The Other Valley

Atria. Feb. 2024. 304p. ISBN 9781668015476. $27.99. SF
DEBUT Howard’s debut novel explores time and the choices made in a lifetime as it considers whether future events are inevitable or stoppable. The story is set in a valley whose borders are reinforced by mountains, formidable fences, and armed men. No one can leave. But what lies in wait if one manages to reach the neighboring lands? The crossing is measured not in distance but time. Journeying east or west means traveling into the future or the past by 20 years. Tension mounts as heroine Odile sees the echoes of her choices as she trains to become one of the keepers of the valley’s timeline. What would one risk for the chance to see long dead loved ones, knowing that just over the mountains they still exist? It is clear, however, that those in power would do anything to maintain the status quo of time and fate.
VERDICT This gripping speculative novel will make for wonderful book club discussions.
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