in it if you have the patience to wade through the fluff.I’ve long noted my lack of reading and knowledge of the history of my own country so when presented with this book that offered me a glimpse into the beginnings of the settlement of Virginia I thought it would be a deep read about that topic. Turns out that a solid third of the book takes place in England setting up way more back story for the heroine than is really necessary. The author does have an eye for detail – painstaking detail of the kind that really isn’t necessary to the ultimate story but somewhere in all of that detail one finds bits and pieces that drive the tale forward.The story is ostensibly about the settlement of a valley in Virginia. It ends up being the only unencumbered property that our heroine, Lady Sophia Grafton has after her father dies. So of course she up and leaves all she knows and high tails it to the colonies to find this tobacco farm and run it. I’ll just leave that there – a sheltered English girl heading to the colonies to run a tobacco farm. Oh, without using slaves because she doesn’t believe in them. In fact she ends up running off with some and they become the best of friends. Equals in fact. In 18th century Virginia.All of the anachronisms aside it gets even more interesting in the last chapters when time advances, new characters appear as if from the sky and the reader is left with what is the set up for the second book in the trilogy. I honestly don’t know where to go with this review because parts of the book I really enjoyed. Other parts were absolutely confusing and the ending was so unbelievably rushed after the attention to detail in the first 3/4s of the book I almost got whiplash. Was I happy I read it – yes. Was I disappointed in the ending – also yes. Will I read the next installment – I don’t know, maybe.