It is always a pleasure to review books by debut authors and double the pleasure when it as well-written as Valley of Victory by Val Rankin Prinsloo.

The author has asked me to point out that since I reviewed her book it now has a new cover image shown below.

Valley of Victory: A true story of trials, tribulations and triumphsValley of Victory: A true story of trials, tribulations and triumphs by Val Rankin Prinsloo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The author Val Rankin Prinsloo in writing Valley of Victory gave this reader so much pleasure. Pleasure may seem an inappropriate word to use as her story is at times harrowing.
She tells of an upbringing as a child in what seemed to be in affluent surroundings in apartheid South Africa. She was brought up in a dysfunctional family and by a mother who we learn had troubles of her own to deal with. No child should ever have to experience some of the things that happened to the author when she was a young girl.
Throughout my own life, it has always struck me a little odd that society expects a driver to pass a test before driving on the highway. However, there is no test or exam for parenthood. If such a test existed, the author’s mother would have failed miserably.
The story is much more than a mother and daughter relationship. Indeed, possibly the most important relationship in the author’s life was with her childhood friend Khanyisile, a Zulu. That relationship is the thread tying the various pieces of the author’s life together.
Prinsloo is an author to watch. She writes movingly and has this wonderful ability to bare all, bringing her life and all the characters in it jumping off the pages at you. This reader certainly felt like he knew the author and all of the other main characters in this book.
The story is as uplifting as it is sad. It is not often a personal memoir moves me. I was moved both by the story and by the delightful writing style of a talented author.

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