Title: Beyond The Valley, The Daughters of the Potomac Series Book Three
Author: Rita Gerlach
Publisher: Abingdon February 1, 2013
Labels: Historical Fiction, Early American History, American Revolution, Original Colonies, Romance
Rating: 5 Stars
Book Three, Beyond The Valley, re-introduced me to a character I met in Book One, Before The Scarlet Dawn. I was 2/3 through reading Beyond The Valley, before I realized this.
When the story begins it is 1778, Cornwall, England.
Sarah Carr is left destitute and widowed at the tender age of 17. After her husbands death, she traveled to her sister in-law's home for help. She is not there long before she became sold into bondage as an indentured servant headed for the American Colonies. Sarah, as well as several other women who were all kidnapped are forced to board a ship, and are then kept in the dismal and dark tomb of the ship. The women try hard to be a source of encouragement to one another. The men working aboard the ship are disrespectful and callous. Upon arrival in America each of the women are sold, as if they were farm animals, to men willing to purchase them.
Sarah's story is long and unfriendly. She is hard-working. She is gracious. She has faith in God that some way or some how God will provide for her.
Of all the books in this series I loved this book the most. Maybe because the tumultuous love story that was in book one, and the love story of book two, were not the preeminent themes. Yes, there is a love interest in this book, Beyond The Valley. Yet, I felt that Sarah's endurance and trust in God stood out the most. Her horrific and pitiful life of being sold broke my heart, and early in the story I became very involved in her outcome.
The American Revolution is in the back drop of the story. Yet, I was given a glimpse of what women and families went through when the men were away fighting and no word would reach them for a lengthy period of time. Mail traveled very slowly, if at all.
Sarah does not trust men easily. She'd been scarred by life's experiences. She does trust God. Even after all she had been through, her faith did not waver. She focused on what blessings she did have, not on life's cracks and imperfections.
A great love tirelessly pursues her. This character reminded me of God's pursuit of us, His beloved children.
As always Rita Gerlach's descriptions of the cinematic scope of Maryland is wonderful. I truly felt I was there, seeing what I'd read.
Thank you to Rita Gerlach and Abingdon for my free review copy.
To read a first chapter of Beyond The Valley:
My review for Book Two, Beside Two Rivers:
My review for Book One, Before The Scarlet Dawn:
Link @ Amazon: