The Stolen Valley

Rated 3.00/5 based on 2 reviews
In the hot, dry summer of 1889 three young people meet in the Vyrnwy valley, mid Wales, where the dam is almost complete behind which a large lake will form to supply Liverpool with water. Passions and jealousies develop. The lake fills prematurely with disastrous consequences for a young English girl and a handsome young Welshman. The story mixes history and fiction in a most compelling way.
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Price: Free! USD
Words: 86,010
Language: English
ISBN: 9781301870509
About R.J. Turner

The author returned to Shropshire, with his family, after a teaching career in London and various parts of England. He attended a course in creative writing run by Birmingham University. Some of his poems and stories have won prizes and been published and a play has been successfully produced.
Influenced by the Cadfael books of Ellis Peters, set in medieval Shropshire, he decided to write a series of novels set in the Welsh Marches during Victoria’s reign. These novels follow the life of John Noble, a village schoolmaster, from the 1870’s until 1907. ‘Stolen Valley’ is the second in the series and the central character is John’s beautiful stepdaughter, Amy. This novel is set mainly in mid-Wales, an area the author knows well and with which he has family connections. The story should probably be called a tragic romance.
This is the author’s first attempt at publication on the internet. A third novel, soon to be completed, continues John Noble’s story but again other characters take centre-stage and the story moves to America as well as England and Wales.
Meanwhile the author co-edits a literary magazine for the Shropshire town where he now lives and from where he continues to explore the landscape and history of the Welsh Marches

Reviews

Review by: Karsen Max on Feb. 26, 2013 :
I found the book tedious and the characters contrived and lifeless. The predictable outcome seemed puerile and melodramatic. I would have liked some exploration of the emotional impact of losing a home to a mandated water project but the goal seemed to be finding a way to place together the heroine and the nefarious scoundrel so he could have his way with her.
(review of free book)

Review by: John Heap on Jan. 16, 2013 :
The first thing that hits you about ‘The Stolen Valley’ is how the characters, their dialogue and the industrial Welsh landscape are so firmly rooted in their proper time and space. It’s obvious a lot of research has been done and the fictional story mingles easily with historical fact creating a seamless narrative.
As today it’s almost inconceivable that the protesting voice of a doomed village could be so ignored our sympathies readily lie with Huw, his family and the Welsh nationalist cause. We are rather pleased when the beautiful Amy falls for the rough-hewn labourer in favour of the English doctor’s son but then as we read on feel almost implicated in the tragedy that follows.
‘The Stolen Valley’ is a thoughtful and compelling read.
Well done.
(review of free book)

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