Thursday, March 03, 2016

Lynne Gentry's Valley of Decision ~ Reviewed

  • Valley of Decision
  • Lynne Gentry
  • Series: The Carthage Chronicles
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books (September 22, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476746419


Every choice has a consequence in the explosive conclusion to the Carthage Chronicles as Lisbeth returns to third-century Carthage for a thrilling final adventure.

Thirteen years ago, Lisbeth made an impossible decision—leave third-century Carthage and her husband Cyprian behind for good. She knew it was to protect her daughter Maggie, so Lisbeth gathered the strength to move on with her life.

All these years, Lisbeth has thrown herself into her work and raising her headstrong daughter, all to live up to the promise she made to Cyprian. But Maggie is sick of being protected. In an act of teenage rebellion Maggie decides to do what her mother can’t—secretly returning to the third century on a quest to bring her father back, leaving Lisbeth no choice but to follow.

With Maggie’s surprise arrival in Carthage, chaos ensues. She finds her grandmother on trial for murder and attempts to save her, but instead the diversion sparks a riot that nearly destroys the plagued city. Only one thing will appease the wrath of the new proconsul of Carthage: the death of the instigator. 

Will Lisbeth arrive in time to save her daughter from the clutches of Rome? How can God possibly redeem such a slew of unwise decisions and deep regrets? Filled with heart-wrenching twists and riveting action, Valley of Decision brings the romantic adventure epic, The Carthage Chronicles, to an electrifying conclusion.


Lisbeth has matured over the years between visits to ancient Carthage. So much so she's forgotten her own headstrong, hungry search for her missing mother. As much as she longs to give Maggie her father, Lisbeth knows it's for the best that Maggie remain in the present. 

Taking a page from Lisbeth's book and tumbling right back into the third century Maggie discovers she's been gone mere hours their time and over a decade in hers. Maggie's hunt for her father, to save his life, results in struggles and challenges for all of those who love her. Maggie's cell phone and young adult social media mindset causes her a few mishaps. And Barek, the angry teenager she left behind wastes no time venting his frustration over his mother's death due to her carelessness. 

Illness still rages through the city and Christianity is underground. Touching scenes between characters compelled me to finish the story out. Even though there was no possible way for happily ever after, I had to find out the choices the characters would make. Stay or go? Choose life in the modern world, or risk the pestilence, diseases and brutalities of the third century? In the end it was a satisfying and thoughtful read. I definitely recommend it for the fascinating historical glimpses and the strong writing.  

Reviewed by Kelly Klepfer

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