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Valley of the Shadow

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“I won’t go, and you can’t make me!” As the daughter of Good Song Woman and a French trader, eighteen-year-old Genevieve LaCroix wants nothing to do with her father’s plan to see his daughter educated by the white missionaries at Renville mission. Forced there against her will, Gen eventually finds friendship. When she meets a wounded Dakota warrior taken in by the mission “I won’t go, and you can’t make me!” As the daughter of Good Song Woman and a French trader, eighteen-year-old Genevieve LaCroix wants nothing to do with her father’s plan to see his daughter educated by the white missionaries at Renville mission. Forced there against her will, Gen eventually finds friendship. When she meets a wounded Dakota warrior taken in by the missionaries, love blossoms. Gen and Two Stars are just beginning to find their way in the new world controlled by whites when the Dakota War of 1862 drags them both into the valley of the shadow of death. Risking everything to protect missionary friends and children, the couple are forced apart. Will their love survive? Will they?


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“I won’t go, and you can’t make me!” As the daughter of Good Song Woman and a French trader, eighteen-year-old Genevieve LaCroix wants nothing to do with her father’s plan to see his daughter educated by the white missionaries at Renville mission. Forced there against her will, Gen eventually finds friendship. When she meets a wounded Dakota warrior taken in by the mission “I won’t go, and you can’t make me!” As the daughter of Good Song Woman and a French trader, eighteen-year-old Genevieve LaCroix wants nothing to do with her father’s plan to see his daughter educated by the white missionaries at Renville mission. Forced there against her will, Gen eventually finds friendship. When she meets a wounded Dakota warrior taken in by the missionaries, love blossoms. Gen and Two Stars are just beginning to find their way in the new world controlled by whites when the Dakota War of 1862 drags them both into the valley of the shadow of death. Risking everything to protect missionary friends and children, the couple are forced apart. Will their love survive? Will they?

30 review for Valley of the Shadow

  1. 4 out of 5

    Loraine

    By mistake, I read book 2 in 2014. Although I enjoyed it, I could tell that I was missing pieces from Book 1. ( I have now learned to read a series that interconnects all at one time!!) Eighteen year old Genevieve La Croix is the daughter of a French trader and a Sioux woman. Good Song Woman, her mother, has died and Etienne, her father, decides it is time to send her to the mission school to be further educated and taught womanly things. Gen is of no mind to go but has no choice. She finds many By mistake, I read book 2 in 2014. Although I enjoyed it, I could tell that I was missing pieces from Book 1. ( I have now learned to read a series that interconnects all at one time!!) Eighteen year old Genevieve La Croix is the daughter of a French trader and a Sioux woman. Good Song Woman, her mother, has died and Etienne, her father, decides it is time to send her to the mission school to be further educated and taught womanly things. Gen is of no mind to go but has no choice. She finds many friends and meets a wounded warrior named Two Stars. Based on historical events in the midwest, the story follows missionary encounters with Indian tribes and individuals. Whitson's historical research of this time period and the problems between the whites and Indians are evident throughout this book. She depicts both the good and the evil of the situation from both peoples. Many of the whites, in particular the missionaries, had a love for the Indians and hated what the federal government was doing to them, in turn, destroying their native way of life. Others, of course, had the "No Indian is a good Indian except a dead Indian" attitude. But the same can be seen also from the Indians. Many protected the whites from the evil of their own people while others blamed every white person for the atrocities being done to the Indians. Watching Gen grow and mature, develop in her faith and loyalties, and learn to love both parts of her heritage as a "mixed breed" made this story moving. The changes in Gen, Two Stars, and Rev. Dane displayed how faith and getting to know people as individuals rather than as a "race" can change one's perspective. Faith also played a strong role in helping each of the characters in this story through incredibly trying times that basically meant life or death. This was a poignantly moving tale of a time period in history that we can definitely learn from so as to not make the same mistakes. I look forward to finishing the last book in this series very soon. FAVORITE QUOTES: "Everyone comes to a point in their lives when they are challenged to see beyond what is and trust that God knows best." "Don't blame God for man's sin. Man can always choose a better way......I don't understand all of this...He is going to work this out for my good."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anna Emerson

    I loved it... and I hated it. It started a bit slow for my taste, but then I actually started to enjoy it. And then the ending... I HATED that part!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elise Lee

    The books were horrible!!!!! I almost wrote the author a very upset note! What kind of an author makes the hero die at the end????!!!! (I know,he's still alive) And how could she make Gen marry that wimpy bald preacher????!!!! It was TERRIBLE!!!!!!! The books were horrible!!!!! I almost wrote the author a very upset note! What kind of an author makes the hero die at the end????!!!! (I know,he's still alive) And how could she make Gen marry that wimpy bald preacher????!!!! It was TERRIBLE!!!!!!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pattisue

    This sweeping saga of the Dakota Sioux Indians took my breath away. The first in the Dakota Moon trilogy, this book tells the story of Genevieve as she ventures into a new life. Sent away from her home and father, Gen must draw strength from God, strangers, and friends she meets along her journey. Brought together through extraordinary circumstances, Gen and Two Stars forge an unbreakable bond. All she wanted was for “her life to count for God.” Whitson is able to convey both sympathy and sensit This sweeping saga of the Dakota Sioux Indians took my breath away. The first in the Dakota Moon trilogy, this book tells the story of Genevieve as she ventures into a new life. Sent away from her home and father, Gen must draw strength from God, strangers, and friends she meets along her journey. Brought together through extraordinary circumstances, Gen and Two Stars forge an unbreakable bond. All she wanted was for “her life to count for God.” Whitson is able to convey both sympathy and sensitivity in her retelling of these tragic events. I appreciated the depth of writing and that the reader was gently guided to understand all sides and perspectives. I devoured the tales of prejudice and prayer, heartbreak and hope. I am a little late finding this book but lucky for me I can binge read the entire trilogy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Page

    When I was a little girl, I constantly railed against the unfairness of life - 'good' people get hurt badly and 'bad' people seemingly get away with all manner of evil. I have come to accept that a world in rebellion against its Creator is like that. But His love nevertheless is constantly mending the hearts and minds of those who have surrendered to Him. This book is the story of those He enables to fight for higher ground. Very few books cause me to openly weep, but this one did. When I was a little girl, I constantly railed against the unfairness of life - 'good' people get hurt badly and 'bad' people seemingly get away with all manner of evil. I have come to accept that a world in rebellion against its Creator is like that. But His love nevertheless is constantly mending the hearts and minds of those who have surrendered to Him. This book is the story of those He enables to fight for higher ground. Very few books cause me to openly weep, but this one did.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kelli

    1 1/2 stars One of the worst books I read all year unfortunately. It read as boring as a textbook. Lots of facts and very little story to pull emotionally on any of the characters or their interactions with the world around them. It jumped around a lot and there were big spaces of time covered in just a few sentences frequently throughout the story. It was like the author had to get every thing in regardless if it worked or not.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Amazing! I love the storyline and progression of time as their lives move from one stepping stone to the next. I haven't read a book that has brought me to so much love, empathy, respect, anger and all other emotions before. I love the scriptures that align with each chapter plot. I adore the analogies made. I wish Danirl Two-Stars was real...absolutely live his and Genivieve's character, strength, and kindess. Amazing! I love the storyline and progression of time as their lives move from one stepping stone to the next. I haven't read a book that has brought me to so much love, empathy, respect, anger and all other emotions before. I love the scriptures that align with each chapter plot. I adore the analogies made. I wish Danirl Two-Stars was real...absolutely live his and Genivieve's character, strength, and kindess.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Barbara M Stewart

    Valley of the Shadowy This was an interesting book. You did not enjoy all the violence but this is the way life was back then. I was so in hopes that Gen would not marry the reverend because I thought Daniel Two Stars would make it back to her. She had not married him at the end of the book so let's see what book 2 has in store for us. Recommended as a good read. Valley of the Shadowy This was an interesting book. You did not enjoy all the violence but this is the way life was back then. I was so in hopes that Gen would not marry the reverend because I thought Daniel Two Stars would make it back to her. She had not married him at the end of the book so let's see what book 2 has in store for us. Recommended as a good read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Grace Burtelson

    Captivating Didn’t want to put it down, didn’t want to keep reading. The Indians were not treated rightly. This story gives a picture of how bad it was, almost sickening. Yet there were those who fought for the Indian and tried to show them love. This story had a somewhat sad ending except that the love of Christ claimed victory over sorrow!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary Read

    Dakota Moons book #1 I don’t what to say. The book is fiction. I was a historic site guide at Fort Ridgely. We learned much working there. We had to read books that concerned the Dakota people and the settlers, who came to Minnesota. We learned many false truths and unfaltering truths.MaryRead/Amazon and Goodreads. Dakota Moons book #1 I don’t what to say. The book is fiction. I was a historic site guide at Fort Ridgely. We learned much working there. We had to read books that concerned the Dakota people and the settlers, who came to Minnesota. We learned many false truths and unfaltering truths.MaryRead/Amazon and Goodreads.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Margaret A Register

    Poignant tale For content, I give this story a definite five. For writing style, however, I must rate it a three. The story is very moving but the dialogue is stilted. Nevertheless, it is WELL worth reading.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    WOW I didn't,t realize the setting for this story was in my home state! Even though the story was based on actual happenings yet was yet fictional it was a great read and I hope to read the next book. WOW I didn't,t realize the setting for this story was in my home state! Even though the story was based on actual happenings yet was yet fictional it was a great read and I hope to read the next book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mom

    Great reaf I loved this book. The only 2 things I would change would be to leave out the family pets dying. There was enough violence in this book and reading about the dogs and the way they died was too much. But it was still an exceptional read and hard to put down.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Julie Holdsworth

    Tear jerker Maybe it was more emotional because I grew up in Minnesota, but the story touched me in a way few do. If only the author would quit using towards. There is no S at the end of toward.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karen Oury

    Valley of the Shadow I didn't like the the script for Gen, nor her ending to this story. Some stories end , leaving you feeling good. Some leave you feeling disappointed. This is one of those. Sorry. Valley of the Shadow I didn't like the the script for Gen, nor her ending to this story. Some stories end , leaving you feeling good. Some leave you feeling disappointed. This is one of those. Sorry.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Heather Rodriguez

    Western Adventure Historical fiction. Storyline is interesting, but not fast pace. The characters are interesting, but it didn’t hold my attention as much as other books I have read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karen Reeves

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Love Stephanie Grace Whitson and this book pulled me into a culture/time I did not remember in the history books. 4 stars because the hero died at the end (would have been 5).

  18. 4 out of 5

    Paul L. Hall

    Valley of the Shadow Great story!! I have been looking for a book like this for a long time!! The author did a splendid job on this book, am recommending to friends,

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sherie Gibbens

    Great historical book This was a very great historical book. Getting ready to read the next one of the series. Thank you for this novel.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karilyn

    Great book Excellent read . I cannot wait for book # 2 ! I loved this story ! A must read !

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anne-Marie Webster

    Thoughtful, sad, challenging A sad time in the history of our country. Greed and corruption, prejudice and hatred--all that makes true courage and character so evidently shine.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kristy Day

    A great read. I truly enjoyed this series and even learned a bit. I hear portrayal of the time period and relationships between native people and white settlers.

  23. 5 out of 5

    kattie

    Shadow I loved this story, but I was disappointed in the last half, I recommend every one to read her books, I look forward to reading more of her books KATTIE.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Too many tears Too many tears and too many deaths on both sides . It was a good Indian story and pretty truthful and sad. Well written.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    Public library copy. This is the first in the Dakota Moons series, which is similar to the Prairie Winds series, historically, but in a different location. This was a difficult read. Not that it is not well written. The subject is difficult. I'm ashamed that I don't know this part of American history, which I suspect is because it is not taught. The inhumane treatment of the Sioux by the United States government was deplorable. If you are looking for a cozy read, this is not the book for you. I s Public library copy. This is the first in the Dakota Moons series, which is similar to the Prairie Winds series, historically, but in a different location. This was a difficult read. Not that it is not well written. The subject is difficult. I'm ashamed that I don't know this part of American history, which I suspect is because it is not taught. The inhumane treatment of the Sioux by the United States government was deplorable. If you are looking for a cozy read, this is not the book for you. I suspect the book is far more historical than fictional. There are many characters, making it difficult at times for the reader to keep track of identities. This book is a literary wonder, for weaving the story with what I suppose to be the historical events of this time period, which is during the Civil War. I love how the author characterizes the main pov characters by their personalities and their faith, not by their race, although she does define the different racial lifestyles and the difficulties in bridging those. I highly recommend this book to any reader who wants to learn about the Sioux nation and its demise, and about those who served as missionaries to the Sioux during the mid-1800s. You will not be disappointed. You may even have your own faith tested as a result of reading this book! I gave it three stars because it was difficult reading (the facts), and because (no spoilers) I disagreed with parts at the end of the book which seemed a bit unrealistic and inconsistent with the characters of Simon and Gen. And the story does not end here, but continues in the next book of the series ... hopefully with more hope and a little less death.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Patti

    A riveting, uplifting, and spiritual tale about two young people finding their faith in very tiring times. Times, when in early settlement Montana, things between the white settlers and the Sioux were not right. Meet Genevieve LaCroix, a young woman who's father sends her away to a missionary in for her to find the best education she could find. After losing her mother, the last thing she ever wanted to do, was to be sent away from her father. Being of mixed race, it was hard enough for her to b A riveting, uplifting, and spiritual tale about two young people finding their faith in very tiring times. Times, when in early settlement Montana, things between the white settlers and the Sioux were not right. Meet Genevieve LaCroix, a young woman who's father sends her away to a missionary in for her to find the best education she could find. After losing her mother, the last thing she ever wanted to do, was to be sent away from her father. Being of mixed race, it was hard enough for her to be a part of the white settlers lifestyle, let alone their undying faith for God. When a tragedy falls upon the family she is staying with and she witness them finding a silver lining, will Gen finally start understanding God's ways? Two-Shoes, is a born and raised Dakota young man, whom like any other Sioux believed whites to be the enemy. That was until he became wounded and was treated and healed by the missionary family Gen was with. During the time in which he heals, his vision of the white people changes form one of hatred to one awe and belief. But when conflict arises and he is torn between his people or the family he has grown to love, will he be able to stay true to his faith and do what is right by God? In the "Valley of the Shadow" by Stephanie Grace Whitson, be prepared to go on a journey and witness history, and the undying faith of those who believe.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Frances Rogers

    Harsh living conditions for pioneers and indians It is rather difficult to read about the trials brought about by both groups of people during the settling of the west. The heartbreak of losing loved ones is mitigated by the blessed hope of believers in Christ.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dianne Sidebottom

    I don't live in States but I guess this is one book that opened my eyes to what happened to the Dakota people. God is the only one who can set the justice for what happened to these people. We all are going to be accountable for our actions. Relationships and so called society rules in this story certainly make today's ways seem open. Their is no way when women having children can know how to be a mother, certainly helps if they have had good role models. Especially woman are happy to bare child I don't live in States but I guess this is one book that opened my eyes to what happened to the Dakota people. God is the only one who can set the justice for what happened to these people. We all are going to be accountable for our actions. Relationships and so called society rules in this story certainly make today's ways seem open. Their is no way when women having children can know how to be a mother, certainly helps if they have had good role models. Especially woman are happy to bare children for their husbands but to survive childbirth can be life/death for mother/child. Many do the best they can like today do the best we can in our circumstance/environment. Thank you Stephanie for writing this story. I do believe that God puts certain books in our hands to read to help heal or learn about the past history of behaviours of mankind.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This is the story of a half-Indian half-French girl named Gen who leaves her father to learn at a missionary school. She grows accustomed to their ways and learns many things. But as she later prays, she wants the facts to move from her head to her heart. This is also the story of a missionary to the Indians and his wife and two children. The missionary, Simon Dane, experiences struggles, loss, and a renewing of the heart. Through war, bloodshed, and death, the characters grow in their faith and a This is the story of a half-Indian half-French girl named Gen who leaves her father to learn at a missionary school. She grows accustomed to their ways and learns many things. But as she later prays, she wants the facts to move from her head to her heart. This is also the story of a missionary to the Indians and his wife and two children. The missionary, Simon Dane, experiences struggles, loss, and a renewing of the heart. Through war, bloodshed, and death, the characters grow in their faith and are given faith to believe for the first time. Gen is in love with an Indian who comes to faith in Christ and acts heroically. Will she end up with him? I am eager to read the next in the series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    This story takes place in the 1800's when white man was taking over the native american land and forcing them into reservations. Meet Genevieve La Croix. A "half-breed." Daughter of a Dakota woman and a french tradesman. Her struggled in love and life and the amazing willfullness of her spirit. I loved this series. IT is a heartbreaking tale of a christian native american trying to find love, a life, and happiness in his new world while never being accepted by white man, and shunned by his native This story takes place in the 1800's when white man was taking over the native american land and forcing them into reservations. Meet Genevieve La Croix. A "half-breed." Daughter of a Dakota woman and a french tradesman. Her struggled in love and life and the amazing willfullness of her spirit. I loved this series. IT is a heartbreaking tale of a christian native american trying to find love, a life, and happiness in his new world while never being accepted by white man, and shunned by his native american brothers who view his new faith as traitorous. Very informative. I love historical fiction.

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