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Turtle Valley por Gail Anderson-Dargatz
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Turtle Valley (original 2007; edição 2008)

por Gail Anderson-Dargatz

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1275168,653 (3.75)14
My memories are so like that hat full of butterflies, some already deteriorating the moment they are collected, some breathed back to life now and again, for a brief moment, by the scent on a passing wind-the smell of an orange, perhaps, or a whiff of brown-sugar fudge-before drifting away, just out of my reach. How much of myself flits away with each of these tattered memories? How much of myself have I already lost? (Turtle Valley, p. 289) Kat has returned with her disabled husband and young son to her family's homestead in Turtle Valley, in British Columbia's Shuswap-Thompson area. Fire is sweeping through the valley in a ruthless progression toward the farm and they have come to help her frail parents pack up their belongings. Kat's mother, Beth, (the now elderly protagonist of Anderson-Dargatz's first novel, the award-winning The Cure for Death by Lightning) is weighed down by her ailing husband, Gus, and by generations of accumulated detritus. But there is something else weighing her down, a secret she has guarded all her life. Kat is determined to get to its source before fire eats up all that is left of the family's memories. Kat has her own burdens. Her father is dying, and the family has chosen to keep him home as long as possible in defiance of the approaching flames. Beth is showing signs of early dementia. And her husband, Ezra, is a husk of his former self, stolen from her years ago by a stroke and now battling frightening mood swings and a trick memory. Once filled with passion and hope, their relationship has become more like that of nursemaid and invalid. Now thrust into contact with her parents' neighbour Jude, her lover before Ezra, Kat finds his strength attractive, as well as his ongoing passion for her. As she considers her choices in love, Kat discovers that her grandmother, Maud, to whom she bears an uncanny resemblance, was once faced with a similar dilemma when forced to choose between the capricious violence of her shell-shocked husband, John Weeks, and the rugged constancy of their neighbour Valentine Svensson. Leafing through Maud's scrapbooks and long-hidden love letters, Kat begins to unravel the mystery of her grandfather's disappearance in the mountains. She is to find that like most family secrets, this one is tangled amidst generations of grief. As sparks rain down upon them, Kat tries to hold her family together, soothing Ezra's rages, comforting their son, Jeremy, tending to her mother's fragile mental state and striving to keep her father at home and comfortable as he nears death. Masses of ladybugs swarm through the house and panicked birds smash windows. Shadowy ghosts flit in and out of the encroaching smoke. All around them the landscape burns and terrible choices must be made. What can be salvaged? What will survive after Turtle Valley has burned? Turtle Valley is a novel of reconciliation and hope in the midst of terrible loss. Part ghost story, part mystery, part romance, the novel transcends these genres and carries its readers into new territories of forgiveness and acceptance of the difficult choices we all must make in finding our way through life and love.… (mais)
Membro:Judebird
Título:Turtle Valley
Autores:Gail Anderson-Dargatz
Informação:Vintage Canada (2008), Edition: 0, Paperback, 304 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:My Canadian library, 2015 inventory

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Turtle Valley por Gail Anderson-Dargatz (2007)

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Mostrando 5 de 5
Gail Anderson-Dargatz uses rich and beautiful imagery to describe Salmon Arm, British Columbia and that kept me reading. However, I have a problem with a story that is packed with all these truly terrible things, because it makes it overly dramatic and almost like bad fiction. It hurt me to read about the incidents of animal abuse, and they seemed almost gratuitous in their number, but that is a personal issue of mine.Despite my misgivings, I will read more of her stuff. Her style is just too good to be put off by horrific events. You can tell she deeply loves the beauty of the wilds, and she's very good at sharing that love with her readers. ( )
  Erica_W | Feb 3, 2012 |
After reading Robert Morgan's Gap Creek, I went on a hunt of other works of literature that had similar characters who are realistic, hard, and genuine. Yet, it was not until I stumbled upon this novel that I found Morgan's match. Gail Anderson-Dargatz is a beautiful writer who knows how to balance plot and character. What emerges is a fantastic story about love, hardship, redemption, family, and the power of one's own character.

When Kat returns to her hometown of Turtle Valley, it is under the duress of impending fire. Yet it is clear that the fire is not the greatest hurdle Kat will have to combat. Upon her return, she is faced with her unresolved feelings towards her ex-lover. Accompanying her on this return to Turtle Valley is her invalid husband and overly emotional son. To add to her stress, she must pack up her parents' house and move them to another location while the fire rages. Additionally, her mother is suffering from memory loss and her father is on his death bed. Kat must deal with her past and present while the fire rages and threatens her future.

While Kat is contemplating the choices available to her, she stumbles upon her grandmother's papers. In these papers, Kat finds that her grandmother once battled with the same internal demons as she is. This second storyline can be confusing at times and I found myself wishing to go back to Kat's plot, however, it all came together beautifully. Clearly this book is character driven, so if you are not interested in personal growth and development then this novel may not be for you. However, if you like psychological books that challenge your emotions then this is right up your alley! It is a strong novel written by a strong author about strong characters meant for a strong reader.

www.iamliteraryaddicted.blogspot.com ( )
  sorell | Apr 17, 2011 |
This is the first novel I have read by Gail Anderson-Dargatz and I am sure it will not be the last. It is realistic in in its portrayal of characters and events and poetic in its style -- an absolutely delightful read. Finally, a novel with a female protagonist, set in Canada, written by a female Canadian writer -- a novel that doesn't drive you to the dark recesses of your mind.
This is the story of Kat, a woman at an emotional crossroad, who goes home to help her parents move their most precious possessions from their home which is threatened by a wildfire. Interwoven into this plot are the stories of her parents' and her grandparents' generations -- family secrets and skeletons are revealed --history repeats itself -- mysteries are unraveled and solved -- I absolutely loved it and am now off to the Chapter's website to see what else this writer has written. ( )
  Scrat | Dec 15, 2009 |
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My memories are so like that hat full of butterflies, some already deteriorating the moment they are collected, some breathed back to life now and again, for a brief moment, by the scent on a passing wind-the smell of an orange, perhaps, or a whiff of brown-sugar fudge-before drifting away, just out of my reach. How much of myself flits away with each of these tattered memories? How much of myself have I already lost? (Turtle Valley, p. 289) Kat has returned with her disabled husband and young son to her family's homestead in Turtle Valley, in British Columbia's Shuswap-Thompson area. Fire is sweeping through the valley in a ruthless progression toward the farm and they have come to help her frail parents pack up their belongings. Kat's mother, Beth, (the now elderly protagonist of Anderson-Dargatz's first novel, the award-winning The Cure for Death by Lightning) is weighed down by her ailing husband, Gus, and by generations of accumulated detritus. But there is something else weighing her down, a secret she has guarded all her life. Kat is determined to get to its source before fire eats up all that is left of the family's memories. Kat has her own burdens. Her father is dying, and the family has chosen to keep him home as long as possible in defiance of the approaching flames. Beth is showing signs of early dementia. And her husband, Ezra, is a husk of his former self, stolen from her years ago by a stroke and now battling frightening mood swings and a trick memory. Once filled with passion and hope, their relationship has become more like that of nursemaid and invalid. Now thrust into contact with her parents' neighbour Jude, her lover before Ezra, Kat finds his strength attractive, as well as his ongoing passion for her. As she considers her choices in love, Kat discovers that her grandmother, Maud, to whom she bears an uncanny resemblance, was once faced with a similar dilemma when forced to choose between the capricious violence of her shell-shocked husband, John Weeks, and the rugged constancy of their neighbour Valentine Svensson. Leafing through Maud's scrapbooks and long-hidden love letters, Kat begins to unravel the mystery of her grandfather's disappearance in the mountains. She is to find that like most family secrets, this one is tangled amidst generations of grief. As sparks rain down upon them, Kat tries to hold her family together, soothing Ezra's rages, comforting their son, Jeremy, tending to her mother's fragile mental state and striving to keep her father at home and comfortable as he nears death. Masses of ladybugs swarm through the house and panicked birds smash windows. Shadowy ghosts flit in and out of the encroaching smoke. All around them the landscape burns and terrible choices must be made. What can be salvaged? What will survive after Turtle Valley has burned? Turtle Valley is a novel of reconciliation and hope in the midst of terrible loss. Part ghost story, part mystery, part romance, the novel transcends these genres and carries its readers into new territories of forgiveness and acceptance of the difficult choices we all must make in finding our way through life and love.

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