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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Vala's Bed by Joyce Faulkner is a historical fiction novel that looks at the aftermath of the Second World War from a refreshingly unique angle. A young German girl, Vala Hess, finds herself alone with her two little boys, Emo and Milo, when Germany lost the war. While chased by an angry mob, she's rescued by Sonny, an American GI, and the two eventually marry and settle in Cold Creek, Ohio. Sonny and his family are kind and loving people but Vala is tormented by her past. The boys, on the other hand, have to face the fact that they are growing up as Germans in post World War II America. As Emo, the older of the two boys, suspects, his mother is keeping many secrets and it becomes his quest to find out what they are.
Joyce Faulkner's Vala's Bed is certainly a fascinating read. In rural Cold Creek, Ohio, Vala Hess, with her two young sons, tries to escape her past and what follows is an emotional journey that is both revealing and painful. Author Joyce Faulkner tells her story through the voice of little Emo and it is highly effective and palpable. As Emo struggles with growing up as an all-American boy, he is haunted by dreams of a distant dark past that simply won't go away and a mother that tells strange stories and attracts weird strangers. This is a book that readers will find hard to put down; it's like a puzzle that you cannot let go of until it's perfectly complete. Vala's Bed is a highly charged emotional read and, as such, it is a very interesting novel. And in the end, it is not what many of us expect it's all about. Two thumbs up!