Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Valley by Helen Bryan + Giveaway


Title:  The Valley
Series: The Valley Trilogy, Book 1
Author: Helen Bryan
Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing
Release Date:  July 19, 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction



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.

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


The cover of The Valley by Helen Bryan ignites a certain longing for the beauty of memories, of stories and of life. Yet, the story itself did not translate the same imagery as the cover. I'm not one to abandon a book, nor am I one to read the synopsis right before or during the reading of said book. With The Valley, I had to keep re-reading the back description every hundred pages or so, to see if what I'm expecting would indeed happen. Unfortunately, the author's writing does not sit well with me. It seems choppy and I just couldn't get into it at all. There were too many superfluous lines that just seem unnecessary to get the story across. However, that's just me.  A novel of 643 pages, in my eyes needs to be telling much more than a story. It needs to include character development with the appropriate level of activity, reaching one or more climax to a turning point in the overall story. And yet, The Valley falls short, mostly because I find it dry, and many times tempted to not finish it. However, I have to admit that, even though I did not not finish, I skimmed versus my usual thorough indulgence in a historical novel. With that said, my review is just that - my review, and may not reflect those who really enjoy a historical novel that depicts the time during the formation of the "New World."  If you want to give it a try, the publisher had graciously provided a copy to one reader of this blog. Scroll down to enter the giveaway to win a copy of The Valley.


NOTE:  I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, through TLC Book Tours for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own. For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.


TO PURCHASE A COPY

    



Helen Bryan is a Virginia native who grew up in Tennessee. After graduating from Barnard College, she moved to England, where she studied law and was a barrister for ten years before devoting herself to writing full-time.

A member of the Inner Temple, Bryan is the author of four previous books: the World War II novel War Brides; the historical novel The Sisterhood; the biography Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty, which won an Award of Merit from the Colonial Dames of America; and the legal handbook Planning Applications and AppealsThe Valley is the first in a planned trilogy based on her childhood stories of ancestors who settled in Virginia and Maryland before Tennessee became a state.

Bryan resides in London with her family.

Check out the full tour schedule for more information, reviews, interviews and giveaways! Click on the image below to take you there.
                                                                                                                                                                      





21 comments :

  1. Thanks for your honest thoughts! The cover is certainly eye-catching, it's good to know about the content as well.

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  2. I'd ask myself what had been the blessings of the last 20 years.

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  3. Aw, sadness this didn't work out for you! But egh, it's so annoying when the writing just doesn't mesh, right?!? I hate that. :( Honestly this doesn't sound like my kind of book anyway, but good to know I'm not missing anything, haha.

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

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  4. In twenty years, I would say to myself, "Please be thankful for your life."

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  5. I'm proud of you for DNF-ing it. I didn't and I will never get that part of my life back.

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  6. Thank you so much for the honest review here. I'm not sure if I would finish this book either, but if I happen to win this one, I'd pass it along to someone else to see if it's more in their line of reads (I always share). I think your question for the comments applies to the other giveaway, so I hope you don't mind I don't answer it again. I really appreciate your reviews!

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  7. Thanks ladies! CAIT, you crack me up wherever you are!!

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  8. MELINDA, I actually DID finish it. Just that I skimmed instead of thoroughly absorbing all the wonderful words I like to enjoy when reading. ;)

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  9. Thanks Danielle! I must've not change it!

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  10. I would tell myself to take better care of my body and keep my weight steady.

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  11. "Why did you waste the last 30 some years doing nothing?" Long story. The best thing though I would say is that I spent those years reading everything I could get my hands on. Thanks for the giveaway and good luck everyone.

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  12. In twenty years, I would like to say to myself that I've had a really great life.

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  13. Thanks for being very candid in your review.
    In 20 years, I'd like to tell myself that I was so lucky to have been loved by very special people.
    Dianna

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  14. I love historical fiction because I can learn while reading something enjoyable.

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  15. I love the time period and how different people dressed :)

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  16. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.

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  17. I send my grandmother most of the books I read, and I know she would probably enjoy this one.
    Dianna

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  18. I've read War Brides. This looks like a good book. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  19. It's my absolute favorite genre, so a tougher question would be to find something I don't like that is common to a lot of books released in this category...In any case, I sampled this book on NetGalley, and it looked good from what I read! Thanks for this opportunity. Please be advised I credited my entry today into this giveaway for several of the summer giveaways with this unhelpful response: "The Valley, same name /email as here" (each time). Cheers, Kara S

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  20. Congratulations to Lucy M! Her "Free Entry" was the winning entry. Lucy, please look for an email from me.

    Thank you ALL for participating!

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  21. Annie, I so appreciate your HONEST reviews!

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