No Dark Valley
by Jamie Langston Turner
Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 0764227300
Rating: 10/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
No Dark Valley
Jamie Langston Turner
Bethany House, Aug 2004, $12.99, 400 pp.
When Celia Coleman was fifteen, a DUI killed her parents in what the family forever called the “clothes dryer” day. Celia moved in with her dirt-poor pious grandmother. They did not get along as the younger felt God abandoned her while the older remained a fanatical believer. Celia leaves for college in Delaware and afterward becomes a South Carolina gallery art director, goes home to Dunmore, Georgia for the first time in fourteen years to attend her grandmother’s funeral, but remains embarrassed by her roots.
After the funeral, Celia finds a new family moved in next door to her. She is attracted to her new neighbor Bruce, but she will not act on it because besides he is married. Bruce reciprocates the feelings, but has his own demons to contend with including caring for his sister and his niece. Celia concludes that her sour puss grandma was content with her life while she is not. She begins to seek solace with God even as heavenly matchmaking skills assist her and Bruce to relate starting with a toilet plunger.
NO DARK VALLEY is an intriguing character study that looks deep into the soul of a woman who lost all faith in the Lord when her parents were killed. The story line bares open Celia so that the audience can see her discontentment. The secondary characters furbish further insight into what Celia feels as some condemn her while others offer rejected sustenance. Though there is little action, Jamie Langston Turner provides her audience with a deep look at the impact of survivors when bad things happen to good loved ones.
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