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This epic historical novel shows how the lives of ordinary men and women who lived in the shadow of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, were changed forever during The Philadelphia Campaign in mid-1777, when the Revolutionary War battles came to their doorsteps, leading them and their loved ones to Valley Forge from winter 1777 through summer 1778. James, a former slave, lives as a blacksmith on Rebel Hill in Gulph Mills, with his patriot friend, Daniel. Daniel is reluctant to volunteer for the army because he supports his mother and sister. James questions the sincerity of patriots who fight for freedom when so many African Americans are still slaves. But, the Continental Army's occupation of Rebel Hill in early December uproots their plans. Orland Roberts, a Paoli farmer, leads a local patriot spy network with the help of his wife Teenie, daughter Betsey, and brother Norman, who owns a local tavern. As soon as they come of age, the Roberts' boys--Fred and Allen--enlist in the Continental Army under the command of their neighbor, General Anthony Wayne, which puts them in the thick of The Philadelphia Campaign battles. The family outcast, Connie, who runs a brothel in Philadelphia that services many British officers during their occupation of the city, views the presence of both the redcoats and the patriots in the area as just another challenge that she has to conquer to survive, until a series of events causes her to put family ties above all else. Their paths converge, along with many other people's, at Valley Forge, where General George Washington's Continental Army, a young nation, and the fascinating characters in the book are forced to confront the reality and the aftermath of war, revolution, and freedom as they grow and become the meaning of Valley Forge.
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A lifelong resident of the Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, area, Sheilah Vance is a practicing attorney and award-winning author of the novels Chasing the 400, Land Mines, and the Christian inspirational book, Creativity for Christians: How to Tell Your Story and Stories of Overcoming from the Members of One Special Church. She is the president and CEO as well as the founder of The Elevator Group, LLC, an independent publishing company. She has a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. in communications from the Howard University School of Communications, both in Washington, DC. Her first novel, Chasing the 400, was the first selection of the African American Museum of Philadelphia Book Club. Chasing the 400 and Land Mines were featured selections in the Black Expressions Book Club, a national subscription book-of-the-month club, and often in the Top 20 Bestsellers. A member of the Friends of Valley Forge National Park, she has done extensive research on the activities of the local communities during the Revolutionary War.Review:
Although a work of fiction, author Sheilah Vance has included a great deal of historically factual background details in her stirring saga of a novel. Impressively well written from beginning to end, Becoming Valley Forge is highly recommended for both community and academic library Historical Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that Becoming Valley Forge is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99). --Midwest Book Review, April 2016, Small Press Watch, Fiction
In her epic-length novel Becoming Valley Forge, Sheilah Vance dramatizes the horrific depredations experienced by George Washington s Continental Army as it endured brutal conditions during the winter camp at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in 1777. The author centers her story around a small cast of colourful characters whose lives become tangled up in the war, whether they want to or not. There is a local blacksmith named James, a former slave, a conflicted patriot, Daniel, tavern-keeper Norman, Continental General Anthony Wayne, and the seemingly opportunistic Pennsylvania brothel-keeper, Connie. The result of all these viewpoints playing out against the broader historical backdrop becomes a truly immersive reading experience. --Historical Novel Society, May 2016
Winner, Regional Fiction Category --Next Generation Indie Book Awards, May 2016
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Book Description The Elevator Group, 2016. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0982494599
Book Description The Elevator Group, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110982494599
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