Valley Of Decision
Simon & Schuster/Howard Books, Sep 22 2015, $14.99
Several years have passed since Dr. Lisbeth Hasting left behind her beloved barrister Cyprianus Thracius in third century Roman controlled Carthage. Both agreed to the separation to keep their daughter safe since his beloved offspring would be an Achilles’ heel for Cyprianus as the leader of the persecuted (by Rome) Christians. Though she fiercely misses her mate, Lisbeth raises their child and uses her medical practice to control her sadness.
Disappointed with her mom’s lack of effort over the last decade to bring her daddy home; teenage Maggie’s paternal obsession leads her to take a radical course to persuade her father that his family (at least her as she doubts her mom cares) needs him. In Carthage, Maggie finds her grandmother accused of murder, but her attempts at rescue leads to a riot. The Proconsul demands the death of the troublemaking teen mastermind and her rebellious family.
The third Christian Chronicles of Carthage saga (see Return to Exile and Healer of Carthage) is a complex time travel family drama, but has a “déjà vu all over again” (the late great Yogi Berra) feel to the overarching theme. Well written climaxing with a terrific unexpected but reasonable late twist, Valley Of Decision is a fine finish to a fabulous trilogy.