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Publisher's Summary

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 Sisterhood, The Valley is a sweeping, unforgettable tale of hardship, tenacity, love, and heartache.

©2016 Helen Bryan (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    163
  • 4 Stars
    126
  • 3 Stars
    77
  • 2 Stars
    34
  • 1 Stars
    16

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    219
  • 4 Stars
    88
  • 3 Stars
    45
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    140
  • 4 Stars
    98
  • 3 Stars
    73
  • 2 Stars
    39
  • 1 Stars
    19
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My Favorite Author

Helen Bryan did it again! I love her ability to tell a story with so much realism and clarity that I feel like I'm there with the settlers. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel as I have enjoyed her others. I love how she adds so much fine detail that I really get an understanding of how life was in that period. My only complaint was that I yearned for a more elaborate story between Henri and Sophia. What was their everyday relationship like? Were they always just cordial or did the passion grow? The story also really speeds up in the last 1/4 of the novel so that begin to feel a drastic disconnect between all of the book's characters. I know she's transitioning us to part 2 but I almost felt like I was reading a completely different novel in the end. Still, a very good story and told by an excellent narrator who for once didn't annoy me.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful book with enchanting characters

This work of fiction that chronicled generations of varying types of people was an excellent read. The narrator have a stellar performance, bringing each character to life and even aging the voices of the characters as the book progressed. Highly reconvened for any reader like myself who enjoys historical fiction.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Whew! Finally done!

I'm not one to start a book, even if I'm not enjoying it, and not finish it. I was tempted this time! I wanted to love it! Disjointed storylines, never feeling like they came to a completion and added too many characters. Interesting at times but way too long of descriptions of people and events at other times. Although, Kate Reading always does a great job narrating, she's probably the only reason why I continued listening to this very lengthy book. I'm not continuing the triology, one was enough!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Catherine
  • Norfolk, VA, United States
  • 11-29-16

Well written but a sad tale.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, I feel this book is too much of a downer to recommend.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The era it's set is interesting, however, the storyline is pretty depressing from start to finish.

Which character – as performed by Kate Reading – was your favorite?

She did a good job on all the characters.

Do you think The Valley needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I can't see it getting lighter but who am I to say that others wouldn't have enjoyed the book and will want to see a follow-up. However, I don't see myself looking for one.

Any additional comments?

The book is well written but it's just not my cup of tea.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Mixed feelings

The book wasn’t quite what I expected. Although I love historical romances & listened quite eagerly- it was more because I anticipated the book would at any moment gain momentum & slowly build up as any good novel does. Sadly the first part was the better part & the unfortunate chain of events that brought Sophie & the slaves to the Virginia wilderness just dwindled towards the end. The fact that she & all the others that started out in the valley died made it difficult to keep up with more & more generations that followed & the constant appearance of new names. It felt as though the author was more concerned with setting the scene for the new book to follow. I felt a little confused at the end as though I lost touch with all the characters I got to know in the first 30 chapters of the book. Narration was superb & by far the best part of this listening experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

No focus! Very slow and painful!!!

The beginning if the book leads you to believe it will be about Sophie and her family then she dies. the story then follows a different family's members and jumps big gaps of time with no rhyme or reason!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Very long and drawn out

Any additional comments?

This book started with what seemed to be the main character but by many chapters later there were so many added characters it became hard to keep up. Just too much for one book. Would be so much better if it were a series that moved through the years focusing on one person, family or generation at a time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

So very disappointing.

There was so much character build up in the beginning that just went no where. The book just totally lost it flow. There were too many characters to follow and it just got confusing and made me lose interest. The first 2 parts all seemed long and drawn out but pretty interesting. The second half just kept adding more people but never really building a emotional connection. During the first half I thought I was really going to get to know these characters and was kind of looking forward to the next book. Now that I'm done I don't really care who or what comes next the tie end has completely been lost.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Fell Flat

Not sure why this was recommended under "Romance", since it was more Historical Fiction. The book description was more interesting than the book itself. It started with a main character, and then dragged on and on and on....zzzzz.... with no real focus. Though rich in detail, I did not end up drawing any emotional connection with any of the characters, nor did the characters draw any emotional connection with each other, and there were many characters, with many plot lines that tied to nothing specifically and fizzled into nothing in particular. I felt like a fly on the wall, flying from one place to the next, and picking up conversations that seemed out of context. I patiently made it to chapter 41, then skipped to the end and realized I missed nothing worth noting. I had no desire to find out what happened between those chapters. Will not be continuing to the rest of the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

was ok

The story was awesome until 3/4 through it. then it just went on and on. when the main 2 people in book died then the book did not make any sense. the ending was stupid 🤔

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jocelyn
  • 07-06-17

A Good Listen

I wasn't blown out of the water by this story, the writing feels a little stilted at some points, but I enjoyed it. An interesting plot line of twists and turns (some a little predictable). The ending was strange, I feel like she could have done without the last few chapters.