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When Valleys Bloom Again Paperback – January 17, 2019
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Finalist--2020 Serious Writer Book of the Year Award
As war approaches in 1939, Abby Stapleton’s safety is under threat. Her father, a British diplomat, insists she go back to America until the danger passes. Abby vows to return to her home in London—but where is home? With her family facing mortal danger so far away and feeling herself isolated, she finds it hard to pray or read the Bible. Did she leave God behind in war-torn London too?
Abby becomes friendly with Jim, a gardener on her uncle’s estate. Jim can’t get Abby out of his mind. Did she have a sweetheart in England? Was it foolish to think she’d consider him? He curses his poverty, and the disgrace of his father’s desertion and drunkenness haunts him. Can he learn to believe in love for a lifetime and to hope for a happy marriage?
Abby couldn’t know the war would last a long time, nor that she would fall in love with Jim—soon to be drafted by the US Army—or that she’d have to confront Henri, a rejected suitor, determined by his lies to ruin her reputation and destroy her faith in God’s providence. Will she discover the true meaning of home and find happiness with Jim?
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- Publisher : Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. (January 17, 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 236 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1948888920
- ISBN-13 : 978-1948888929
- Item Weight : 11.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.54 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,300,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2019
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Pat Jeanne Davis’s writing gently evokes Abby’s world and makes for a pleasant read, but I did feel as though the time span of this story worked against it. The story often glossed over months at a time or jumped them completely, which meant that tension within the story either arose and resolved quickly or lost momentum as time passed. That said, some of those threads did build up good momentum through the last quarter of the story!
Similarly, I felt the episodic timeline didn’t allow me to identify with these characters as deeply as I would have liked—kind of a dipping in and out relationship rather than a walking alongside relationship. And there was one plot element in particular that didn’t really resolve, or at least, came to something of an anti-climax, but perhaps that was to pave the way for a future book.
Those things notwithstanding, the story maintained my interest throughout and will be an enjoyable read for those who want a wholesome WWII story featuring a young woman on the home front.
I received a copy of this novel from the author. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
With a timeline of five years, there were many time gaps between scenes which made it sometimes difficult to know how much time had elapsed. The romance between Abby and Jim, the gardener of her uncle's estate, was frowned on by her aunt and so quite minimal until Jim was called up by the army, and then he was asking Abby if she would wait for him. Sudden engagements and quick weddings were not uncommon during that time.
The story includes a villain that gave this reader the creeps and caused her to loathe him. There is also tragedy, loss, and sorrow, but also a faith that sees the characters through the worst of the war. The ending is uplifting and hope-filled, but some matters remained unresolved, perhaps to be addressed in a sequel which I would definitely like to read.
I received this book through a giveaway. This review is my honest opinion.
I received a complimentary copy of this book which I have voluntarily reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.