‘War In The Valleys’ by Francesca Capaldi

War in the Valleys: A captivating, emotional wartime saga by [Francesca Capaldi]


WW1 marches on, but Violet faces her own battle at home

July 1916. Young mother, Violet Jones, lives a tough life in the Rhymney Valley, caring for 4-year-old Clarice and baby Benjy on her own while soldier husband Charlie fights on the Front Line. But when tragedy strikes, Violet’s life becomes even harder.

While they may be far from the battlefields, the effects of WW1 take their toll on the small mining community of Dorcalon, with food becoming scarce and more and more of their young men losing their lives.

With very little money coming in, and two babies to care for, Violet takes in a relative to help make ends meet. But far from easing her burden, it might turn out to be the worst decision she’s made.

As the Great War takes its toll on the nation, Violet faces her own battle. All alone in the world, can she protect her children, and herself? And will she ever find joy out of the depths of despair?

My Review

I read, reviewed and loved the first book in ‘The Valleys’ series which was called ‘Heartbreak In The Valleys’ and it was released earlier this year.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the second book in the series.  Well ladies and gents, the wait is over because the second book in ‘The Valleys’ series is called ‘War In The Valleys’ and it has just been released.  It is another corker in the series and I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of it but more about that in a bit.

As soon as I read the first word on the first page, that was it.  I was back in ‘The Valleys’ and I found that I just couldn’t put the book down.  My Kindle wasn’t exactly glued to my hand but it might as well have been because it travelled everywhere with me.  I couldn’t bear to miss a single second of the story.  I had taken to the main character of Violet Jones that well that I just had to keep reading to find out what life had in store for her.  I cared about her and about what happened to her.  I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough as I seemed to race through the story.  I managed to read the book in just under a day, which is pretty good going for me.  For me, ‘War In The Valleys’ was a gripping, tense and emotional read that kept my attention throughout and had me on the edge of my seat.

‘War In The Valleys’ is extremely well written.  The author knows how to grab your attention from the start and draw you into what proves to be an emotional story.  I found that I went through every emotion that Violet went through.  Francesca describes the pit village so vividly and realistically that I felt as though I had been transported back in time to when the pit villages were at their busiest and the pits were open.  In a way through Francesca’s work, I felt a connection with my ancestors.  Fair enough my ancestors weren’t working in Welsh mines but they were working in most of the pit villages of the North East Of England, so by reading books such as this I felt that I had a greater understanding of what they had to live through and the conditions that they had to endure.  Francesca has clearly done a lot of research into coal mining and the First World War and this shines through in her writing.  I felt as though I was part of the story and that’s all thanks to Francesca’s very vivid and realistic storytelling.

In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘War In The Valleys’ and I would definitely recommend this book to other readers.  I will be reading much more of Francesca’s work in the future.   The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.

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