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Valley of Sorrows by Nathalie Goldston- A Novel Review

Updated on August 16, 2014

What's more, this is a free download

Occasionally, one finds a treasure amidst the common items available, akin to finding a rare piece of art at a garage sale. It seems I have found something similar with the novel, Valley of Sorrows, by Nathalie Goldston. Those fortunate enough to find such treasures are ecstatic to let everyone know, so I am quite looking forward to everyone who sees this review to take advantage and get their share. After all, what I have found in Nathalie’s novel is just what people are looking for in a good read.

Marielle is a woman somewhere in her fifties who has enjoyed an idyllic life at the home of the dreams of both her husband and her. This is because the home offers so many of things they both adore, but tragedies find their home and things for her change drastically. She is forced to make changes and compromises she never thought were for her.

These tragedies haunt her in more ways than one, and the place where she has spent literally decades of her life becomes so estranged. But the strange nature of her new reality becomes stranger than anyone would have imagined, and, to add strange, there are strangers who are also a significant threat. Rumors and gossip being what they are, the people who have known her for years suddenly are as though they never have. But these things, rather than forcing Marielle into seclusion, force her to actively seek answers she desperately needs.

Nathalie has done extraordinarily well with this exceptional story, bringing the reader a complex read replete with twists and mysteries many wouldn't find in any four novels. That includes the complexity of the nature of this story's characters. This is said because characters weave in and out of one another’s situations, and some of these characters reside within a miasma of mystery.

This abruptly confronts Marielle, and after being left breathless with a situation affecting her to the core, Nathalie suddenly brings us back to the earlier years of the character Thad, and his world is a world apart from that of Marielle.

Thad is born into and growing up in an ugly, ugly world full of ruthless decay and debauchery. His father is a monster and his mother is even worse. But our introduction to him finds Thad experiencing a complex series of bizarre moments, some of which momentarily bring him the loving family he desperately desires, and those hinting such things are not for him. Our introduction to Thad is during his very young years, where we see him forced into decisions most of us will never have to face. Even worse is these decisions appear to be his high road.

Nathalie's ability to weave a wondrous tale makes one think she is a prolific writer of exemplary talent and experience, but my initial search for more work by her, or even a website, has left me coming up short. I found a fan page of sorts on Facebook, but only a few followers. This is certainly no reason to shirk from this novel, as this is as good as anything else from anyone else. Nathalie has created a story of exceptional quality and I do so hope she achieves the recognition this accomplishment deserves, and I have yet to cover so much more of the tale.

This is due to this story's complex nature, and the state of some things occurring beyond the normal. Dear readers, there are mysteries inside mysteries, myths based on legends, and the unexplained going on within what was once known by ancient tribes as the Valley of Sorrows. But there have been at least several crimes committed, and there are plenty of characters on the case. One of which is Marielle herself, who just continues to drift in and out of suspicion.

Furthermore, our view of Thad is increasingly important, particularly during a time when he is on the crux of becoming a full-on criminal not unlike his father. When he was a young man, there were those around him who might have had the influence of love and peace, but are these influences strong enough? Thad does learn how to manipulate and those who meet him rarely recognize what he truly is until it becomes too late. Dear reader, Thad succeeds in even doing this to you.

Because this book is offered freely by Nathalie (beat that value), one must wonder how much was invested into this work. This reviewer's concerns often go to proof reading and editing issues when books come from sources such as Smashwords, but Valley of Sorrows is written so wonderfully. It isn't unusual to find minor typos and misused words even in works professionally edited, but virtually nothing comes up within this work. One could nitpick and point at some formatting decisions (such as no line breaks between scenes), but these are just so minor. So, one wonders if Nathalie paid for a great editing job, or did she do this herself. If so, just that job alone demonstrates the kudos she deserves. But the writing should be noticed most of all. That and her creation of exhilarating characters, along with the way they come together.

The way they come together is, in itself, a demonstration of Nathalie's ability to weave a marvelous tale. The plot twists are an absolute treasure to behold and this story is wondrous all the way to the very last, romantic line. This is important to consider, as many novels tend to rush to the end once the end is near. But here, Nathalie took her time and constructed an ending worthy of the entire story, and the way Valley of Sorrows comes to its end is as well thought out as anything within the entire story.

I couldn't recommend this story more than I do now. Because it seems Nathalie isn't making any money for this extraordinary body of work, the least I can offer is this positive review and a genuine word of thanks.

Thank you so much, Nathalie. Thanks so much for bringing us such a glorious tale.

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