About the Book
Addy Lockwood’s mother died when she was little, so Addy traveled with her father’s Wild West Show and became an amazingly skillful trick rider, likened by some to the famous Annie Oakley. When her father died, she continued to work with the show, having nowhere else to go.
Now Addy has discovered that “Uncle” Jason, the show’s manager, has driven the show into debt, and he’s absconded with what little money was left. Devastated, Addy decides to try to find the hidden valley where here father had dreamed of putting down roots. She has only one clue. She needs to find three huge stones that look like fingers raised in a giant hand. With Chief, a Sioux Indian who’s been with the show for twenty years, and Micah, the head wrangler, she leaves both the show and a bundle of heartache behind and begins a wild and daring adventure.
Since I read and saw Water for Elephants earlier this year, I have become mesmerized by the history of travelling circuses. I am intrigued by the social influence and personal stories of these circuses and the drama behind their rise and fall in popularity. Initially I thought Valley of Dreams would be a story written in this vein (or at least partially), but alas, it started where the Wild West show ended so there was very little elaboration on Addy’s life with the travelling group.
The odd mix of characters set-out on a journey to reclaim a dream but that journey is slow for the characters and the reader. The dialogue and daily activities felt stagnate and served as filler content. I don’t feel like this part of the story (the first book in a series) works as a whole novel. I feel like the important and interesting parts could have been picked out to use anecdotally in a prologue or as several chapters. As a backstory or introduction there are parts of this novel that are important, but until the second instalment is released, we won’t really know how integral it is to the rest of the tale.
**Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group**