Saints in Limbo

Saints in Limbo

by River Jordan

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307446701
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/05/2009
Edition description: Original
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

River Jordan is a critically acclaimed novelist and playwright whose unique mixture of Southern and mystic writing has drawn comparisons to Sarah Addison Allen, Leif Enger, and Flannery O’Connor. Her previous works include The Messenger of Magnolia Street, lauded by Kirkus Reviews as "a beautifully written, atmospheric tale." She speaks around the country on "Inspiring the Passion of the Story" and makes her home in Nashville.

Read an Excerpt

It was the kind of day when even the lost believed. When possibilities were larger than reason, when potential was grander than circumstance, when the long, dark days of doubt were suddenly cast off and laid to rest. Brushed away with a smile and a certainty. And in this moment, from this place, you knew the real magic could happen.


It was exactly this kind of day at the edge of a town in a southern place called Echo, Florida. Lying safely on the state’s northern border, Echo was first brethren more to its Alabama cousin than to the Gulf Coast. The land rolled by in rural peace and contentment, not given over to the moods of saltwater tides and open horizons but to the soft singing of wind in the pines, of roosters calling in the early morning light, of small cornfields and freshwater fishing holes.


The firstborn leaves of March had sprouted into the tiniest sea of baby green. The world was breathing in and out, moving everything in its path slightly, and on due course, with a gentle, four-edges-of-the-earth kiss. The birds had filled the trees, rumbling from their winter’s sleep, and here they were now, glorious and in full song. Squirrels scampered, quick and unseen, beneath banks of dried loblolly pine needles, then ran up the trees so fast they left nothing but a trail of falling bark.


Down at the edge of the powdery dirt road was Mullet Creek, running quietly, steadily throwing off stars of light from its surface. You could hear the airborne fish breaking the bonds of water, then falling with a plop back into the chilly green of the creek.


Within all the living things—the dirt, the water, the cloudless sky, the pine trees long and whispering—was the expectation of something coming. Something full of light and wonder.


When the expectation had stretched as far as it could, had built a crescendo into a feverish pitch, a peculiar wind appeared. Only a tiny thing at first, but even then something special, something delicious and unique. A whirl began to take shape, collecting dirt from the dry bed of the middle of the road and spreading it upward into a spiraling funnel of substance. For a moment it appeared to be an errant breeze that caught the dirt and gave it a twirl, a bit of a dance, before it would settle itself to the nothing it once was. But the dance didn’t settle. Instead, it climbed higher and higher, pulling a streamof sandy soil, twisting it to and fro, as if something was shaping it with a manner of something in mind.


At first, there was only the wind, the dust, the dirt, but then, shifting in and out of visible, were two well-worn and traveled boots.


The dirt traveled higher, faster, revealing two trousered legs and then a waist, a chest, two arms with hands, until finally a head and on that head, a hat well lived in.The image presented a man who had been around, a traveler or a storyteller.


For a time the man and the whirlwind were one and the same. Man and whirlwind. Whirlwind and man. But after a long moment, but still only a moment, the man stepped straight out of that wind, and without the least bit of tussle he planted his boots on solid ground. And in this exact manner, on this kind of a day, the man was born feetfirst onto the earth.


He adjusted himself, pulling the clothes about his body, arranging the pants, the shirt, the jacket just so.He was a million miles roamed and completely at home. King to the subjects who might demand, but simple statesman to the orphan clan.


He removed the hat and ran one hand through his thick white hair and surveyed the territory before him. Then, after careful and appropriate consideration, he replaced the hat and pulled a watch from the left pocket of his pants. He opened the cover and music began to play. Music so sweet, so hypnotic, so full, it exuded a scent with each note and left it hanging there in the air. “Right on time,” he declared aloud and then launched himself forward in a southern direction on the road that had given him life.


He traveled only a rock’s throw toward the creek, and there just before the edge of the trees thatmade up a plot considered the woods, he paused and contemplated a house. Just a small white house of little consequence. A small shelter from the storms of life. There was an old mailbox by the road on which a yellow vine crawled and encircled its wooden post. Green bushes bloomed with early white gardenias on both sides of a little porch where there was a swing. In the swing sat a small hen of a woman.


The man drew closer, almost but not quite visible, as he watched her from the north side of the pine tree woods.


The woman stood slowly and went to the porch railing, leaned out as far as she could, and peered down the road. Suddenly she stepped back two steps and wrapped her arms about herself. She pursed her lips, pulled them up to one side, listening to that spring breeze singing through the pine needles and thinking.


Then she spoke to her husband, dead now a year. It was an odd, comforting habit she’d taken up. It kept her lonely voice from rusting.


“Did you feel that? That shift in the air?Well, what can I tell you, Joe? It changed. It was one way, then it was another.”


She paused, looked out toward the tree line. “And somebody’s out there standing just beyond the trees.” She called out, “Who goes there?” and waited amoment for a reply.There was no answer, but that didn’t move her. She was certain that she was right.That someone was watching, waiting just beyond her line of sight.

Reading Group Guide

Ever since her husband, Joe, died, Velma True's world has been limited to what she can see while clinging to one of the multicolored threads tied to the porch railing of her rural home outside Echo, Florida.
Then one day a stranger appears at her door. Without knowing why, the agoraphobic widow welcomes him into her kitchen for coffee while she tells him stories of how life used to be, before her purposes were "all dried up." Just before disappearing as suddenly as he came, the man presents Velma with a special gift, one that allows her to literally step back into the past through her own memories to a place where Joe still lives and the beginning is closer than the end.
While Velma is consumed with the man's gift, her son Rudy is also being presented with a challenge to his self-centered, complacent lifestyle. And a teenage girl winds her way to Echo, determined to unravel the mysteries her dead mother left behind. As secrets old and new come to light, Velma finds herself unmoored from the fears of the past and feeling her way toward freedom.
This lyrical, Southern novel weaves mystical elements with tangible touches of God's redemptive grace to reveal a pattern of irresistible hope.

1. Saints in Limbo takes place in the deep, rural south, in fictional Echo, Florida, near the state’s northern border near Alabama. Have you read other novels rooted in the deep south? Do you believe that the southern landscape has changed in modern culture, or is it changing still? Is this of significance? What do you think should be preserved of the “Old South” and what should be released to the past?

2. Velma clings to the threads on her front porch. What do you believe that she needs from having the threads there? Do you have similar “threads” in your life? What do they provide you?

3. Early in the novel, Velma is given an incredible gift from a mysterious stranger. A rock that allows her to travel back through time into her memories. Are there tangible things or places in your life that are touchstones - like Velma's rock - that elicit your memories? Do they require protection of any kind to keep them? How can you use your touchstones to help you appreciate your memories while living in the moment?

4. Discussing what one has read is very important to Velma’s friend Sara, as she is hurt to discover that Velma actually read the copy of Moby Dick Sara loaned to her twenty years before. But Velma feels like the story loses something in the discussion. She says, “Talking about them isn’t going to change anything. Not gonna bring Moby back.” Why do you think Velma feels so apathetic about sharing with her friend?

5. The gift of reliving memories plays a significant role in Saints in Limbo. If you were suddenly given this gift to re-experiencing portions of your past, how do you think you’d respond? Would you escape into your past, or avoid those experiences?

6. Throughout the story, in the midst of everyday life, spiritual occurrences touch down and invade the natural world. Do you feel that the spiritual side of life has ever invaded, or overlapped, into your everyday world?

7. A malevolent force tries to rob Velma of her ability to use her gift to gain wisdom from the experience, and to affect her future for the better. Do you believe a force, or forces, exist that attempt to stop the good things from happening, or certain destinies from being fulfilled?

8. Velma's son Rudy appears to have wasted all his potential and seems to live an unremarkable life. What do you believe are the experiences that set Rudy’s course? By the end of the novel, do you feel that Rudy’s journey can be seen in a different light? What kind of future can you imagine for Rudy?

9. Velma and Sara are best friends, even though they are different in almost every way. Are your friendships built around people who are much like yourself? If so, why? If not, how has this affected you?

10. Annie's presence in Echo serves as a catalyst for several of the characters. Can you think of an experience with a person–friend, family member, or stranger– who served as a catalyst in your own life? Was it a positive or negative experience?

11. Near the end of Saints in Limbo, Velma sees the man who brought her gift to her on her birthday, and she now finds that it’s gone. She says, “Looks like all I’ve got left now is today.” How do you think Velma feels about this? How does this phrase make you feel?

12. Velma, Sara, Rudy, Rose, and Annie go through “stretching” experiences in the novel, testing them and challenging them to grow. Do you feel as if these characters have changed by the end of the story? Who has changed the most, and in what way?

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Saints in Limbo 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
ChristyLockstein More than 1 year ago
Saints in Limbo by River Jordan is a haunting, almost mystical story of memories, love, and the battle between good and evil. Velma True has given up on life after the death of her husband, even refusing to leave her house. She only goes out in the yard as far as her colored strings take her, always keeping her tethered to the house and the life she once knew. When a strange man visits her and leaves her a unique stone, she finds herself lost in the past and with just a hint of hope for the future. Annie, a young teen-aged runaway, finds her way to Velma's town, but she is being stalked by something evil, something definitely not human. Her journey is tied to Velma's stone, and one secret will reveal the other. Jordan's writing is lyrical and poetic, making every page come to life whether it's a bright summery day or a ominously dark sky. She weaves the various stories of Sarah, Velma, Annie, and the rest together into a beautiful tapestry of life, hope, faith, and love. Pick up this book and allow Jordan to soothe with her captivating tale.
24girl More than 1 year ago
After receiving her husband Joe's death certificate in the mail, Velma True refused to go out of the front of her house without the safety net of strings anchoring her to the porch. She did allow herself the go out the back door and through the woods to the grocery store but that was it as far as leaving the house was concerned. Her son Rudy and her best friend Sara both tried to get her to leave to no avail. On the afternoon of her birthday while Velma was sitting on her porch a visitor steps out of the woods and hands her an innocent looking river rock. Despite its plain appearance she quickly learns is very special indeed and someone very dangerous is looking for it. The rock has the ability to take Velma back to special moments in time when Joe is still alive. The trips back are meant to show Velma that her life still has meaning but she's skeptical. Having lots of potential to succeed in life Rudy disappointingly grew up to lead a mediocre life. His biggest achievement is to claim to have had most of the eligible women in town. When strange things start happening with his Mom he makes the decision to move back home for a few days and keep a closer eye her but she's not the only one experiencing something strange and Rudy steps up to the plate to become something special. If I had to sum up this book in two words they would be strangely awesome. There is an incredible story filling these pages and the writing is wondrously flowing. The opening jumps right into the story so initially was a little awkward but once I got the hang of what was going on I COULD NOT put this book down. Part supernatural, part romance and part suspense Jordan brings an amazing story to life with lovable characters. This is a must read for all fiction lovers.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Echo, Florida Widow Velma True struggles to go out her door. Her agoraphobia has been getting worse as going to the mailbox is an incredible quest that she never achieves. She traces her fear of outdoors to when her beloved Joe died.------------------ On her birthday, a stranger arrives at her door to give her a gift that does not look like much. However, somehow the mysterious present from this baffling stranger has Velma looking back over her memories with Joe and their son Rudy. She begins to appreciate what she had and still has through her memories though her reminiscences on the river of her life include some depressing moments. She begins to find herself pulled between her desire to have what she once had before Joe died and Rudy grew up, and what she has now. Finally her adventure into her mind leaves her vulnerable to a malevolence that wants the gift and will take away what she cherishes to steal her birthday present.--------------- SAINTS IN LIMBO is a whimsical tale mindful of It's a Wonderful Life with the addition of a nasty essence wanting to steal her gift. Filled with regret and remorse, Velma is fabulous as she goes on her adventure inside her mind. Although to many subplots that are left unresolved detract from this overall fine thriller, readers will enjoy accompanying the heroine as she tours her soul.----- Harriet Klausner
Jennifer44 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
An unusual read that was somewhat mystical, Southern, and Christian all rolled into one. It wasn't what I was expecting, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
gincam on LibraryThing 6 months ago
SAINTS IN LIMBO is at once both simple and complex. I liked each of the characters individually, and they came together for a wonderfully told tale of the shadow world of wishes and dreams. Not all wishes should come true, and some dreams are just too true. It is the blessing of learning what to wish for that is bestowed upon Velma True and her family and friends. There is a very deep sweetness in the remembered love between Velma and her late husband, Joe. Rudy, their son, loves and respects his mother and the memory of his father. However, Rudy was always too smart, charming and good-looking for his own good. Velma has never doubted that eventually he would come into his own, and then the world would see him as she did. She has always seen him with the eyes and heart of a mother, as aware of his quirks and faults as well as the good person in his soul. On her birthday, Velma receives a special, mystical gift from a stranger. This gift is blessing which comes with a powerful underlying message which touches all the characters. They each must learn what has real value, and they must fight to protect each other and hold on to what is most dear to their hearts.
zweven on LibraryThing 6 months ago
You can get a feel for the plot and premise from the other reviews, so I'll skip past that. I approached this book with much hesitation, and not sure why (mood? theme?). But once I got into the rhythm of her writing, it was very hard to put down. The characters were developed wonderfully, and the plot flowed easily. I ended up caring about each and every character and what happened to them, even wishing that I could get to know Velma for real. Great story. Recommend.
astults on LibraryThing 6 months ago
A most surprising book! River Jordan¿s prose is lyrical. When Velma is visited by a strange man on her birthday she takes his presence and the gift he gives her in stride.She doesn¿t know the gift may cost her the remaining loved ones in her life. It¿s a stone that lets her travel to the past and speak to her deceased husband. It¿s magical just like the book. But something sinister wants the rock.The supernatural element is what I found surprising. It¿s one of the best examples of magical realism I¿ve read to date.
punxsygal on LibraryThing 6 months ago
It was outside of the small town of Echo, Florida that the breeze began to swirl and out of the swirl stepped a strange man. The day was Velma True¿s birthday and the man seemed to know that. During their conversation he dropped a rock into her hand as he said ¿Happy Birthday¿. And life began to change for Velma and those around her. Old times were remembered and new times were enjoyed. And amid the happiness there seemed to be a presence that was a bit sinister. The story of six lives revolved around a rock. You could feel the warm breezes, hear the crickets and smell the earth. And you wondered where it would all end.
DaBunny on LibraryThing 6 months ago
This is one of the best books I've read this year! I normally like to read memoirs so I was doubtful I'd like something fictional. However, the characters in the book were all interesting, each with something of a past, and the plot was good. Anticipation started building on the first page and escalated all the way towards the end. I wish life would have allowed me the opportunity to read it in one sitting. Still, it was a good, quick read. I could see this being made into a great movie!
momom248 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I enjoyed this Christian fiction more than I thought. It had some substance instead of fluff. I loved Velma and how she went back into her past. The authors writing is lovely and I like how the various characters wove in and out of the story. I''m normally not into fantasy in a book but in this one I enjoyed it. I would recommend this for a book club read.
rosie4346 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
This book was really difficult to follow. It didn't hold my interest and was written without much description. The story takes a while to get going and when the plot develops you are so tired of reading this book you are just trying to get through it
WillowOne on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I loved this book and I didn't want to put it down. You never knew what was going to happen and it never became one of the "same old, same old" type of story. Velma True is an elderly woman who misses her husband, she has allowed all of the wonderful times they had to be foreshadowed by focusing on where she and her husband went wrong raising their son. Her spirit needs a lift and on her birthday she gets that in the form of a kind man and a rock.
caroline123 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
This book was an Early Review book through LibraryThing. I was excited to preview it as it had been advertised as Christian fiction. It did not live up to that expectation, but I did enjoy the story and the excellent writing by author River Jordan. The story revolves around Velma True, her good friend Sara, her son Rudy. It seems Velma had sort of given up on living until a mysterious "stranger" with a mystical, magical stone appears one day. This stone glows and seemingly has the ability to take Velma back to happier times when her husband was still alive, and she was young and had a purpose to her life. The story was full of good characters that came alive with Jordan's pen; indeed the writing has a lyrical tone which sweeps you up into the story, wanting to see what happens next. I will definitely read more by this author.
wcath on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Saints in Limbo by River Jordan is a prime example of why I love to read. Every hundred or so perfectly acceptable, entertaining, thrilling, inspirational books - with a half dozen real duds thrown in for good measure - you come upon a true gem. They are the ones you search for, wait for and hold your breath for as you read that first page, those first words, that first chapter. I had this feeling from the beginning paragraphs of Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible. It was the feeling that the words were so perfectly chosen, the descriptions and dialogue so clear and true that I could truly "experience" the book. It's true that certain books will click with certain people based on their background and preferences, however I think there is more to it than that. I think there is an art to stringing together the right words so that ink on a page comes alive and almost approaches a kind of poetry. Am I gushing? Well, yeah, I would admit that but I really think this one is worth it. There are strong, sassy women and humor, magic and suspense. This is a sweet story that never approaches saccharine. It has a moral but it does not preach. Although I mentioned The Poisonwood Bible, I can truly say that part of the charm of this work is that I cannot think of any book I have ever read that was quite like it. If you like good storytelling I recommend that you not miss this book.
bnbookgirl on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I found this book truly intriguing. I loved the way Jordan write. I was drawn in by the first paragraph of the prologue. This book is classified as Religious Fiction, but I would not sell it that way. The book does has some spiritual aspects and I found that interesting. The characters were all likeable despite their perclivities and quirkiness. Velma and her threads, Rudy and his fear of relationships, even Sara and her busybody way of caring. Rose and Annie and their relationship. The special gift Velma gets for her birthday is something I think we all wish we could have. I will most assuredly recommend this book to people looking for book club reads. It will spark some great conversations and questions. I look forward to other books by this author in the future.
SignoraEdie on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I just finished reading the advanced copy of Saints in Limbo by River Jordan and I am trying to decide what I thought of it. It is not like the usual book that falls into my hands. Described as a Southern Gothic tale, a Christian fiction tale, a magical tale, a bit of surrealism, I didn¿t know what I would find. Suffice it to say, the story drew me in and before long I found myself caught up in the story of the widow, Velma True, and her experiences with a magical ¿memory stone¿ that is given to her by a mysterious stranger. It is an emotional tale, filled with the longings, the regrets, fears, and hopes of its varied cast of characters. Each of them finds themselves in limbo¿¿between what was and what is¿caught in the middle of what (they) have and what (they) want. Of who (they) are and who (they) could be.¿ Using the technique of time travel, caused by the magical stone, the characters come to reconcile with the past and decide how to move into the future.River Jordan has a lyrical way with words. From her opening sentence, ¿It was the kind of day when even the lost believed¿ I was enchanted by her descriptive prose. While some call it a Christian novel, and I did find a sense of mysticism in the story, I would not call it such. There is a struggle between good and evil but not in an overly religious way. In all, I am glad I read it and the characters will stay with me.
NewsieQ on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Velma True has lived a life of disappointment and loss. Disappointment that she had only one son. Disappointment that her son Rudy has wasted his many talents and seems to be interested only in bedding any woman within twenty miles of their hometown in Echo, Florida. Loss of her husband Joe. Now her only friend Sara is coping with memory loss. She lives with fear and regret ¿ literally tying herself to her house with threads attached to her front porch. A mysterious being visits Velma and leaves behind a rock that is more than a rock. It changes colors, shimmies, shakes and glows ¿ and allows Velma to experience vivid reminiscences of her earlier life. From that pivotal turn of events the story of Saints in Limbo flows.Enter Annie, a young orphan from Texas who leaves her life with the promiscuous aunt who has been begrudgingly raising her. When Annie arrives in Echo, she begins a journey of discovery that will rock the lives of Velma, Rudy and Rose, who runs a pizza parlor/karaoke bar that Rudy frequents. And a surprise meeting with a kindred spirit changes Sara¿s life, too. Although it took me awhile to get into Saints in Limbo, once I did, I couldn¿t put it down. I liked its small cast of characters and the trajectory of their growth. Saints in Limbo was published by WaterBrook Press, which specializes in Christian fiction. Not having read much in that genre, I expected characters who quoted Bible verses. I was pleasantly surprised by their absence. I think readers who enjoy stories with a supernatural twist would enjoy Saints in Limbo. Readers of a more religious nature may find meaning in some of the book¿s more cryptic passages.
kjarcand on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Ok. So. What to say about this book¿I picked this book up several times, lost interest, set it down, read another book, and then tried this one again. What kept me reading was the desire to know what the heck was happening in it, honestly. None of the characters are ever developed enough for me to really get to know them or get to feel them. Their relationships are so intertwining that it got distracting trying to remember who was who and how they knew each other. The ending was sudden and very unappetizing for me. The author tried so hard to keep `it¿ a secret, that I think the reader totally misses the point. I re-read the ending twice to make sure I didn¿t miss anything and I still don¿t follow what she meant. This copy was filled with grammar and editing errors¿ Nearly one every five pages or so. I didn¿t like the dialect used ¿ it felt forced and fake¿ Like it was only stereotypical sayings heard somewhere and jotted down. I liked the idea of the pieces of heaven and Velma having to move on an let go of her strings, but I think that this sweet tale of a woman mourning her husband was overshadowed by the oddly out of place mystical sci-fi bits. The writing itself felt choppy¿ The chapters felt like they had bad transitions at times¿But the main story line¿ Even though there were multiple protagonists that I¿m not sure ever learned what they had to¿ was cute.
sloepoque on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I got this book through LT Advanced Readers, but I would have looked into it anyway because I'd read The Messenger Of Magnolia Street and loved it. I think River Jordan has a gift for story telling the way it's supposed to be done.When this story opens, Velma True is at a precarious place in her life. She's been a widow for a while, and because of a frightening incident in her front yard, she's afraid to go any further than her front porch without holding onto a thread to "ground" her. She's got numerous threads blowing in the breeze from her porch cataloging her infrequent trips off the front porch. One particular day a stranger comes to visit Velma, and he gives her what appears to be a rock but turns out to be a gift for revisiting past incidents in her life that held special meaning.Part of the focus of Saints In Limbo is facing the fact of the end of one's life. Some are more challenged by this than others as is detailed in the story of Velma's friend, Sara. Jordan has good insight as to how it feels to lose parts of ourselves that we once took for granted. Now, through no fault of our own, we no longer have the command of our minds and our bodies as we once did. What comes through in Sara's character as well as others in this book is the sense of hope and faith that we should hold fast no matter what. While that may mean religious faith, it also means the hope and faith we have in ourselves. In spite of the problems each character faces in Saints in Limbo there are always options if they only take the time to stop and examine them. That's what made this book such a pleasure to read. There is no forced message of things wished for... just real people facing real obstacles in their lives, and being willing to explore wherever their options take them.It's a joy to read such a positive book. :)
jstraws on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I received this book through the Early Reviewers program. Frankly, my initial reaction was simply that it wasn't quite what I expected. Perhaps the book's description should have led me to believe that it would be a magical sort of story--but instead it had me expecting some more traditional Southern literature fare. What I found instead was that I was entering a fantastical world--before even getting to know the characters and buy into the story--and I admit I had a hard time staying with this book. Despite having read and enjoyed Haruki Murakami and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, magical realism just isn't necessarily my thing.But I was very glad I didn't walk away from this book after the slow start. Soon I was devouring the second half of the story. All in all, I found it to be, in a word, charming. At times predictable and at times painfully sad, this is, underneath it all, a lovely little story of what matters most in life. This novel is in a category all its own, not quite like any other book I've read. And I find that in and of itself refreshing.
reader247 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Saints in Limbo is a sort of mystical magical story. I found the writer's style made me want to keep going just because of the beautiful words. I admit that there were many times where I paused and wondered what all the happenings could me, or do mean and it really made me think. After finishing the book I can't say that I know for sure what everything meant but I did like speculating.
hammockqueen on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Outstanding! Just a wonderful book to read and get lost into the story. The bit of magic is always a plus for me. There were just enough characters and such fine people they are. River Jordan has a fine use of language with words that make pictures such as: "The birds had filled the trees, rumbling from their winter's sleep, and here they were now, glorious and in full sing." "It kept her lonely voice from rusting." "A thythm to his walk as if he were riding the earth." This is a book I will highly recommend to all my friends who read.
DansMomTerri on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Bittersweet, beautifully written, wise, humorous, dramatic, and comforting. The descriptions were vivid and evocative --- I could smell the earth and water, feel the air. The characters were immediately loveable, and the story was compelling, with a surprise at the end that I felt I should have seen coming but didn't. I wanted to reach the end to find out what happened, but once I got there, I wanted the book to continue.
EeyoreGal on LibraryThing 6 months ago
It has been taking me a while to get into the story of this book - I am intrigued by the mystery of the rock given to Velma and why it was given to her & who is lurking in the shadows trying to obtain it. And I want to know the purpose of the rock - what is revealed of its abilities so far - to transport people into their memories to re-live again holds my interest slightly. Yet, I am still unable to really care for the onslaught of characters that seem to be thrown in from various angles. Parts of the story so far, seem overly religious for me, which isn't really much of a pull for me. I was hoping for a more mystical theme, instead of what appears to be a more faith-oriented underlay. I'm not yet ready to give up on the book - I'm hoping the mid-point of the storyline is when things will really pick up and take a different and more intriguing turn.
24girl on LibraryThing 6 months ago
After receiving her husband Joe's death certificate in the mail, Velma True refused to go out of the front of her house without the safety net of strings anchoring her to the porch. She did allow herself the go out the back door and through the woods to the grocery store but that was it as far as leaving the house was concerned. Her son Rudy and her best friend Sara both tried to get her to leave to no avail. On the afternoon of her birthday while Velma was sitting on her porch a visitor steps out of the woods and hands her an innocent looking river rock. Despite its plain appearance she quickly learns is very special indeed and someone very dangerous is looking for it. The rock has the ability to take Velma back to special moments in time when Joe is still alive. The trips back are meant to show Velma that her life still has meaning but she's skeptical. Having lots of potential to succeed in life Rudy disappointingly grew up to lead a mediocre life. His biggest achievement is to claim to have had most of the eligible women in town. When strange things start happening with his Mom he makes the decision to move back home for a few days and keep a closer eye her but she's not the only one experiencing something strange and Rudy steps up to the plate to become something special. If I had to sum up this book in two words they would be strangely awesome. There is an incredible story filling these pages and the writing is wondrously flowing. The opening jumps right into the story so initially was a little awkward but once I got the hang of what was going on I COULD NOT put this book down. Part supernatural, part romance and part suspense Jordan brings an amazing story to life with lovable characters. This is a must read for all fiction lovers.