In the Valley
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A girl experiences a tumultuous childhood, marked by her parent's bitter divorce and her stepmother's alcohol and drug abuse which also translated into emotional abuse and physical neglect. At a young age, Melissa learned how to drive a tractor and train a horse on her father's buffalo ranch, and in the alternate world inhabited by her mother's family, was expected to maintain intelligent conversation and proper table manners at fancy formal dinners. In The Valley delves into the dual life experienced by many children whose lives are splintered by divorce, with Melissa's personal accounts about growing up in California's historic San Pasqual Valley, breaking away from her stepmother's hold and reconciling the internal and personal conflicts that marked most of her younger years as well as the decision that nearly ends the relationship with her father and an apology almost a decade overdue.