Echoes in the Valley by Meredith Resce is set in Australia during the Great Depression. It is the story of the unlikely relationship between Alex and Grace who have both been hurt in previous relationships and are committed to the single life. Yet dire circumstances bring them together and makes them confront their histories. The story is a believable account of people who make mistakes and must live with the consequences. It is part of the Green Valley series, but I have not read the others, apart from a couple of comments about Grace’s brother’s past, I didn’t notice.

Meredith has created a situation that portrays the attitudes of the church and the public from this time period. Through the story we see how rash decisions can have long term consequences, how forgiveness is a difficult process and how judgmental attitudes can hamper compassion.

About half way through I was wondering how the situation was ever going to be happily resolved yet Meredith does so without being convenient. She writes with keen insight into the human condition making this an engaging narrative.

It is easy to think that the difficulties in this book wouldn’t happen today. Yet many of the attitudes still exist. People still make rash decisions without proper regard of the consequences; forgiveness is still a difficult process; and judgmental attitudes still exist in the church as well as in the community. The book teaches us the need for compassion.

A great read.