The Last Green Valley

Mark T. Sullivan

From the author of the #1 bestseller Beneath a Scarlet Sky comes a new historical novel inspired by one family’s incredible story of daring, survival, and triumph. In late March 1944, as Stalin’s forces push into Ukraine, young Emil and Adeline Martel must make a terrible decision: Do they wait for the Soviet bear’s intrusion and risk being sent to Siberia. Or do they reluctantly follow the wolves—murderous Nazi officers who have pledged to protect “pure-blood” Germans. more

Historical FictionFictionWorld War IIHistoricalWarAudiobookRussiaUkraineGermanyBook Club

423 pages, Kindle Edition
First published Lake Union Publishing

4.49

Rating

56522

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4618

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Mark T. Sullivan

38 books 3231 followers

Mark T. Sullivan (b. 1958) is an author of thrillers. Born in a Boston suburb, he joined the Peace Corp after college, traveling to West Africa to live with a tribe of Saharan nomads. Upon returning to the United States, he took a job at Reuters, beginning a decade-long career in journalism that would eventually lead to a job as an investigative reporter for the San Diego Tribune.

Sullivan spent the winter of 1990 living with a group of skiers in Utah and Wyoming, and used the experience as the foundation for his first novel, The Fall Line (1994). In 1995 he published Hard News, a thriller based on his work as a reporter, and a year later he released The Purification Ceremony, which won the WH Smith Award for Best New Talent. His most recent work is Private Games (2012), which he co-authored with James Patterson. Sullivan lives with his family in Montana, where he skis, hunts, and practices martial arts.

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Liz
2269 reviews
3060 followers
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Beneath a Scarlet Sky is one of the best historical fictions I’ve ever read, so I couldn’t wait to see what Mark Sullivan would produce next. The Last Green Valley is also based on real people, again the history of a family now living in Montana. This time, the story starts in Ukraine. The Martels are Volksdeutsche, sixth generation Germans brought to the Ukraine by Catherine the Great to share their agricultural skills. Of course, under Stalin, they became personae non gratae and Adeline’s father was sent to Siberia. more


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Tina Loves To Read
2683 reviews
1 followers
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This is a WWII historical fiction that is very hard hitting. This WWII historical fiction follows a family of German heritage whose ancestors have farmed in Ukraine for a long time before the war started. I think all the other WWII historical fiction books I have read in the past follows a Jewish family, so I feel this book is like no other WWII historical fiction book I have read in the past. I have to say this book is incredibly hard to read at times because the author goes into details about the very bad things that is happening to this family we are following. There is way to many trigger warnings to go though all of them in this review, but if you are a person that gets upset by what you read please look into the trigger warnings before reading this book. more


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Elyse Walters
4010 reviews
11177 followers
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Audiobook, synced with ebook reading …. ……audio by Will Damron ……16 hours and 8 minutes Having loved the Historical Fiction book “Beneath the Scarlet Sky”…. by Mark Sullivan …. (as many others have too)…. I had planned to read this sooner — then it slipped away from me. more


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Holly B (Short Break)
878 reviews
2358 followers
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4. 5 StarsAmazing story that follows the Martels (based on a true story), a family that decides to leave their farm and home in Ukraine because Stalin's forces are intruding. It is March of 1944 and they have a difficult choice to make. Do they follow the Nazi's who promise to protect them in their retreat from Ukraine or do they stay and risk being killed or sent to Siberia. After a German SS officer knocks on their door and tells them to pack up if they want their protection to move west, Adeline and her husband Emil argue about what to do. more


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Jesse
122 reviews
48 followers
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"The traveling Martels are off on another adventure. " With the soviets right behind them, and the allies closing in on Berlin the Martel family decides to join a caravan headed west under the protection of the Nazi SS. Emil Martel put it, "When we were fleeing the bear and running with the wolves. " The Martels didn't care for the communist Russians or the murderous Nazis, they just wanted to make a better life for their family, and they'd endure one hardship after another to make a better life for themselves. The writing was meh, you can't get around that. more


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Gabbi Levy
194 reviews
10 followers
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This was a slog. I’m sure Sullivan felt obligated to be faithful to the real Martel family story, but this was less a novel than a point by point rehash of a true story that nonetheless still seemed cliched in its telling. The religious themes were preachy rather than revelatory, and I wanted to strangle half the characters for not behaving believably. Similar stories have been frequently told, and much better. more


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Karren Sandercock
939 reviews
226 followers
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Emil and Adeline Martel are of German heritage, forced to make the difficult decision to either stay in the Ukraine and it’s about to be invaded by the Russian army or leave and flee West with the Germany army. The Martel’s have lived under Russian rule before, they decide to leave, they have two young sons Walt and Will, and they pack their wagon with, food, water, clothing, bedding and tools. They begin the journey into the unknown, with horses Thor & Oden pulling the wagon, the roads are busy, full of other refugees and retreating German soldiers. Adeline’s mother Lydia and her sister Malia, have a wagon and leave with the Martel’s. On the road, they catch up with Emil’s parents Johann, Karoline and his sister Rese. more


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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
2265 reviews
31395 followers
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I’ve been wanting to read a book by Mark Sullivan since his Beneath a Scarlet Sky was such a smashing success. I still haven’t read that one, but I’m grateful to say I’ve read and loved The Last Green Valley. In the 1940s, just as Stalin pushes into Ukraine, Emil and Adeline have a choice to make. Do they stay in their home and possibly get sent to Siberia, or do they follow the Nazis who have promised to protect Germans abroad in Ukraine. They decide to leave their beloved home and go with the Nazis, but it’s not that simple. more


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Kat
2402 reviews
482 followers
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This WW2 historical fiction was incredibly well written. It chronicled the journey of the Martel family, Emil, Adeline, and their two young sons as they escaped Ukraine in the last days of WW2, forced to choose between accepting Nazi protecting or falling into the hands of the Russians. I’ve read lots of WW2 stories and all tell a different, terrible perspective of those days. This was a perspective I hadn’t yet heard and the author did a wonderful job showing the journey of the family, as well as the connection they shared. . more


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Corey Woodcock
247 reviews
41 followers
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The Last Green Valley is my first Mark Sullivan book and a long-time-coming foray into the world of WWII fiction, a subgenre I’ve only slightly dipped my toes into over the years. I’m glad I started here though, as this book really got me interested in it. The book is based on a true story and tells the story of the Martel family—ethnic Germans who have lived in Ukraine for a few generations, and their amazing story of attempting to flee west to the Western Allies’ lines as the Red Army rolls over Eastern Europe—the story starts with the Nazis already retreating west. They are essentially fleeing both the Soviets and the Nazis - this was their experience with The Long Trek, and I knew shamefully little of it before reading this book. What I did know, and what is confirmed in this book, is how utterly brutal the warfare was on the Eastern Front of WWII, and anyone who knows anything about it knows that for every horrifying story you hear, there’s bound to be one that’s even worse. more


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Brenda
4377 reviews
2830 followers
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As Adeline and Emil Martel and their two young sons joined the caravan of refugees, along with both Emil and Adeline’s families, they were under no illusions of what could and probably would lie ahead. Their wagon with their two faithful horses leading the way, followed the directions of the Germans who were ‘protecting’ them, taking them away from the danger of Stalin’s rule. Ukraine in 1944 was a dreadful place to call home, with hunger and starvation high on their list of grievances. Their dream of escaping to the west, to a beautiful green valley, was strong. Riding on the trains, crowded with fleeing refugees, Adeline and her boys journeyed on the roof. more


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Rose
276 reviews
135 followers
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I have just finished reading The Last Green Valley by Author Mark T. Sullivan. This story follows the Martel Family, and begins in late March 1944 as Stalin moves into the Ukraine. The voices of the book are German born Emil and Adeline Martel. I have read many books about war, and this horrific time in history, and still find it eye opening and alarming. more


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Ar
28 reviews
0 followers
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I originally thought this was a self-published work, given the weak writing style, but I understand that Lake Union, an Amazon publishing house, is a standard publisher. Surprising, given the length and quality of the work. While the story is based on real people, and it’s a compelling one of resilience and survival, the writing unfortunately doesn’t do it justice. Basic writing concepts like showing not telling are ignored and naming everyone’s emotions throughout (she felt angry, he felt sad) takes much away from the book. The dialogue is both corny/clichéd and isn’t used effectively and therefore seems misplaced at times and choppy at others. more


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Wendy
1738 reviews
608 followers
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From the author of #1 bestseller "Beneath A Scarlet Sky" comes a new captivating historical novel. "The Last Green Valley" by Mark T. Sullivan is a WWII story of a dream that leads one family to freedom. This novel is inspired by one family's unimaginable story of courage, survival and triumph. Raw and heartbreaking the Martel family flees Stalin's Russia and Hiltler's Nazi Germany, despite extreme physical and psychological challenges, to ultimately find freedom in the USA. more


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Pam Jenoff
291 reviews
5612 followers
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Inspired by actual events during the Second World War, this book is about the Martel family who must make the impossible decision to leave their homier Ukraine as the Soviet army advances and follow the Germans. They find themselves caught on the frontline between two warring nations in a harrowing journey of survival. This book will be out May 4th so add it to your TBR pile now. more


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Lucia Nieto Navarro
906 reviews
217 followers
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El ultimo valle verde es una de esas novelas, que aunque son largas se hacen cortas y no quieres que acaben, una novela de 600 paginas contada en tercera persona, que cuando empece, sabia que me iba a gustar, ya que la novela anterior del autor para mi fue de lo mejor que leí. La novela nos narra como un matrimonio con dos hijos que viven en Ucrania, tienen que huir de su país porque las tropas soviéticas se adentran y si continuan allí serán enviados a un campo de concentración en Siberia, asique es eso, o escapar con los nazis los cuales les ofrecen protección para ser trasladados a Alemania, y allí poder buscar la libertad. Durante el viaje de la familia, el autor nos llevará al pasado de algunos de los personajes, reviviendo momentos históricos muy duros como fue el Holodomor que creó Stalin a principios de 1930 para matar de hambre a millones de personas. Una novela que está escrita con el mas mínimo detalle, una historia que el mismo autor nos cuenta que estuvo investigando durante mas de un año, ya que los hechos históricos son los que son, y la historia de la familia es real salvo ciertas cosas que el autor ha ficcionado (debido a que la propia familia no lo recordaba)Como en su anterior novela una pluma super cuidada, trasmitiendo lo que tuvieron que pasar tanto refugiados como prisioneros. Se sabe mucho sobre la Segunda Guerra Mundial, y este momento ocurre durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial y durante el régimen de Stalin, del cual yo se poco. more


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Nigel
880 reviews
123 followers
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That is one helluva tale. I'm not quite sure what I was expecting but this was remarkable. In fairness it was also remarkably bleak - unremittingly so at times. I kept think "Oh this will go right in a minute" and then reminding myself that this is not a fiction read in many senses - it actually happened. I found Adeline quite incredible (in fairness Emil too). more


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Nancy
1566 reviews
389 followers
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DNFMy husband and I have great-grandparents who were Germans living in Russia, so I was interested in the subject matter of this novel. Sadly, I did not find the writing appealing. Info dumps, jumping between timelines, etc etc, so have walked away. more


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Linda
385 reviews
0 followers
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I almost quit reading by page 180. (Yawn. ) Reading this historical novel of an actual family of German descent, trying to escape Ukraine with Russian troops on their tails as WW2 closes, I was bored. But the book had received so much hype, I stuck with it. Turning to the end "Acknowledgement" pages, I read of the intensive research the author had undertaken, following the exact trail these German-blooded Ukrainian outcasts had taken seventy-five years earlier. more


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Dar vieną puslapį
392 reviews
584 followers
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Skaityti apie karą karo metu - įdomi patirtis. Vienok, gali galvoti, kad ne laikas sau dar labiau kelti stresą, iš kitos pusės - įdomus suvokimas, kad nieko naujo pasaulyje nevyksta, viskas kažkada jau buvo ir įdomu sužinoti kaip visa tai buvo išgyventa. Skaičiau su dideliu susidomėjimu ir trumpai pasidalinsiu savo įspūdžiais. Tai vienos šeimos istorija Antrojo pasaulinio karo metu. Konkrečiau - Stalinas įsiveržia į Ukrainą ir Martelų šeima nusprendžia emigruoti į Vakarus ir surasti savo paskutinį žaliąjį slėnį - vietą, kurioje visi apsistos ilgam ir bus kartu. more


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Susana Frazão
249 reviews
3 followers
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Que livro maravilhoso. Infelizmente tão actual. nunca o autor pensou que quando este livro saísse, pelo menos cá em Portugal, a guerra ainda seria um assunto do dia. aprendemos tão pouco nestes anos todos. acho que esse facto ainda tornou a leitura mais intensa e tocante. more


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Maria João (A Biblioteca da João)
1215 reviews
209 followers
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10 de 10*Opinião:https://abibliotecadajoao. blogspot. co. more


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Shirley McAllister
1019 reviews
146 followers
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Fleeing the bear and running with the wolvesOne of the best books I have read all year. This story spans all range of emotions, Love, Hate, Fear, Sadness and even at times loathing. It is a story that would test the faith of even the most staunch of believers. Half the time I was holding back tears and the rest of the time I was holding my breath. I cannot believe the courage of this family. more


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Jurgita Širvaitienė
116 reviews
24 followers
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Labai patiko tos knygos dalys, kurios rėmėsi tikrais istoriniais faktais. Parašyta puikiai ir emociškai stipriai. Erzino visi tie Dievo/Apvaizdos/Visatos momentai, ta sunkiai įtikima sėkmė, tas perdėtas pakylėjimas ir dvasingumas, tas balansuojantis ant fanatiškumo ribos tikėjimas, kas karo/pokario metais sunkiai tikėtina, kai žmonės turėjo kažkaip išgyventi, iškęsti ir nenuprotėti, o ne pasitelkę kažkokia dzenbudistinę išmintį filosofuoti. Na, bet pats autorius pabaigos žodyje rašo, kad tai amerikietiška istorija, pasakojanti apie stebuklingą gyvenim��, tad šioks toks holivudinis šios knygos atspalvis ir neturėtų stebinti. more


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Nic
471 reviews
9 followers
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The Last Green Valley lived up to my hopes which were built from Beneath A Scarlett Sky; a book I read several years ago and still heartily recommend. Focusing on the life arc of Adeline and Emil, along with their sons Walt and Will, we join them on the treacherous and harrowing long journey from Ukraine to Germany in the closing stages of WWII. Flanked by their Nazi ‘companions’ and avoiding Stalin’s troops, they make their way slowly west with their extended family. Over the following years they endure numerous setbacks and hardships in a tale that is grounded in truth and utterly mesmerising as they try to make their way ‘west’. The first third of the book is a little slow and my enjoyment increased as some of the minor characters took paths away from our main protagonists. more


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Sally Hanan
189 reviews
138 followers
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I lost interest a few pages in because this is yet another story of people suffering for many years during and after WWII. I had hoped the true story aspect would make it worth reading, but it seemed to follow a run, respite, run, respite formula I'm tired of. The last chapter was interesting though - how the family fared in the US, and how the two little boys the book opened with are doing today. more


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Jaylen
245 reviews
19 followers
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Not going to finish. Insanely boring writing, insanely boring characters. Insane. I feel like I'm constantly having a stroke. more


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Frosty61
906 reviews
22 followers
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This fictionalized account of the true story of the Martel's family harrowing experiences escaping to the West during the German retreat and Soviet onslaught of Ukraine at the end of WWII is heart wrenching. Given that it is based in fact, the tale is amazing - full of despair, hardship, and inspiration. That said, I found the book to be a little dry. more


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Michelle
1394 reviews
137 followers
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I have heard great things about Mark Sullivan’s previous novel Beneath a scarlet sky so, I couldn’t wait to delve into his latest offering The Last Green Valley. The last green Valley is based on the actual story of the Martel family, Emil, and Adeline and their two sons Will and Walter. Who are Ukrainian but have some German heritage. They are stuck the regimes of the Soviets and Stalin. So, they will not be put into camps like others where they live. more


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Adrienne
1037 reviews
0 followers
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Listened via audibleI think this book is so highly rated because it is a true story about WWII and who wants to give a bad rating to a story like this. But my rating is not because of the story (although what is the story other than suffering) - but about this book. Part of it I am certain is the narrator of the audio version - but the other part is that this story is just so depressing and awful. I never felt a relationship with any of the characters - that again probably was the narration because he is so terrible at female voices. There is so also much useless dialogue in this book. more


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