Subscribe to Ken's newsletter
A Thousand Valleys
About the Book
From Ken Fulmer comes a novel about overcoming generational abuse, deciding for ourselves who we are, and forgiving those who’ve hurt us.
“Fulmer boldly mingles characters’ strengths with their flaws, creating convincing, complex people…” —Booklife by Publishers Weekly
“A skillfully written family tale…Fulmer’s prose is taut and always a bit ominous.” —Kirkus Reviews
“An intriguing literary feat that examines one family’s approach to addiction, mental illness, and generational trauma. ” —Independent Book Review
North Carolina, 1977. Divorce and the near death of her son left Sara Taylor a mournful and erratic mother. When she loses her job as a nurse, she moves her son to Raleigh, where they will live closer to her parents.
Jimmy will do anything for his mother, even become the man of the house at seven. Fifty-six-year-old Phil Soderlind, caught between his daughter’s intensifying depression and his grandson’s need for a parent, must step in, daring to believe in his own strength and intelligence to mend his family’s deepening wounds.
In a boisterous, detached recess of her mind, Sara discovers a hamlet of ascendant voices. Their scornful accusations and jealous petitions speed up Sara’s descent into the chasm.
As Christmas approaches, and a rival sister arrives, Sara’s brittle psyche threatens to rupture. For Jimmy, the uncertainties of the external world pale when measured against unrelenting family torments. In his grandparents’ home, surrounded by the trappings of a festive holiday, Jimmy learns the dreadful truth: he alone must stand.