First Chapter Review: Beyond the Valley by Rita Gerlach
I received a paperback copy of Beyond the Valley, the third book in Rita Gerlach's Daughters of the Potomac Series, from the publisher. I was scheduled for a full review today, but I accidentally overloaded my review schedule in February and March, so I am reviewing the first chapter today and the full book on March 29th.
BLURB: When Sarah Carr's husband Jamie drowns, her young life is shattered and takes a turn that she never expected. Pregnant and now widowed, she reaches out to Jamie's family for help, but they are unwilling. Instead they devise a plan to have her kidnapped and taken to the Colonies to live a life of servitude. Sarah's new life in the Colonies finds her surrounded by a family's whirlwind of secrets, while she hopes the young doctor she loves with will bring her freedom.
COVER: The covers of all three of these Daughter of the Potomac books are beautiful. The green in this one hints at the lush valleys and they did an excellent job of placing a model on the cover that looks just like what I imagined Sarah to be.
FIRST CHAPTER: When news of a shipwreck reaches Sarah's husband, Jamie, he joins the men to help out. When she can wait for him to return no longer, Sarah braves the elements to join the men on the shore. She is shocked to discover the lifeless body of her husband alongside other victims. With no way to pay for her home, she packs her meager belongings and heads to the house of her husband's relatives, hoping for help.
KEEP READING: Having already read the second book in this series, Beside Two Rivers, I eagerly requested this novel. Just like with Beside Two Rivers, Gerlach creates a sympathetic character right from the start. Sarah doesn't have a wonderful life, but Jamie is all she has. When he dies, she must leave her home and travel by herself to find a strange family she has never met. The first chapter captures some of the history of how Jamie and Sarah meet and marry, along with the present day events that lead to his death. It ends with a nice cliffhanger, which makes the reader eager to continue. I'm optimistic that this book will be as good as the first.