by Pat Jeanne Davis
As war approaches in 1939, Abby Stapleton’s safety is under threat. Her father, a British diplomat, insists she go back to America until the danger passes. Abby vows to return to her home in London—but where is home? With her family facing mortal danger so far away and feeling herself isolated, she finds it hard to pray or read the Bible. Did she leave God behind in war-torn London too? Abby becomes friendly with Jim, a gardener on her uncle’s estate. Jim can’t get Abby out of his mind. Did she have a sweetheart in England? Was it foolish to think she’d consider him? He curses his poverty, and the disgrace of his father’s desertion and drunkenness haunts him. Can he learn to believe in love for a lifetime and to hope for a happy marriage? Abby couldn’t know the war would last a long time, nor that she would fall in love with Jim—soon to be drafted by the US Army—or that she’d have to confront Henri, a rejected suitor, determined by his lies to ruin her reputation and destroy her faith in God’s providence. Will she discover the true meaning of home and find happiness with Jim?
Kathryn E. Miller on Amazon wrote:
When Valleys Bloom Again is a story that sweeps almost the whole span of World War II, following Abby Stapleton as she’s sent to stay with relatives in America for the duration of the war. Over these years Abby encounters family tension, class tension, romance, revenge, loss, and all the other struggles that come with the uncertainty of war, and she learns to trust God’s leading and find her own way to serve, even in far-off America.
Pat Jeanne Davis’s writing gently evokes Abby’s world and makes for a pleasant read, but I did feel as though the time span of this story worked against it. The story often glossed over months at a time or jumped them completely, which meant that tension within the story either arose and resolved quickly or lost momentum as time passed. That said, some of those threads did build up good momentum through the last quarter of the story!
Similarly, I felt the episodic timeline didn’t allow me to identify with these characters as deeply as I would have liked—kind of a dipping in and out relationship rather than a walking alongside relationship. And there was one plot element in particular that didn’t really resolve, or at least, came to something of an anti-climax, but perhaps that was to pave the way for a future book.
Those things notwithstanding, the story maintained my interest throughout and will be an enjoyable read for those who want a wholesome WWII story featuring a young woman on the home front.
I received a copy of this novel from the author. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
Patti Shene on Amazon wrote:
This WWII novel made that time period come alive for me. I especially loved the details, both in the historical information, the descriptions of so many things I have no knowledge of and different places in the world. Yet the details didn't slow down the plot and the development of the characters. Both the plot and the characters kept my attention and made me want to get back to reading. I can tell Pat Jeanne Davis has a wonderful career as a novelist ahead of her.
DonnaS on Amazon wrote:
This is a riveting World War II story that takes the reader back in time to a historic and horrific era. Abby Stapleton leaves her home in London to reside in the United States at the insistence of her father, who sees the dangers of impending war in Europe. She falls in love with Jim, an employee on her aunt and uncle’s estate, who is drafted into the U.S. Army and is sent to the battlefront. While Jim faces the peril of possible death, Abby is threatened with the loss of everything dear to her by a scheming suitor she rejects.
This novel delves deep into the hearts of those who endured World War II, both the horrors of battle and the interminable waiting of those at home who longed for word from their loved ones. The story is authenticated by the author’s research, which enabled her to reconstruct the fears, doubts, homesickness, and faith of a soldier in combat.
Pat Jeanne Davis also portrays well the restrictions imposed on civilians during this war-time era. Her use of descriptive detail revealed some facts about this period in history that were new to me and brought to light the destructive aftermath of an enemy attack. Her strong characterization provided a basis for tension and a triumph of good over evil achieved through faith, courage, loyalty, and love.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-researched story set during World War II with the elements of intrigue, romance, tension, and strong characterization. Some lapses in time jolted me out of the story a bit, but not enough to distract me from the overall flow of the novel.
I received a complimentary copy of When Valleys Bloom Again and have provided an honest review based on my reading experience, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
WLS on Amazon wrote:
When Valleys Bloom Again is a delightful tale of espionage, deceit, faith, and love set in America and England during World War 2. The author has created great characters I would love to spend more time with, particularly in Abby and Jim, who, despite the circumstances, persevered in their love for each other and their faith that God would work things out somehow. Readers of historical romance and World War 2 fiction will appreciate the historical accuracy of this story, and anybody looking for a happily-ever-after will cheer for our lovebirds.
From: Donna Schlachter, author of Double Jeopardy and Detours of the Heart (MissAdventure Brides Romance Collection)
This is an honest review, in my own words. I received a free print copy of the book from the author.
Ann R. Mcgraw on Amazon wrote:
I was given this book by the author. I first want to say that this genre would not be my choice. As I have never read a book of this type. So my approach to reading this was not from a perspective of bias but with an open mind. This was read slowly - perhaps a chapter per week. This gave me more opportunity to appreciate what I was taking in and to lend an aura of expectation for what was to be next. I very much liked the overall weaving in of faith, spirituality and scripture into the narrative. It gave the motivations for the character‘s actions a considerable depth of meaning. The plot, revolving around the vagaries and happenstance of war, gave it a sense of reality. The attention to every small detail of the time period and setting seemed accurate and lent much to the ambience of the book. Could I recommend this book as something worth reading? Yes!
Michael A on Amazon wrote:
Abby is an American born young woman who has spent her coming-to-adulthood years in England, due to her British father's job as a British diplomat. As war approaches, her parents send her back to America to stay with her American mother's sister and brother in law. She resists this move with all her heart. She will eventually spend several years there as the war drags on. During this time she faces loneliness, new love, separation, death, finding a life purpose, and even wartime espionage!
I read a lot of WWII fiction and books can sometime have similar plots. But I enjoyed this unique storyline. I recommend this book for a pleasant and uplifting read!
A great first book by a talented writer
About the author
Pat Jeanne Davis
Her debut novel When Valleys Bloom Again is a WWII inspirational romance set in the US and UK, published by Elk Lake Publishing, releasing in February 2019. She loves to hear from her readers at https://www.patjeannedavis.com
She enjoys flower gardening, genealogy research and traveling with her British-born husband. Her articles, essays, and short stories have appeared in print and online. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Historical Novel Society. Pat has a particular interest in the World War II Era.