One Hundred Valleys was an enjoyable read from beginning to end. I am partial to historical fiction and this book made the early days of Oregon come alive for me. I was particularly interested in the location because when my daughter and her husband moved from Tennessee to Oregon several years ago their first assignment was in Grants Pass along the Rogue River, the general area of the book.
After her mother’s death and another disappointment, Emmalin Hammond travels to Oregon to find the father she has never known and believed to be dead. After yet another tragedy, Emmalin decides to continue the journey to Deer Creek with Jacob Landon as her guide. Various hardships and encounters with Indians along the way strengthened a friendship between Emmalin and Jacob but they were both aware that they were totally unsuitable for each other. In many ways, despite their obvious differences, Jacob and Emmalin were much alike. Although Emmalin had been raised with abundance, circumstances of her life had left her not knowing exactly where she fit in. Jacob’s loss of family at an early age and life among the Indians had also left him feeling out of place.
Both Emmalin and Jacob were strong characters. Jacob was caring and protective despite his rough upbringing. Emmalin was stronger than she could have ever imagined as a pampered society girl. It was fun observing the growth of their relationship as well as Emmalin’s connection to her father. A steady plot filled with both disaster and blessings and a cautious romance, it also illustrated a believable path back to trust in God.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit.. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
|Book: One Hundred Valleys
Author: Bonnie Leon
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: March 15, 2020
Click here to get your copy!
After the death of her mother, Emmalin Hammond discovers she is not the heiress she’d always assumed she’d be. The revelation exposes her fiancé true intentions when he withdraws his marriage proposal, leaving Emmalin heartbroken and humiliated. When she discovers the father she believed to be dead is still alive and living in the Oregon Territory she decides it is time to meet the man who has been hidden from her all of her life.
Accompanied by her Uncle Jonathon she sets out for the Oregon Territory in search of answers and hoping for a renewed relationship with her father. When tragedy strikes, she confronts the terrifying challenge of completing her quest alone. Faced with few options, she entrusts her life to a mountain man named Jacob Landon who agrees to transport her to a small settlement in Southern Oregon called Deer Creek, a place also known as the Land of One Hundred Valleys.
Emmalin is not prepared for the hardships of life in the Oregon wilderness. Each day presents a new challenge. Newfound friends, including the reserved Jacob Landon, come alongside to help her adapt and she gradually finds her way. Yet, she feels out of place. Should she brave the arduous journey back to Philadelphia and the life she once knew or remain and hope for something better in the Oregon wilderness?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bonnie Leon is the author of twenty-two novels, including the recently released Return to the Misty Shore, the popular Alaskan Skies and bestselling The Journey of Eleven Moons. Bonnie’s books are being read internationally and she hears from readers in Australia, Europe, Poland, and even Africa. She enjoys speaking for women’s groups and mentoring up and coming authors.
Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren.
MORE FROM BONNIE:
Why this story?
In the spring of 1980 my husband and I, our two-year-old son, and our infant daughter left city life in Washington state and moved to Southern Oregon. We gave up our community of friends and family along with my husband’s reliable and well-paying job. Our friends thought we were crazy, but we were determined that Oregon was where we belonged. We were scared but not deterred.
I think the change in my own life as a young woman had a lot to do with why I wrote this story of Emmalin Hammond. To be sure, Emmalin’s level of difficulty and danger is distinctly different than mine, but there are similarities. We both experienced adventures, joy, and, yes, even danger.
Oregon has been my home for forty years now, and I am glad my husband and I made the decision to move here. We’ve had a good life in this wild and beautiful country. Sometimes I wonder about the women who made that choice during the nineteenth century. Emmalin set out on her harrowing journey to Oregon in the spring of 1855. Many who began that journey did not make it across the plains and desserts of America.
When I put down roots in Douglas County, Oregon I was thrilled to be here, but the changes weren’t all easy. The old farmhouse we lived in had more broken windows than intact ones. It was mouse infested. The plumbing needed major repair. And yet I loved it. The countryside was lush and green, and the rolling hillsides were dotted with farm animals, wildlife, and broad-limbed oak trees. There were wild blackberries sprawling along the farm’s fences and fresh fruit in our orchard. It looked much the same as the Oregon Emmalin discovered in my story, One Hundred Valleys.
I loved hard work and spent a lot of time splitting logs for our only heat source—a wood burning stove—felling trees on our new property, and working alongside my husband in our vegetable garden.
I had run-ins with things like poison oak and skunks, but that did not dampen my enthusiasm as a new Oregonian. I loved picking wild blackberries, fishing the high mountain lakes, hiking mountain trails, and fishing the North Umpqua river. I cherished those days as a farm wife and mother. Those were the best years of my life. I have never regretted our move to the beautiful land of one hundred valleys in Southern Oregon.
I am thankful for the early explorers who challenged the wilderness in the Oregon Territory more than a century ago. It is their courage and determination that made it possible for me and my family to live and thrive in this beautiful place.
To celebrate her tour, Bonnie is giving away the grand prize package of a $15 Amazon Gift Card and Vintage Oregon myrtle wood porringer bowl!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.