Saturday, November 10, 2007

Of Books and Friends

If you enjoyed Gail Anderson-Dargatz’s previous novels (The Cure For Death By Lightning, A Recipe For Bees and A Rhinestone Button) you’ll be happy to know she has produced another great read.

Turtle Valley is a story of a family brought together during a time of crisis – each member possessing their own special needs, secrets and losses. As a raging fire encroaches upon their home – threatening lives, precious keepsakes and memories – the family learns at what price secrets have been kept. They must learn to understand and forgive both themselves and one another in order to let the go of those secrets and to continue on despite loss. Although the fire ultimately erases their physical surroundings, the memories they uncover and share enable the family to embark upon a future far more open and liberating.

I must confess there were moments I felt overwhelmed by the numerous images/references to fire (i.e. “Lady-bug, lady-bug, fly away home…,” an old flame “rekindled”), memory loss (i.e. characters suffering from dementia, stroke, post-traumatic stress disorder) and the past (ghostly images haunting their lives). Ultimately, the author makes it work. You acknowledge the references and continue on – engrossed in a compelling tale of coming to terms with the mysteries of the past and of a family whose love and care for one other is so tenderly portrayed.

One of my favourite parts of the book are the black and white photographs that appear at the beginning of each chapter. They show cherished items from the past – precious possessions which allow us to preserve and keep our memories alive.

Those memories of who we once were, and of those who came before us, provide guidance and direction as to who we are now and what we shall become.

Shari of Literally-Blindsided passed along this award to me.

Thank you, my friend.

To those who receive this award, the following description applies:

"They color my life with the beautiful hues of friendship. Although we come from different backgrounds and cultures we share the same spirit of friendship."

Blogging and other means of communication via the Internet enable us to touch the lives of so many people we would otherwise never know. Friendships are formed - laughter and sorrow are shared. The world and those who inhabit it have become far more accessible. That “spirit of friendship” crosses both borders and language barriers. May it continue to do so and make the world a kinder and more peaceful place.

As usual, I’m stymied as to passing along the award – not because there’s no one worthy but because all my blog friends are. I once bestowed an award to everyone – no takers.

I’ll try again. You are all worthy and deserve it.

My friends - consider yourself awarded.


oreneta said...

Well, thank you very much I guess, you certainly deserve this very much, you are always supportive....

that sounds like a jock strap...but it is true

Gary said...

Thanks for the fine review - I'll put that one on the stack to read, once I get it down to say...five.

A local Nelson friend and author, Anne Degrace, has just released her second novel (the first was Treading Water, this is Wind Tales). She's been compared to Anderson-Dargatz.

Thanks also for sharing The Colors of Friendship. When I launched my blog a couple of years ago, it was an experiment. The result I least expected, and most appreciate, is that I developed a new circle of friends...from across the planet.

I've met two of them face to face, which was led to a surprise, because we did feel we knew each other and connected easily over coffee.

An interesting piece of the tech evolution...

Mrs. G. said...

I'm not familiar with this author so score one for me. I'll put this book on my ever-expanding "hold list" at the library. Thanks for the review.

Sherry said...

I have read the other books so will add this to my list! Thanks for the review.

And you are more than deserving of that award!

Thank you for passing it on to everyone else...I like your style!

Beth said...

I like that. Supportive - like a jock strap! (There's enough of those around here...)

I've noted the name Anne Degrace - will look for her novels. Thanks for the tip!
Every time I've met a fellow blogger in person, it has been wonderful.

So many books, so little time...

My "style" of passing on an award is due to the fact I find it impossible to choose. Everyone is worthy!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your award, perfect for you!! Thanks for passing it on to all of us. The friendships I have made here in the blogging world, especially you, mean so much to me. Who would have thought when I started this blog, that I would have met so many wonderful people!!
Also, thanks for the book review. Another one to add to my list. I love it when you talk about books you have read.
Have a good weekend!

Princess Pointful said...

I picked up The Cure for Death by Lightening simply because the title was too fantastic to be ignored, and I really enjoyed it. I'll add this one to the list!

Beth said...

Blogging has added a whole new dimension to my life - a great one! (Such as, friends like you...)

princess pointful:
Hope you enjoy this one!

Anonymous said...

Hey Beth,
Thanks for the info. but I don't know what Bloglines is. How do I get there. Probably a really stupid question, but I never heard of it. Please let me know. Thanks.

Shari said...

Great review, as usual. :) Adding to my list.

It is hard to give out awards. You just want to give it to everyone. Wise choice. I should do that so I don't feel like I leave someone out.

Beth said...

Thanks again for the award!
It is hard to pass it along.
You're "braver" than I.
And when you award it to everyone, no one seems to take it.

Barrie said...

I LOVED A Cure for Death by Lightning. I didn't even know about Turtle Valley. Glad I checked out your blog. I'm just startng my Christmas list, and I always like a few books on there. Thank you!

Beth said...

You're welcome - and enjoy!