Beyond The Valley by Rita Gerlach
Book Three of the Daughters of the Potomac
Reviewed by Teresa Mathews
Once again Rita Gerlach takes us on an intriguing journey that starts in 1778 Cornwall, England and ends in a place we fell in love with in the past two books of this series, the wild but wonderfully picturesque Potomac Valley. Here we are given the complete story of a beautiful young widow longing for the love of a family but it seems she will never have it.
Since losing her husband Jamie, Sarah Carr has no family left so she does what Jamie would have wanted and turns to Jamie’s sister Mary and her notorious smuggler husband, Lem Locke for help. But sadly they would not provide what Sarah needed, instead they arrange for her to be kidnapped and placed upon a ship bound for a country that is at war. Once Sarah arrives in America she cannot believe that she is being sold on the auction block like an animal to the highest bidder, how much more can she endure?
Sarah’s new owners The Woodhouse’s treat her well and during her time with them she meets a young army doctor and hope begins to spring up in her heart that maybe one day she could be free to fall in love. Dr. Alex Hutton is smitten with Sarah from the first moment he meets her, he will do anything to rescue her from the hard life she has had to endure. But before he is able to convince Mr. Woodhouse to let him buy Sarah's freedom, she is sold to a foul smelling trader and whisked away deep into the wilderness and thus starts the horrendous chain of events that will separate them, possibly forever.
During the time Sarah and Alex are separated she has to endure being held captive by Indians and wandering barefoot through the wilderness trying to avoid being retaken by the same Indians she escaped from. Then just when things seem at the lowest, Sarah finds sanctuary at River Run in the wilderness of the Potomac. Eliza Morgan and Sarah become like sisters and their love for each so strong that Sarah will do anything to protect Eliza. Will Sarah finally have peace in her life or will she have to endure even more lies, deception and sorrows before that comes? Will Alex be able to follow the winding trail of Sarah’s life so they can finally be together?
With this book Rita has taken me on the adventure of a lifetime in the wilds of the Potomac. Sarah’s story was one that deeply touched my heart, it had me wanting to reach out to this beautiful young woman that had endured more things than ten women could handle and yet she never wavered in her faith that God would bring her Beyond the Valley. Rita has a talent for details that will blow your mind, once you pick this up you will not want to put it down until the last page is turned, then you will find these characters have a place in your heart forever. For those who haven’t read Beyond The Scarlet Dawn and Beside Two Rivers you will be able to read this as a stand alone but I do suggest you read those also because you do not want to miss Eliza’s story. For the ones that had the pleasure of reading the first two you will find yourself once again enthralled by Rita’s captivating writing but then again I think you already know that.
You can find this book and others by Rita at Amazon, CBD, B&N, and BAM.
QUESTION: Despite all the bad things Sarah had to endure she never gave up on God, she relied on prayer and scripture to sustain her. What is your favorite scripture when things are going bad for you?
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