Title: Beyond This Valley
Author: Millie Chidester
Publisher: Rose Dell Publishing
Release Date: June, 2011
Size: 318 pages, 5×8, softcover
The year is 1849, and the frenzied rush to the California gold fields is gaining momentum. Salt Lake City, in the territory of Utah, is a welcome midway portal to the far west, where the emigrants can pause and refresh before resuming their difficult journey toward the coast. When John Colbertson brings home a down-and-out gold seeker, the family takes him in without reservation. The newcomer is immediately drawn to eighteen-year-old Julia, John’s oldest daughter. Julia’s affections are simultaneously sought by a former antagonist, who has recently emigrated from their previous home in Nauvoo, Illinois. Julia identifies her preference early on, and waits impatiently for the suitor of her choice to make a declaration. Meantime, deceit, betrayal, and tragedy undermine the wellbeing of the Colbertson family. In the after math of these experiences, Julia’s tolerance and willingness to forgive are tested as she struggles to overcome prejudice against one who follows in the wake of the perpetrator. In time, she gains an increased appreciation of the worth and goodness of those around her, ultimately coming to understand her own heart.