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Turtle Valley

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  369 ratings  ·  50 reviews
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 mem ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 3rd 2008 by Vintage Canada (first published 2007)
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Dani Peloquin
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
I was excited, when I started reading Turtle Valley, to realize that some of the characters in Anderson-Dargatz's first book (A Cure for Death by Lightning) had resurfaced (much older) in this novel. The author did not disappoint. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the narrator, Katrine's, life experience with the life experience of Maud Weeks, her dead grandmother (featured in the first novel, and well remembered in this book). I also enjoyed the feeling of 'a race against time' - Katrine is trying ...more
Turtle Valley is a disappointing follow up to The Cure For Death By Lightning taking place many years later. The main protagonist in the Cure for Death by Lightning, Beth Weeks, is now an old woman. Turtle Valley is told from the point of view of her daughter Kat. Gail Anderson-Dargatzwriting is still superb. She has the ability to transport the reader into her universe and I will still check out her other books, but this book lacks the magic of the other one.
The plot was very implausible and the characters were bizarre. But when the author started introducing elements of the supernatural, that's when she lost me.

Despite my eyerolling, I did manage to finish the book. It was an interesting story, but not one I would wholeheartedly recommend (this author's other book, The Cure For Death By Lightning, was excellent and a better choice)
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"The story - of love and land and memory - is propelled by a raging forest fire that sends flames raining down from the tops of the hills into the valley below. Kat, lonely and exhausted in her marriage to a man who has been brain damaged by a stroke, returns to the family home in Turtle Valley in order to help her elderly parents prepare to evacuate. As she sorts through her parents' belongings and wrestles with the terrible question of what to save and what to leave behind, Kat finds i
Toni Osborne
Set in the heart of Shuswap Lake B.C. during a raging forest fire, this fiction spins a magical tale of mystery and romance, one whose characters are haunted by ghostly memories.

The story starts slowly with Kat returning to her family's home to help her aging parents prepare in case of an evacuation order. To add to the stress she is accompanied by her young child Jeremy and her husband Ezra who is recovering from a stroke and can be very irritable at times. An added problem is the fact that her
Katrine is a 40 something woman who is the sole caregiver for her post-stroke husband and her young son. They head back to her parents home to help them prepare for a forest-fire evacuation and find that her mentally-ill mother is unable to run a household, due to her compulsion to document every detail of the day in written diaries. Her father is able enough until, 3 days later, his battle with cancer turns.
As Katrine rummages through a house full of boxes, hidden memories and well-kept secret
By Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Knopf Canada, 304 pages, $32

Reviewed by Nisha Tuli

IN her new literary novel, this award-winning British Columbia author treads on familiar territory as she returns to her native province and delves into the seemingly simple existence of farm life.

Gail Anderson-Dargatz sets her meandering tale in the Shushwap area of the B.C. interior where she grew up. A forest fire raging outside on the hilltops, threatening to engulf Turtle Valley and all the homes in it, recalls the re
Dorien Brouwer
Goed genoeg vakantieboek. Lezen over leven terwijl er een massale bosbrand voor je deur gaande is, is voor Europeanen wel eens iets anders. Het verhaal zelf? Beetje veel van vanalles. Veel relaties en relatieproblemen, veel gekwetsten (lichamelijk en psychisch), veel toevalligheden, ... Maar toch doorgelezen, dus dat wil ook wat zeggen.
This book had it all...a haunting, a love story (or two), family secrets buried long ago but never forgotten, a mystery and an intricate family dynamic.

I surprisingly really enjoyed this book and wouldn't have picked it up otherwise if it hadn't been for bookclub (you know, it being depressing Canadian fiction and all). I think the mystery and intrigue surrounding the missing grandfather is what kept me engrossed and I'm always a sucker for huge family secrets being exposed. The supernatural el
Theryn Fleming
Turtle Valley is set just outside Salmon Arm during the August 1998 wildfire. Some of the hyper-local place names are fictional (Turtle Valley, Promise), but the general geography is authentic. The fire was to the west of Salmon Arm and this is where protagonist Kat’s parents live. She has returned home (accompanied by her husband, Ezra, and son) to help her parents move the possessions they want to keep safe from the fire to her sister Val’s garage (in Canoe, east of SA). They do this at what f ...more
The story really struggles to get going and about halfway through starts to find its way. Overall tone is fairly morose. I didn't fall in love with any of the characters. Sort of flat emotionally.
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 go
Debbie G
I couldnt stop reading it. It's a family tragedy, a ghost story and a love story.
This is the 2nd book I've read by Gail Anderson-Dargetz. Another great Canadian author. Her writing gives the reader a vivid and descriptive image of her characters and the landscape. This story takes place in British Columbia during a raging forest fire. Kat, the main character is helping her parents pack up belongings to save from the fire that is rapidly moving in their direction. Kat's husband has recently suffered a debilitating stroke, which has put a strain on their marriage. Just across ...more
Stopped reading a few chapters in due to some awful violence against animals.
Such a good read. Amazing descriptions of BC and the valley.
Alison DeLory
The mystery and parallel stories (one told in the present; one through remembrances and old letters) worked for me. The coincidences were a few too many, though. The setting of a small community under threat of a forest wildfire added the right amount of urgency and tension to the story. The main character had a few moral failings that made liking her difficult. The "mysterious stranger" lurking around the property was also a bit misplaced, but the pacing, hardships, and setting were all well-dr ...more
Melanie Ashworth
It took me awhile to get into this novel as it is slow moving at the beginning but it develops into an interesting story. Somewhat predictable but does have a powerful ending. I did enjoy the beautiful descriptions of Turtle Valley in BC and the fires that have ravaged the area on and off for the past few year. I remember driving to Vancouver Island few years ago during the fires and she does describe the smell of smoke, the red sky at night and the feelings of treat very well.
Beautiful descriptions of the rugged B.C interior and the life of a family that is far more complicated than it initially seems. I loved how this book doesn't really provide any easy answers. Instead, it explores loyalty, love and denial with honesty and compassion for all parties - even the ones who might not inspire the most sympathy. Couldn't put it down - read it in only 2 days.
Nov 05, 2009 added it
Shelves: reviews
Gail Anderson-Dargatz often thinks of the forest fires that raged across British Columbia in 1998. She returned to her parents' home near Salmon Arm that year to help them evacuate, and was intrigued by the things people there chose to save, and the things they left behind.

read more ...
This is the third Gail Anderson-Dargatz book I have read, and once again it was very interesting and a quick read. A family has to evacuate their farm because of a forest fire threatening the valley they live in. The story was sad and suspenseful in many ways because of family history, an impending death and the encroaching fire storm.
Kathleen McRae
turtle Valley was an interesting read, It had many layers and was easy to read and follow the characters as they appeared,There were many stories woven through this story.....aging and dying unsolved mystery ...a disabled partner......loss.....and a major life decision. The story was cohesive and i enjoyed reading it.
I read Turtle Valley for my book club book this month. It was an interesting book about a family discovering mysteries of their past. I thought it was great how the author incorporated photographs at the beginning of each chapter. I did have a hard time trying to keep track of the characters for some reason.
I don't read a lot of Canadian fiction. Mostly because I usually find it pretty dry and a bit dismal. However, this one has really captured my attention. There's a bit of a ghost story and some unrequited love type shennanigans and I think that's what held my attention. I really loved it!
Kamloopy Book
Selected by Hillary
I've enjoyed all of this authors books. I immediately feel like I am in the time and place of her novels. Plus I'm familiar with the area's she writes about so I feel more connected as well. Very engaging writer.
Extremley interesting,and the setting of British Columbia is amazing. The fire luming in the background was almost like another character added extra somthing to the already interesting story.
A multigenerational disfunctional family spends their time reliving/remembering/discussing personal problems and seeing ghostly relatives while a forest fire burns ever closer to their homestead.
This is a quick read that has two plots that I was fully invested in. The ending, however, seemed somewhat unsatisfactory. The story takes place near Salmon Arm and is written by a local author.
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Spoiler 1 11 Sep 03, 2010 05:02PM  
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Gail's novels The Cure for Death by Lighting and A Recipe for Bees were international bestsellers, and were both finalists for the prestigious Giller Prize in Canada. The Cure for Death by Lightning won the UK’s Betty Trask Prize among other awards. A Rhinestone Button was a national bestseller in Canada and Gail's first book, The Miss Hereford Stories, was short-listed for the Leacock Award for h ...more
More about Gail Anderson-Dargatz...
The Cure For Death By Lightning A Recipe for Bees A Rhinestone Button The Miss Hereford Stories Search and Rescue

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