Item description for No Dark Valley (The Derby Series #5) by Jamie Langston Turner...
Overview When Celia Coleman's grandmother dies, she must return to the small town she had hoped never to see again. Her memories of her grandmother's home and church--and of her own behavior there--are not happy ones. The man next door is struggling with guilt over his own past and Celia wants nothing to do with him. In this masterfully written, inspiring story of reconciliation, both will come to recognize the vastness of God's grace.
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Studio: Bethany House Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.38" Width: 5.5" Height: 1.14" Weight: 1.12 lbs.
Release Date Nov 30, 2008
Publisher Bethany House Publishers
ISBN 0764203002 ISBN13 9780764203008
Availability 0 units.
More About Jamie Langston Turner
Jamie Langston Turner is the award-winning author of seven novels, including "Sometimes a Light Surprises," "Winter Birds," and "Some Wildflower in my Heart," and has been a teacher for more than forty years. She is currently a professor of poetry and creative writing at Bob Jones University. Jamie lives in Greenville, South Carolina, with her husband.
Jamie Langston Turner currently resides in the state of South Carolina.
Reviews - What do customers think about No Dark Valley (The Derby Series #5)?
A Wonderful Read!!! Jun 7, 2006
I had never heard of Jamie Langston Turner before I read this book and honestly only bought it because it was on sale! I was pleasantly surprised though and have since purchased every other book that she has written. "No Dark Valley" tackles some of life's most difficult issues without the usual glib conclusions seen in most fiction. There is no bright light that shines from heaven, no sudden conversion at an alter, but a journey back to faith and God. Although Ms. Turner has been accused of drawing her stories out, I find her style refreshing. I think anyone who has been through simular dificulties (as the main character of this book) would know what I mean by that. Deep seated issues, as portrayed in this book, aren't resolved in 150 pages. I love the ending! After reading the book, I went back and re-read the last chapter probably five times. Ms. Turner has the true skill of a story teller and fine literary skill that could be likened to Jane Austin.
Better luck next time! Apr 9, 2005
Jamie Langston Turner has been one of my favorite authors for years, but this book was a major disappointment. While it starts out mildly enjoyable, it soon becomes almost painful to make it through to the nauseating ending. If you enjoy extremely sappy romances, then this book is for you; if not, save your money. Hopefully we can expect better from Ms. Turner in the future, more along the lines of her first books.
Not bad! Nov 3, 2004
This book was about 2 people with troubled pasts, who end up living next door to each other.
I enjoyed the characters in the book. They were very well developed, people that you can easily relate to. We all have things in our past that we are ashamed of, but being a Christian does not make you immune. I enjoy the author's writing style a great deal. She has a poetic way of writing.
Sometimes, the past-present switch throughout the book got a little confusing. It was difficult, at times, to determine if she was referring to something now or in the past.
The book was also a little wordy, which made it hard to follow the storyline.
I also would have liked to see more on how Celia and Bruce resolved the ghosts of the past. It seemed to end a little abruptly. I do agree with the reviewer who said that the author took the reader to the peaking point, then changed scenes from Celia's story to Bruce's.
But overall, the book was very enjoyable and interesting to read.
Finding faith and leaving "dark valleys" behind Sep 3, 2004
Jamie Langston Turner, one of the best of the current crop of evangelical fiction writers, turns in another fine and richly detailed novel, this one tracing the interior lives of a woman burned out on faith and of her neighbor, a man learning what it takes to live according to his newfound faith. Their vastly different but parallel stories eventually intersect in a way that challenges both of them to take a risk and leave their "dark valleys" behind.
Celia Coleman seems to relish her dark valley, choosing to live in a basement apartment in a small South Carolina town and keep any socializing to a bare minimum. Orphaned as a teenager, Celia spent her remaining high school years in the Georgia home of her legalistic and grim grandmother. After attending college in Delaware, Celia moved to South Carolina and took a job in an art gallery.
When her grandmother dies, Celia is forced to keep her promise to return to Georgia for the funeral. The unhappy reunion with her relatives unsettles her, as does her discovery that she has inherited her grandmother's meager estate --- a rundown house and adjacent store, and assorted household possessions. Instead of making a final break with her Georgia past as she had wanted to do, Celia will remain connected to it, at least until the estate is settled.
Meanwhile, Bruce Healey's story is a bit tougher to tell without giving away too much of the plot line. Let's just say that he's not what he appears to be at first. He tries to befriend Celia but finds her to be surprisingly uncivil --- in fact, downright icy. Her behavior is perfectly understandable to the reader, although Bruce is baffled by it. But then, he knows a whole lot more than the reader does at first.
Which brings us to the end of the book, which will probably be a subject of debate among Turner fans until they get distracted by her next book. Some will no doubt consider it to be a pat ending, and I can understand that. But I thought she handled the ending well. It was so like God, in so many ways. The story begins to reach its conclusion in a wonderful scene --- or actually, a series of scenes --- in a Cracker Barrel restaurant, and from that point on, I had no trouble believing that the hand of God was completely involved in the lives of the characters.
One of the gifts that sets Turner apart as an author is the exquisite detail of her writing. She crafts every scene so meticulously that readers can easily become immersed in the setting. That's true of all of her books. Unlike her other novels, though, NO DARK VALLEY is much more character-driven than plot-driven, with much of the story developed through the interior thoughts of the point-of-view characters. That makes for a slower-paced novel, but that wasn't a problem for me and may not be for many of Turner's longtime fans as well. Regardless of where you place this in comparison with her previous novels, NO DARK VALLEY is a worthwhile read that underscores the many reasons why Turner is a favorite in the Christian market.
Christian Book Previews Aug 18, 2004
Several years ago for my birthday, my publisher sent me a copy of Jamie Langston Turner's fiction titled, Some Wildflower in My Heart. It was one of the most impacting novels I've read. Written tight, Turner boldly put a face on victimization. I frequently had to put the book down to catch my breath, but was soon drawn back to see what would happen next. That book earned great admiration for Turner, and when an acquaintance commented that Christian fiction often fell short of industry standard and life was too short for wimpy fiction, I sent her a copy.
My first experience with Turner's work made me eager to read another book from this author. Readers will glimpse characters from Some Wildflower in My Heart in her latest in this fiction series, No Dark Valley.
I'm glad I read Some Wildflower in My Heart first, because No Dark Valley didn't grip me. The story wanders, and by chapter eight I was still in the dark about where the plot was going. Throughout the book I was distracted by long descriptions of characters that were not heard from again, nor necessary to the story. The mundane thoughts of the main characters got a lot of space, as well.
In an interesting style, the author takes the reader right up to an action point, and then changes scenes. The reader is left to think nothing happened until later, when Turner refers back to the action that happened right after the reader was moved away. Rather like leaving a movie theater before the show begins and having a friend who stayed tell you about the movie later. Her writing style in this book is a lot of telling, rather than showing.
Throughout the narrative, Turner weaves in familiar hymn titles and lyrics. The last forty pages were my favorite part as she delivers action, a thinking and sensitive prince charming, and pokes good-humored fun at the writing clichés she dared to include. - PeggySue Wells, Christian Book Previews.com