Book review: ‘What the Valley Knows’ by Heather Christie

 

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What the Valley Knows by Heather Christie.

Today I want to share with you my review of Heather Christie’s first book. I was lucky enough to be one of the chosen few, who were given a finished copy to read, in advance of publication, and I am so pleased that I was, as I really enjoyed it. Actually…

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I have to say that I loved this book. Actually I more than loved it.

 

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At first sight, it appears to be a sweet romance between high school sweethearts, and aimed at young adult readers. But this book is so much more. It has hidden depths. It is a beautiful ‘coming of age’ novel which draws you in from the very first page. It is the perfect blend of drama, suspense, and yes, romance. You’re gripping your seat one moment, whilst dissolving into puddles of emotion the next. Here is the book’s synopsis. I will give you mine below it.

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Synopsis:

“Millington Valley is a quintessential small Pennsylvania town: families go back generations. Football rules. Kids drink while adults look the other way. High school is a whirlwind of aspiration and rivalry, friendship and jealousy.

When smart and pretty Molly Hanover moves to town and attracts the attention of the football team’s hero, Wade Thornton – a nice guy with a bad drinking habit, longtime friendships are threatened and a popular cheerleader tries to turn the school against Molly.

The young couple’s future is shattered when Wade, drunk, wrecks his truck and Molly is thrown through the windshield.deer-head

She wakes from a coma to find her beauty marred and her memory full of holes. As she struggles to heal, she becomes sure that something terrible happened before the accident. And there is somebody in the valley who doesn’t want her to remember.’

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The book is written from multiple perspectives, as seen through the eyes of the main characters. This is expertly done, and allows the reader to fully experience the emotions of each character in the lead up to their worlds colliding.

Molly is a sweet only child. Her father died when she was a young girl, and her memories of him are bitter-sweet. She feels guilt as well as grief at his passing, because she blames herself somewhat for his death, for reasons that become clear later.

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Ann is Molly’s mother. She is finally finding her feet after years of fighting to pay bills and keep out of debt, after her husband’s shock death left them almost destitute. Now Ann has an opportunity for a fresh start in a new town, with a super job offer as a paralegal and a beautiful rental home that seems almost too-good-to-be-true. It apparently is…

Wade is the popular kid, and high school football star. His life is a dream. He has a huge bunch of friends, he can take his pick of all the pretty girls, and his future football career seems settled. Wade gets everything he wants, and it comes easy. But he is not happy. A little drink now and again, helps to ‘take the edge off’ and it’s okay, because Wade is in control of it…until he isn’t. When Molly walks into his life, he suddenly feels that he has finally found ‘the one’, someone who loves him for himself and not for his achievements.

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Unfortunately there are some people in town who want something from Ann and Molly that they just cannot give. These people have their own agenda’s and are hell-bent on getting what they want,to such a point that Ann and Molly’s lives are now in serious danger.

One night everything tragically changes, and Molly now has a huge decision to make.

If she reviled her secret, it’s going to cause so much pain to those she loves. If she doesn’t, then other people may be in danger. She meets up with Wade with the intention of sharing her burden, but before she has a chance, they are in a car accident, and Molly is in a coma….

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I love seeing how Christie writes with such  empathy, and draws the reader into the thought processes and feelings of her characters. I understood Molly, I understood Wade, and I understood Ann, and I could see all their differing points of view. The romance was so sweet and the mystery and intrigue kept me on tenterhooks while I stormed through the story.

I found myself constantly dipping in and out of the book through the day, while I was supposed to be busy doing other things, but I just HAD to find out what happened next. Luckily for me, the chapters were not too long, and I could pick up easily where I had left off. However, I wasn’t satisfied until I had turned the very last page!

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I just love it when I find a book that grips me like this. I really can’t wait to read more from Heather Christie, and I will be first in line to buy the next book that she has published. A super read, I wholeheartedly recommend it!

 What the Valley Knows will be published in January, but the author has a super preorder incentive campaign running right now. For more details, go HERE FOR DETAILS

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