A Valley Dream

Book 1 in the uplifting new Backshaw Moss series

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Pub Date 13 May 2021 | Archive Date 28 Oct 2021

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In her heart-warming new Backshaw Moss series, Anna Jacobs takes us through the joys and the trials of life in 1930s Lancashire.

1935. At thirty-six, Bella Porter is dependent on her abusive cousin, acting as an unpaid servant. When a kind relative leaves her a house in the village of Backshaw Moss, Thomas tries to take it from her, but she defies him and grasps this chance of a new start in Lancashire.

It is not going to be easy, though. The house is on the edge of a slum and in a state of disrepair, let out as flats. As kind people help her find her feet, however, her confidence grows and when she meets struggling, widowed father-of-three Ryan, she begins to hope she may find the happy family she's always dreamed of.

She's offered partial help with her renovations by the local council who are planning to clear up the slums, but other landlords will do anything to avoid costly improvements and protect their profits. And when Thomas follows her, still after the inheritance, not only is Bella's newfound happiness threatened but also her life. Can her new friends help her rid herself of her tormenter once and for all and finally achieve her valley dream?

The perfect heart-warming read for fans of Dilly Court, Lyn Andrews and Maureen Lee.

Readers love Anna Jacobs' Birch End Series!

'Amazing' - 5 STARS

'Thank you, Anna, for the pleasure you give in all your books' - 5 STARS

'Another brilliant, hard-to-put-down book' - 5 STARS

'Can't wait for the next instalment' - 5 STARS

'A real page turner, I can't wait to read the next one' - 5 STARS

'Another triumph for Anna Jacobs' - 5 STARS


In her heart-warming new Backshaw Moss series, Anna Jacobs takes us through the joys and the trials of life in 1930s Lancashire.

1935. At thirty-six, Bella Porter is dependent on her abusive cousin...

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ISBN 9781529353488
PRICE £20.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 26 members

Featured Reviews

Love Anna Jacobs and what a brilliant first book of a new series. Brilliant Family saga page turner mixed emotions. Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC edition cant wait for the next in the series

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Another captivating read from “our Anna”. I enjoyed this book so much that while desperate to get to the end, I didn’t want it to end in equal measures. Bella is the main character who has been bullied by her cousin Thomas who was meant to look after her. Bella is left a cottage by a relative but will she be able to move there and does she have the confidence. My special character in this book has to be Gabriel. Old favourites turn up, sergeant Deemer. Other well Kent names pop up , making you feel at home. I am so pleased that this is the 1st on the Backshaw Moss trilogy.. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Would never be enough, thoroughly recommend it.

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At thirty-six, Bella is dependent on her horrible manipulating cousin, acting as an unpaid servant. When a kind relative leaves her a house in the village of Backshaw Moss, Thomas tries to take it from her, but she defies him and grasps this chance of a new start in Lancashire. She makes many friends and finds love and a ready made family. She has to go through fears of reprisal from her cousin but the village keeps her safe and protects her.
A big thank you to Hodder and Stoughton and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this new Anna Jacobs book and the 1st in a new series.
Thanks guys and girls 🙂

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I really enjoyed this lovely heartwarming story set in the north of England. Bella inherited a house which helped her get away from her domineering uncle and start a new life for herself., it also portrays the real northern spirit of a village who looks after its own. The inhabitants rally round to protect Bella when her uncle tries to harm her and she finds love with her tenant Ryan. Great novel for a holiday read.

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A Valley Dream by Anna Jacobs is a wonderful historical fiction novel that is the first, in what I expect to be an excellent, new series: Backshaw Moss. I really have enjoyed many of Ms. Jacobs's books in the past, so I was excited that she was writing a new series. I love being able to read from the very beginning and watch the magic unfold!

I really enjoyed this new series. Set in the 1930s in London, it is pre-WWII, and that time period is such a fascinating period. Times of unrest on the horizon, societal shifts and alterations are still cooking, and the winds of change are present. So much is happening, and I am glad that the author chose this time period for her book.

I really enjoyed the character cast in this historical fiction saga. There is a full array of characters and plenty of material to use for future installments. I really liked Bella. She is stronger then she realizes, has gumption, but also seems to be a likable and positive person overall. I really enjoyed the relationship and friendships she developed upon her new move and renovations. I liked the sense of family and support that were depicted. I also enjoyed the pace, story line, and the obstacles that were placed throughout to create interest and complexity to the story.

I also enjoyed reading about home improvements, renovations, and the work taking place behind the scenes.

This book has it all: history, great narrative, wonderful characters, suspense, and a dash of hope and romance to round things out quite nicely. I look forward to seeing how this series continues.

5/5 stars

Thank you NG and Hodder & Stoughton for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, B&N, and Waterstones accounts upon publication.

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The first in a new series set in Backshaw Moss, A Valley Dream is refreshingly gentle and sweet. Can a book be kind?! Anna Jacobs has a gift for intertwining stories within stories harmoniously, making them sing. The 1935 historical details and vernacular are splendid.

Bella Porter, a 36-year-old woman is not living but existing with her well-off barbaric relatives. Thomas Beaton treats her like a kept subhuman but she has nowhere else to go as she had no resources or means of income as most single women in her position then. Thomas is horrified and humiliated to learn that she has bequeathed a cottage and trinkets by a relative. Him? Not so much. Bella escapes to run-down Backshaw Moss (even the name is sweet!) and residents take notice. Her confidence grows as she meets villagers and makes friends. But her life is not all rosy. Her character grows as she comes into her own which she needs as she faces many obstacles. I really look forward to the next in the series...so many possibilities.

Historical fiction readers should definitely read this mild, clean and heartwarming book. I'm so glad I did!

My sincere thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for the privilege of reading the e-ARC of this precious book.

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I was delighted to learn that Anna Jacobs had written a new book which is to be the first in a new series featuring Backshaw Moss. I've loved her previous novels and looked forward to reading this one. I wasn't disappointed. It was a wonderful read. Set in the 1930's - pre WWII - it features a cast of very likeable people with, of course, a smattering of villains - to keep us intrigued and rooting for our heroine. That lady is Bella, who is very easy to warm to and I loved seeing her transform from a downtrodden and frightened woman to a strong and confident one as she dealt with various problems and setbacks as she took possession of a property that she had inherited in a relative's will. Her evil cousin, Thomas, is determined to find her and drag her back to live with him where he can control her and take her property and money. His nasty schemes and the threat and suspense resulting from them, kept me turning the pages to see the outcome. In contrast to Thomas and his shady hangers-on, the villagers are a loveable bunch who set out to protect and care for Bella. I particularly liked the kindness and friendship that all of the villagers showed to one another in this poor but caring community. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and eagerly look forward to the rest of the series. My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a pre release copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

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This was an absolutely wonderful start to a new series.
Bella inherits a house, but it would require her to make huge changes in her life, starting with escaping from her cousins domineering hold. I loved meeting all the characters, who quickly take to Bella and you see her confidence growing, despite the challenge ahead of her. The house has some terrible tenants and als0 needs a lot of work to bring them up to a habitable condition. It's in a slum area with some very shady characters who want to threaten and stop her making a success.
It was a fascinating snapshot of the time (pre war) and the type of housing around at the time.
I wanted to stop and help her unload all the boxes and exclaim over each treasure.
I can't wait to read the other books in the series and meet the other characters joining the street.

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Thank you to NetGalley, Anna Jacobs and the publisher Hodder and Stoughton for the chance to read this book in exchange for a full and honest review.

I have read the other Ellindale Valley series of books and thoroughly enjoyed them (though I need to catch the Rivenshaw ones) and I really enjoyed this novel, the first in a new series and apparently the final Valley series.
However I felt that if one hadn't read the previous books then it would be hard to follow the back stories of some of the characters.
But it was like pulling on an old pair of slippers and snuggling into a warm blanket to renew the acquaintance of some of the old characters from previous books.
As with many books of this genre there were ups and downs for many, the predictable romance and the inevitable villain - in this case Cousin Thomas - who was a thoroughly detestable character.
Bella inherits a house from another relative - who leaves it to her in the hope that she will realise that life can be different and indeed better away from Cousin Thomas. Bella's house was one of three but we didnt meet the owners of the others - though they had been left to beneficiaries in the same Will - presumably their stories will come in further books of the series.
The story interweaves with inhabitants of the other villages and towns and some of the previous met storylines from the other Valley series of books
Anna Jacobs books are always easy reading - her style is predictable - but enjoyable.

Thank you again to Anna Jacobs and the publishers for the chance to enjoy this story

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I have to say i love the Valley books they draw you in to each story and keep you wanting more.This story of a woman who receives a bequest in her cousins will. She arrives in the valley to start a new life and is surprised to find how friendly some of the residents are and is excited to settle in.I have to say Anna Jacobs writes wonderful books and i look forward to her next.5*

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A family feel good safa set in the 1930's.

When Bella 's wonderful parents died she had to go and live with her cousin who was not wonderful in anyway shape or form. He and his equally horrid wife treated Bella nothing more than a servant so when a opportunity arises to escape she snatches it with both hands feet lungs and anything else she can use. She has an allie in the form of a excellent London Lawyer who with his wife help her prepare for a new life.

A new life beckoned up north in Lancashire where she is warmly welcomed by most but even her she finds an enemy who tries to cause problems but with the help of her new friends Bella has to stand her ground and move on. I let you read it yourself to find out how it goes. There are some surprises and shocks along the way which will let you escape for a while from real life.

The 30's as you may know was a time when Britain's recovery from the Great War was well on its way but many still struggled much hardship financially one something Bella hasn't experienced even in her Cousins home she wasn't given any money yet her life style as hard as it was didn't resemble the things she saw in some of the slum area she came to live in. It was fortunately for her that people took to her even with her posh voice but kind ways. Her land lady introduces her to Gabriel a young man who drives her around they form a strong link and help each other in various ways.

I did enjoy this book and found the characters equal to books I've read written in this era which makes it special, it holds to the values of the time and I believe of the area. Family is strong and the folks loyal to those that treat them right but if you mess you deal with the stress. As in they don't take to fools gladly but you know that I'd guess.

I hope you enjoy this novel an escape from the present and a dip into the past.

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Love Anna Jacobs beautiful sagas.A Valley Dream is English saga writing at its best.So excited that this is the beginning of a new series A Valley Dream that I will be looking forward to reading.#netgalley #Avalleydream

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I absolutey loved this book. From the first few chapters I felt a connection to Bella. After her parents had died her cousin had taken her in and treated her just like a servant, except she was unpaid. When a relative, who has been attending family events, sees how the family is treating her he decides to leave her a cottage so she can escape her abusive cousin.

I loved the storylineits a mixed bag of emotions and truly heartwarming. It gives you hope that no matter what life throws at you there is always something better around the corner. I loved the friendships that blossomed.

Its my first book by Anna but won't be my last her other books are already on my TBR list. This is the first book in the series and I'm looking forward to reading the next I was totally in love with the place.

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This is a new book in the series of Backshaw moss. It is set in pre-war WW11 where big changes are just around the corner.

The story is about a young woman called Bella who surprisingly inherits a house from a kindly distant relative. The house is run down with similar tenants. The rent has been collected by a dodgy character who has never been checked on to see that all is well but Bella decides she wants to update the house and turf out the tenants who treat the house badly.

Until the bequest of the new house, Bella has lived with her vile Cousin Thomas and his family, who have treated her appallingly and used her as a slave. Thomas thinks he is a powerful man who manages the family money and keeps a tight reign on things. So when Bella inherits the house he is appalled and prepared to do everything in his power to claim it as his own and keep the proceeds. He wants Bella back under his control and it seems nothing will stop him in his path.

Bella has always obeyed her uncle and cow towed to him and the family, but the house seems to bring her alive and she soon realises she is not the timid mouse she always thought she was.

This book has some great characters and at times has you on the edge of your seat. It was really enjoyable
I look forward to the next instalment in the series.
Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this great book. x

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I loved it . Being from the North of England I really took to the warm, kind hearted characters in Backshaw Moss who really took Belle under their wings

There are some nasty characters who are out to destroy Belle but she's made of strong stuff and not as weak as her cousin tries to make people believe.

A real page turner, I can't wait to read the next one which I hope will follow Belle's story as I feel there is lots more to find out about her inheritance which holds more surprises.

Thank you netgalley.

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