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The Mountain

The Valley Trilogy, Book 2
Narrated by: Kate Reading
Series: The Valley Trilogy, Book 2
Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (75 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From Helen Bryan, bestselling author of War Brides, The Sisterhood, and The Valley, comes the second book in an epic trilogy told from multiple viewpoints - a story about the resilience, bravery, love, and unity that formed the foundation of the New World.

The frontier of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1783. In the years since the first settlers arrived, looking to build new lives, the township of Grafton has flourished. Together, European immigrants, Native Americans, indentured servants, and former slaves have established a tight-knit community.

As time passes and America becomes a nation, Grafton is swept up in the tumult of the outside world. The Cherokees are rounded up and driven west. The Civil War leaves a long shadow. Newcomers make their mark, fortunes are won and lost, and loyalties are tested in the march of history.

©2018 Helen Bryan (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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

Too many time hops!

Being book 2 of The Valley, this book continued the families of Grafton's life. I love reading historical fictions of America during this time. The time period would take huge leaps at a time cutting out significant story lines. By the last few chapters, I found myself trying to figure out who the characters were more than focusing on the story. It was very frustrating to finally figure out a character's identity and then have to skip back 10 chapters and re-read so I could apply the character's background. This happened quite a bit in Book 2 where as Book 1 was not nearly as "time-hopping". So much could have been written about during the time skips. Overall I was disappointed with this one.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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confusing with jumps in time

While I like this story overall and time period, the jumps in time make it very hard to keep up with. There are so many characters and trying to remember who is related to who is very confusing. Just like the first book I think this could have been expanded into 3 separate novels. It would have made it easier to follow the characters. Some characters you may hear about in a few chapters then several chapters later there is a fleeting mention of them and you are trying to remember who they are and how they are related. Maybe book three will be better??

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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So many missed opportunities

While there were moments if good storytelling, I could not get invested in the ever changing characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An Excellent 2nd Installment

My first review for “The Valley” was sent by accident, before I finished it. So, I will summarize my review for both volumes 1 and 2 here.
First, the narration is spot on. Ms. Reading is a favorite of mine. She read the men and women differently, and performed the various Southern accents well.

The story in the Valley was a bit easier to follow, since there were less characters, until the last quarter of the story. This volume was more complex to follow auditorily. I had to rewind and make a mental family tree to try to follow each family’s line of descendants.
I wonder if there is a printed family tree in the books?
The characters are rich, and their lives greatly intertwined. The author’s note at the end of this story is quite intriguing, and explains how she came up with her idea to write the trilogy.
I am always drawn in when an author so richly describes life in a different time period so accurately and with great emotion. I am so very grateful that I live in our current time period, being a woman and an educator. Life was so very hard in the early days of our great country! The first 2 books move from the early 1700’s to the late 1800’s in a fictional valley in Virginia. I am so thankful for those hardy souls who survived to keep us moving forward...so that when my grandparents came from Italy in the early 1900’s, there was still a place of possibility here to build new memories. I look forward to the 3rd installment of this trilogy!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Mountain by Helen Bryan

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes history. So much time is given to accuracy that you feel immersed in the lives of which this book takes you. Highly recommend. Thank-you.