This week's CFBA tour focuses on Valley of Betrayal by my friend Tricia Goyer. I had the privilege of watching this book develop chapter by chapter, and I love it!
“Artist Sophie Grace has one goal: finding her beloved Michael in war-torn Spain. His work as a news photographer has taken him deep into the country wracked by civil war between ragtag Spanish patriots and Nazi-backed Franco forces.
“Secrets abound in ruined Spain. Michael is loving but elusive, especially about beautiful Maria. The American who helped Sophie sneak into Spain turns up in odd places. Michael’s friend Jose knows more than he tells. When reports of Michael’s disappearance reach her, Sophie is devastated What are her feelings for Philip, an American soldier who comes to her rescue? Sophie must sift truth from lies as she becomes more embroiled in the war that threatens her life and breaks her heart.”
This book is a rich trip back in time to the days of the Spanish Civil War. I love history, in particular World War Two, and all I could tell you about the Spanish Civil War before was that it occurred immediately prior to World War Two and that the Russians and Germans prepared for that war on the battlefields in Spain. After reading this book, I know so much more, but all without losing the great entertainment and story I’ve come to expect in Tricia Goyer’s books.
From the first page to the last I was drawn in to this complex story about people living in impossible times. The book contains a rich mixture of characters to tell the story from a wide array of perspectives.
Sophie is the dreamer. An artist, she travels to Spain to be reunited with the love of her life. Once in Spain, she finds much isn’t as she anticipated. The war is real, her fiancé is distracted and often absent, and she finds herself absorbed in the plights of the Spanish people as they try to survive.
Michael is a photographer who disappears after connecting Sophie with friends. He seems less than thrilled to have her in Spain. Add in the story of Spaniards Jose and Father Manuel, German Ritter, and Americans Philip and Deion, and the cast is rich enough to highlight the many sides of the struggles.
As I read this book, I often felt like I’d been transported back in time to Spain. I could see the buildings, smell the acrid air after another talk, and almost touch the colorful clothes. The challenges of the war and politics behind it were disturbing, but provided a backdrop for the faith of the people involved in the story.
I highly recommend this book.