The Valley of Heaven and Hell is a quirky, highly entertaining and endearing mix of personal travel adventure and French history. Alongside her energetic and resourceful husband (when he’s not zooming on ahead), novice cyclist Susie bikes 500km following the identical route taken by Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI when they tried to escape from the Revolution, and their journey back to their executions. (Taken from Goodreads)
This book was enchanting andhad me hooked in from the first page. It contains just the right balance of the past and the present information for the novel to actually work.
It was an interesting novel and brought the reader to small villages within rural France that are unknown to the rest of the world. It was interesting to learn about Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI in stages through out the novel. It is easy for the reader to feel pain for the author as she takes us on her journey through France on a bike and I have a lot of admiration for the author and what she has achieved. Through this novel I have learnt a lot about the French Revolution and what life was like in rural France. I felt like I had been on a bike riding alongside the author as she was telling the story. This book is excellent for the traveller inside everyone.
I highly recommend this book to people who want to learn about the historical and the present France but who don’t want to leave the comfort of their own home.