Item description for Winter Haven by Athol Dickson...
Overview Eleven years ago, Vera Gamble's brother left their house never to be seen again. Until the day Vera gets a phone call that his body has been found?washed ashore in the tiny island town of Winter Haven, Maine. His only surviving kin, Vera travels north to claim the body?and finds herself tumbling into a tangled mystery.
Her brother hasn't aged a day since last she saw him.
Determined to uncover what happened in those lost years, Vera soon discovers there are other secrets lurking in this isolated town. But Winter Haven's murky past now seems bound to come to light as one woman seeks the undeniable and flooding light of truth.
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Studio: Bethany House
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 1.3" Weight: 1.09 lbs.
Release Date Apr 30, 2008
Publisher BETHANY HOUSE PUBLISHERS #7
ISBN 0764201646 ISBN13 9780764201646
Availability 0 units.
More About Athol Dickson
Athol Dickson is the chairman of D&E Architecture and Design, Inc., in Dallas, Texas. His previous works include Every Hidden Thing and They Shall See God.
Athol Dickson currently resides in Dallas, in the state of Texas. Athol Dickson was born in 1955.
Reviews - What do customers think about Winter Haven?
A Search Beyond Mythic Truth! Sep 7, 2009
Siggy Gamble is an autistic, savant teen who disappears, leaving behind an awful wound in his sister, Vera, one that is about to be reopened thirteen years later as she learns his body has been found washed up, dead and forlorn on a Maine island. Apparently, there is much to be be feared by Vera as she has shut out the awful experiences she has whenever she allows herself to think too long or dream about her long-lost brother. But love for her sibling prevails and she leaves behind the comfort of her accountant job in which she can lose herself in predictable numbers in order to forget the huge weight of unexplainable memories, visions and prophetic-style warnings that offer nothing but horrific oblivion.
The island's atmosphere in people, topography and attitudes has a distinctly ghostly ambience, one not offering comfort to a grieving Vera. Instead, she find her brother's body has not aged in the thirteen years he's been missing and he is clutching an artifact associated with his childhood love of Vikings and mythological figures, as well as the tag he wore at all times announcing "I am not dangerous." At a bed and breakfast house where Vera stays, she is warned to stay away from the area where her brother's body was found. Indeed, the more she searches for answers the darker the mystery becomes.
Vera's father was a faith healer and the only way Siggy could communicate was by way of Bible verses. In the middle of her memories and fearful search for answers about her brother's life and death, Vera struggles as well with her belief and unbelief in a God who called for unquestioning faith yet seemed totally absent in so many ways around her tortured upbringing. She meets Ethan but is unsure whether he is friend or fiend in the haunted atmosphere of this very unfriendly place.
Winter Haven, a 2009 Christy Award finalist, is a Gothic tale reminiscent of the Daphne DuMaurier novels this reviewer read so many years ago. Athol Dickson is a master at providing just enough twists and turns in the central conflict and surrounding them with the darkest, direst atmosphere possible to totally engulf the reader into this strange, twisted and yet enlightened world!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on September 6, 2009
Another great Dickson book Sep 3, 2009
Another great addition to Dickson's line up of Christian suspense. Some of the points would be hard to accept in a harder edged story but Dickson's beautiful style makes you overlook this minor problem. Very enjoyable.
My new favorite author... Dec 26, 2008
A must read! This story was so intricately woven that it keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end. Absolutely spectacular!
Fiction at it's best. Hitchock would have loved this one. Sep 30, 2008
What can I say that could possibly give due to such a fantastic book? Athol Dickson is such an incredible author it astounds me. I've read all his novels and every one is completely different, not knowing what to expect, and finding each one above the norm. Winter Haven has been described as gothic, horror, suspense, intrigue, even creepy and yet it's so much more. Athol paints a wonderful picture of a small island off the coast of Maine, with its interesting characters and beautiful landscapes. Even though something's terribly wrong it's a place you'd want to visit or even live. The story is compelling, grabbing hold of you and not letting go until the last sentence on the last page. I was completely taken in by the slowly evolving plot, the way things kept getting worse for our main character and the slow unravel of the mystery. No one could have pulled this story off except for the best of writers. Athol does it magnificently.
One aspect of the book I found profound was the lack of heroism. Instead of placing victory at the hands of mankind, Athol gave all the glory to the one true God who has heaven and earth in his hands. Without preaching the story had solid biblical lessons to be learned and took the story to a five star level.
I highly recommend this book. This is what Christian fiction needs more of, fine literature. Athol is at his best.
1 Star = Pathetic 2 Stars = Fair 3 Stars = Good 4 Stars = Excellent 5 Stars = Life changing
An Atheist Seeks Winter Haven Sep 29, 2008
When I got to my car holding this book, I actually swore out-loud when I realized the library's "NEW" tag had covered the "CHRISTIAN" tag underneath it. I thought, "Man, all that cool stuff about witches and scary mansions was just a red herring. I have already solved this mystery. Jesus did it."
But I read it.
This book wasn't smug. It presented a Christianity that wasn't arrogant, sterilized, or shaking a finger at the filthy world around it. It was a story that happened to happen the Christian folks, and they dealt with it based on their Christian beliefs. I respect that.
It was a good mystery. It seemed a little threadbare, lo-fat Stephen King, characters not terribly original or deep. I really liked the **SPOILER ALERT** role an iceberg could play in a mystery like this. Just plausible enough to be fun.
I did not understand the religious angle entirely. Detecting **SPOILER** the message that God had 7 or so people die tragically so that...a nice hotel could exist...but I never got the impression Dickson was insisting I agree with him. Dickson seemed content in the not knowing, himself.