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The Last Green Valley: A Novel Paperback – May 4, 2021
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“Mark Sullivan has done it again! The Last Green Valley is a compelling and inspiring story of heroism and courage in the dark days at the end of World War II.” ―Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author
From the author of the #1 bestseller Beneath a Scarlet Sky comes a new historical novel inspired by one family’s incredible story of daring, survival, and triumph.
In late March 1944, as Stalin’s forces push into Ukraine, young Emil and Adeline Martel must make a terrible decision: Do they wait for the Soviet bear’s intrusion and risk being sent to Siberia? Or do they reluctantly follow the wolves―murderous Nazi officers who have pledged to protect “pure-blood” Germans?
The Martels are one of many families of German heritage whose ancestors have farmed in Ukraine for more than a century. But after already living under Stalin’s horrifying regime, Emil and Adeline decide they must run in retreat from their land with the wolves they despise to escape the Soviets and go in search of freedom.
Caught between two warring forces and overcoming horrific trials to pursue their hope of immigrating to the West, the Martels’ story is a brutal, complex, and ultimately triumphant tale that illuminates the extraordinary power of love, faith, and one family’s incredible will to survive and see their dreams realized.
An Amazon Best Book of the Month: Literature & Fiction
“After his triumphant novel Beneath a Scarlet Sky, Mark Sullivan delivers another stunning tour de force. Based on interviews and careful research, The Last Green Valley is the novelization of an inspirational true story featuring human strength, faith, and endurance against all odds.” —Authorlink
“[Sullivan’s] got an extraordinary imagination, paired with a real talent for creating realistic scenes, both hair-raising times of danger—like being strafed—and intimate moments of pain.” —Historical Novel Society
“Mark Sullivan has done a fantastic job reliving this harrowing story…If you’re a fan of historical novels this is one of the best that will come out this year or any year.” —Red Carpet Crash
“Sullivan brings to life another little-known tale of perseverance and bravery in the face of incredible hardship.” —She Reads
“A simply riveting read from cover to cover, The Last Green Valley is a deftly crafted novel that showcases experienced author Mark Sullivan’s exceptional narrative storytelling skills combined with exceptional originality.” —Midwest Book Review
“I hail Mark Sullivan for doing it again—taking very real, very human stories set during the most intense period in recent world history and providing us with a work of historical fiction that we will not forget anytime soon.” —Bookreporter
“Mark Sullivan has done it again! The Last Green Valley is a compelling and inspiring story of heroism and courage in the dark days at the end of World War II. Fans of Beneath a Scarlet Sky will savor this novel based on an extraordinary and little-known tale of the war and its aftermath.” —Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone
“Mark Sullivan weaves together history and memory in an epic journey of love and resilience. One of the most riveting, page-turning books I’ve read in a long time.” —Heather Morris, author of the #1 international and New York Times bestseller The Tattooist of Auschwitz
“Sullivan again demonstrates his gift for finding little-known embers of history and breathing life into them until they glow and shine in ways that are both moving and memorable.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris
“Mark is one of the most gifted and successful novelists of our generation. His ability to weave drama, morality, and emotion through wonderfully captivating stories of the human spirit puts him among the greats.” —Tony Robbins, #1 New York Times bestselling author and the nation’s #1 life and business strategist
About the Author
Mark Sullivan is the acclaimed author of more than twenty novels, including the #1 Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller Beneath a Scarlet Sky, which has been translated into thirty-seven languages and will soon be a limited television series starring Tom Holland. Mark also writes the #1 New York Times bestselling Private series with James Patterson. He has received numerous awards and accolades for his writing, including a WHSmith Fresh Talent selection, a New York Times Notable Books mention, and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year honor. He grew up in Medfield, Massachusetts, and graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in English before working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, West Africa. Upon his return to the United States, he earned a graduate degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and began a career in investigative reporting. An avid skier and adventurer, he lives with his wife in Bozeman, Montana, where he remains grateful for the miracle of every moment. For more information visit www.marksullivanbooks.com.
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (May 4, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 457 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1503958744
- ISBN-13 : 978-1503958746
- Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2021
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Top reviews from the United States
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Truthfully, I am tired of historical fiction about the wars, all of them, but specifically anything having to due with the holocaust, which this novel did but the concentration of it wasn’t so much on the horrific treatment of the Jewish people but rather on people trying to avoid having anything to do with war at all.
The Martel’s were trying to escape the Soviet forces taking over their lands, possible capture and being sent to Siberia to work. The German’s were making promises to the purebred German’s to go with them to secure a better life. So, the Martel’s went with the German’s. The Martel’s eventually wanted to go far west, as far as they could, to a place they would be free to live a simple life of farming, as far as America.
Somewhere along the way this novel turns into, well, almost a self-help kind of book. Just be positive and everything will be alright. I believe greatly in hope, positivity and prayer so that was great but it became a bit corny, and in the horrific climate of this novel I don’t think it played well.
Some of the negative reviewers felt this was a Christian book and thought it should have been advertised as such. I did not get that impression. Adelide was deeply religious and believed God heard her prayers. Emil, on the other hand, lost his faith. His outlook changes when he meets a man who believes there is a force in the universe that responds to one's attitude, positive or negative. This man does not know if that universal force is God or something else. The man did have a remarkable tale of survival. Emil decides to adopt this man's belief and opportunities begin to open up that help him escape and get to safety. At no time does Emil pray. He merely changes his attitude and thinks positively. I'd like to believe that force is God, but then I'm a Christian. Others would think otherwise. I never thought the book was promoting Christianity.
By the time I finished this book, I was amazed. They went through so much, perservered, and were rewarded in the end. And it's a true story! Definitely recommend.
I bought the book the the day it was published and read it right away. It is better than Beneath a Scarlet Sky. Much, much better. I could not put it down and will never forget it.
Other reviewers already provided plenty of details about the story, so I will spare you that. Instead, I would like to focus on how the book seems to operate on at least THREE LEVELS. Any single one of them is worth your investment of time and money.
LEVEL ONE is the surface level – a gripping WW2 story focused on two incredible people: Emil and Adeline. Fasten your seat belt for a wild ride. Sullivan transports you into worlds you never knew existed, even if you have already read many WW2 books. He entertains, informs, and inspires.
LEVEL TWO delivers a message. To be sure, the book teems with insights about life, love, death, evil, sacrifice, forgiveness, and faith. What struck me most, though, were Sullivan’s powerful insights about how to transform your life for the better. Regardless how bad things get for you -- no matter what hardships you face -- you, too, can emerge stronger and happier.
Sullivan threads the needle here. He does not beat readers over the head with his message about personal transformation. He shows it rather than tells it. The message is subtle and will not resonate with everyone. But it’s there if you need it, and I expect it will change more than a few lives.
LEVEL THREE is autobiographical. I am going out on a limb with this one, but here goes.
Sullivan has been public about his life challenges, including being so distraught that he nearly committed suicide. Then ‘Beneath a Scarlet Sky’ came along and changed his life. That story -- and its positive worldwide reception -- helped Sullivan journey through the darkness and emerge into the light.
Now, Sullivan seems to be giving back. With “The Last Green Valley,” he seems to be turning around and extending a helping hand to other travelers, offering to help them transform their own lives.
Granted, his best seller “Beneath a Scarlet Sky” did this, too, but the effect was somewhat unexpected. This time, Sullivan is doing it on purpose. In “The Last Green Valley,” he writes from a position of hard-won wisdom. He has mastered much more than storytelling.
I recently read Paolo Coelho’s masterpiece “The Alchemist” yet again and was struck by the similarities. If you know that book, then consider that when Sullivan wrote “Beneath a Scarlet Sky,” he was like the shepherd boy, Santiago, on a quest across the Sahara.
But now, Sullivan - who has lived in the Sahara himself -- has found his ‘personal legend,’ his calling. And he knows that the universe conspires to help him bring it into reality.
With “The Last Green Valley,” the shepherd boy (Santiago/Sullivan) has evolved into another character in Coelho’s famous book: the alchemist. In his new role as alchemist, Sullivan has begun to help others realize their 'oneness with the soul of the world.'
BOTTOM LINE: "The Last Green Valley" offers something for everyone. If you seek a thrilling, interesting story, then you will get it. If you want something more -- a gift that can inspire, heal, and perhaps even change your life -- then that is available to you as well. I highly recommend it.
Top reviews from other countries
This is a heart-wrenching, upsetting yet stunning book about Emil and his wife Adeline and their two sons caught in a world where the second world war is causing upheaval in Europe and further east.
Torn from their farm in Ukraine the tensions of the period are brought to life and the impact on the characters is so sad. Caught between Stalin’s brutal regime and Hitlers annihilation of the Jews it follows the family as they try to flee to safety.
This was a truly emotional read. The horrors of war are shadowed by the brutality and evilness of men who commit such terrible crimes against each other. It felt that there was nowhere safe for the family and the instinct to survive no matter what life threw at them is just so reflective of the many people who lived through this nightmare.
Based on a true story this book took me on a moving journey of hope and a certain trust that in the end everything is worth fighting for. Emil’s journey took him to the depths of absolute misery, one that I am lucky enough to say I have never and hope to never witness. How one man could experience such horror and still believe his path out of it would happen is just testament to his strength and love that he had for his family.
It’s an area of history I know little about. For many Germans who lived in areas outside the Fatherland the return to it was not all it seemed and the afterword provided historical context to the storyline and some family details which was very useful. Did I have a tear in my eye - yes I did, but I also had a feeling joy and comfort.
This was a 5 star 🌟 🌟🌟🌟🌟 read for me. A family’s journey from the horrors of war to their dream to realise a better, safer life where they would have the freedom to make their own choices.
Phenomenal story and Mark Sullivan is such a gifted writer who has been given this story to tell so beautifully.
The crimes committed by the opposing armies, be they German or Russian , the figures are so astronomical as to be nearly incomprehensible. Saying that , the Allies don't get off that lightly either. The descriptive power by Mr. Sullivan, almost let's you think you are in the battles and have you firmly shouting for the refugees. What thespeople went through, all caused by the tyranny of his fellow man or indeed woman , is something that you definitely won't learn in History class . This is one main reason why this book is so important, and many other books like it
I'll finish on a rather thinkful note: most of this took place in the years leading up to and after the Second World War, however, today, no matter which country you come from, every single day the most common headlines are all about Refugees. Some drowning in the Mediterranean, others being turned back from one country or another. Children starving in a world that's full of food. " Oh, when will we ever learn" If you get a chance, read and enjoy this book.