When I read the teaser for the next book in the “Valley” series by Jane Shoup, I knew I had to read it. I had read the first book in the series and was so intrigued by Ms. Shoup’s writing that I definitely wanted to read each book in the series. So, I finished “Spirit of the Valley” in record time because it was so fast-paced and interesting. Ms. Shoup makes sure that one does not get bored reading her novels. The female characters are strong individuals who have been dealt a hard hand and have to run away from abusive relationships to a better life. Pauline Ray, with her two children, is running away from her abusive husband in Indiana, knowing that if she stayed he would eventually kill her. She goes as far as her money will take them and ends up in Green Valley, West Virginia. She is befriended by two eccentric and interesting sisters who take her in and find a way that she can become someone else. A very nice man who is harboring a very sad past comes to help her out by doing odd jobs around her home, which is in disrepair. Events keep occurring that make the reader loathe to stop reading even for a minute. I highly recommend this book.
In Virginia, 1883, some things you can run from. . . some you have to fight.
Pauline Ray is on the run, and she won't get far. With thirty-four dollars, two small children to feed, the cold coming in fast, she has no idea how she'll hide her tracks from her monster of a husband, let alone support her family. But Pauline is done with convention, and with nothing from her old life worth preserving, not even her name, she's free to become a whole new person.
All she has to do is singlehandedly turn a run-down homestead into the haven she and her children need, in a town full of wagging tongues and watchful eyes. But one man is watching her with more than judgment. Pauline would never have considered his scandalous proposal in her days as an obedient, suffering wife and daughter. But "Lizzie" might dare to accept him--his love, his work, and his secrets--and wrest her story toward a happily ever after all her own. . .