Friday, April 19, 2013

Beyond the Valley by Rita Gerlach

Sarah Carr thought the most difficult trial of her young life was being widowed and pregnant. She could never have anticipated that the worst was yet to come.

Seeking refuge with her deceased husband’s family, she hoped they would take pity on her predicament. Instead, Sarah was greeted with coldness and ruthless betrayal that led to imprisonment on board a ship to the American Colonies—a land rife with Revolution. Would faith in God strengthen her through the pain, the humiliation, and yet more loss? Finding comfort with one man, only to be torn away from his love, Sarah’s trust in God was put to the ultimate test during the bleakest of circumstances.

Beyond the Valley swept me up in this story of the desperate widow who faced one trial after another. The degradation of human bondage, while being sold from one slave owner to the next, was heartbreaking and revolting. Sarah waivers between feeling strong and, at other moments, succumbing to despair. The seeming hopelessness of her situation grips a reader with the depravity of the sinful nature of man that is nurtured in the system of slavery.

Author Rita Gerlach has crafted a masterful piece of historic romance that draws a reader into the saga of Sarah from page one to the final paragraph. It takes a skilled writer to maintain a reader’s hope for love when its flame is threatened by a deluge of disheartenment. In Beyond the Valley, Gerlach has deftly woven a satisfactory tale of romance that survives amidst all obstacles. It is a triumph worth reading.

Beyond the Valley is Book 3 in the Daughters of the Potomac series. The first two novels are Before the Scarlet Dawn and Beside Two Rivers.

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