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The Valley by Di Morrissey
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The Valley (edition 2008)

by Di Morrissey

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Member:epazia
Title:The Valley
Authors:Di Morrissey
Info:Pan Australia (2008), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Family Saga, Contemporary Fiction

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The Valley by Di Morrissey

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I was tempted to make The Valley my first DNF for the year but I slogged through it to the end. I feel like I should have enjoyed the story, after all I live in The Valley that this book describes - {Hungerford is Taree renamed} and Di Morrissey and her husband live the next town away just near Wingham (which Di calls Cedartown).It was good to read about my town and its familiar environs and fun to recognise even some of the characters (including the couple at the cafe) she includes - but really that is all that kept me reading.I found the alternating story threads too short to become involved, though of the several points of view, it was Isabelle Kelly's story, a woman of class, making her way alone in the bush in the late 1800's, that was most interesting. I also found the thinly veiled history of the area informational. I have lived in the area (coming from the city) for only 6 years and know every little abouts its origins.The main reason I struggled I think is that for the first 250 pages of this book very little actually happens, characters are introduced - settings are established but it lacks any action or drama. I don't think it ever really reached a point where I was wondering what would happen next or that there was any real suprises. I do feel that Morrisey tied things together very neatly at the end, but by that time I just didn't really care. I picked it up, read a few chapters, and put it back down in several spurts over a few days which the short viewpoint shifts lends itself to but at nearly 600 pages I think The Valley is about twice as long as it should be. However if you are a family history buff, or a fan of family sagas you should probbaly give it The Valley a shot. It's not totally irredeemable but didn't work for me. ( )
  shelleyraec | May 9, 2011 |
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From either side of the ridges the valley was hidden. The undulating green landscape slashed by the magnificent river seeking the sea. But those who knew this place knew its magic. From its first inhabitants who roamed the hills, rivers and valley, it was a country of ceremony, corroboree and creation. Then came the white settlers with horses and cattle, who carved first bush homes and found and felled ancient trees. There were murders and births. Many died before their time. But as two centuries passed, the valley remained little known. Those who came, and stayed, were drawn into its embrace as to a mothers breast, were comforted, made welcome, finding peace in which to live out their lives. The valley was special to all who knew it. The Valley was nestled between rugged peaks, divided by a magnificent river. Within its peaceful green contours are held the secrets of generations of tribes, families and loners who have come under its spell. But some secrets are never shared, never told. Until one women returns and begins asking questions and discovers the story of a forgotten valley pioneer whose life becomes entwined with hers. But in looking into her own family's history she uncovers more than she ever expecte and what her mother hoped would always remain a secret.… (more)

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