Pleasant Valley
Eralides E. Cabrera
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Buy *Pleasant Valley* by Eralides E. Cabrera online

Pleasant Valley
Eralides E. Cabrera
352 pages
April 2005
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Eralides E. Cabrera's Pleasant Valley (author of Res Ipsa and Lost Generation), a somewhat spooky psychological tale about a mysterious cult in a remote American town, reminds me of early films based on Stephen King’s work, such as It. Like Stephen King, Cabrera opens the book with a quote, this one from Shakespeare and very relevant to the storyline… although you won’t know it until the end.

Nick’s family were all destroyed when he was a teenager, and due to an ambitious recruitment officer, Nick soon found himself in Vietnam fighting a war he didn’t believe in because he had nowhere else to go. It also provided a way for him to drown out the images and feelings from his past. A daring rescue yields Nick terrible injuries, but his heroism is uplifting to the other fighters and they go well beyond the line of duty to get him the medical help he needs.

After being awarded with an amazing medal of honor and sent back home, Nick finds little appreciation in the eyes of his fellow citizens. Protests are happening regularly, and people are definitely not afraid to express their lack of support for this war. Just by chance, Nick begins to wander down a beach where he meets the woman of his dreams. She convinces him to go home and face his inner demons; because of his return, the little town will never be the same.

Overall, Pleasant Valley has a good storyline, and the author employs good scene structure and character-building techniques. However, a few elements seem a little corny, such as the power of music to instill fear in the nemesis creatures.

The cover design is well-presented, although one can see where Photoshop work was done. What stood out most for me was not necessarily the quality, though; rather it was the beauty, the tranquility evoked by the cover design that appealed. The homes in the distance were also interesting to look at. However, the back cover words and art are not well-defined, resulting in increasing difficulty in reading the text. Publisher AuthorHouse has printed the book in the U.S. on acid-free paper, which environmentalists will celebrate and which results in fewer fossil fuels spent for North American readers.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Lillian Brummet, 2008

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