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Saints in Limbo

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  133 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
“River Jordan’s Saints in Limbo is a compelling story of the mysteries of existence and, specially, the mysteries of the human heart.”
–Ron Rash, author of Serena and Chemistry and Other Stories

“I lose myself in River’s writing–transported to a different time and place– and in this case, to one that makes the ordinary mystical and magical. I give it FIVE diamonds in the Pul
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by WaterBrook (first published April 25th 2009)
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May 05, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
One of the most interestingly different novels I've read in a long time is this new release by River Jordan. Taking place in a sleepy southern town in the Florida panhandle, it tells the story of people living with regret and how they deal with it and so much more.

I really didn't know what to expect from this novel, but as soon as I started reading I found myself intrigued by Velma and the ocurrences that happen as a result of the gift she is given by a stranger. You can feel the loneliness she
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
Nov 06, 2010 Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This review first appeared on my blog:

I think I'm still high from this book. From the first sentence:

It was the kind of day when even the lost believed.

through the end, I was transported into an everyday world that was somehow more. Marvelous imagery and evocative prose cause you to smell the wisteria and hear the plop of the mullets as they jump up and hit back down into the water of Echo, Florida. A world where a plain, smooth rock suddenly eddies and f
Mar 23, 2009 Valerie rated it really liked it
Regardless of the title and author's name, this book is not about Utah or Mormons! It is a very interesting book. It has very poignant moments and I really enjoyed reading it!
Jan 29, 2013 Katherine rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009
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 u
May 29, 2009 Gabby rated it it was amazing
Now THIS is what storytelling is all about! I'd previously read an earlier River Jordan book, The Messenger Of Magnolia Street, and loved her writing style. She has a way with describing people and places that brings them to life and allows the reader to clearly "see" them in the mind's eye. Her events are so well written it's as though the characters pulled up a chair for the reader and invited her to sit right down and live through the experience with them.

Velma True had a long and mainly ful
Nicola Mansfield
Feb 23, 2011 Nicola Mansfield rated it it was amazing
Reason for Reading: I love Southern fiction, especially when old ladies are involved for some reason. The mysterious visitor angle got me and knowing this was Random House's Christian Fiction imprint I just felt the story would resonate with me somehow.

I don't know where to begin to describe this story. Southern fiction is usually defined by its quirky characters and this book certainly has its fair share of those. All of them as lovable and quirky as the next, even the irritating ones end up sh
Jan 01, 2010 Kelly rated it liked it
This was quite a strange book. Tons of symbolism. It would be a great book for a book group because there are so many themes in it and several possible interpretations. It centers around good and evil, regret, fear and doubt.

The main character Velma is a widow living on the outskirts of Echo, a small town. On her birthday a strange man shows up at her house and although she doesn't know him he knows her and gives her a birthday present, a magic stone. The stone takes her back in time to re-exper
Jul 04, 2009 Janice rated it really liked it
I was fortunate to receive this book from Good Reads, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. This story is about Velma True, an older woman who has lost her husband; now Velma's life is lived mostly in fear, memories and regrets. Depsite the efforts of her son and a concerned friend, Velma will only go out into her yard as far as colored threads tied to her front porch rail allow her.
After a visit from a stranger, Velma's life begins to change, sometimes spinning out of control, all seemingly due
Clockstein Lockstein
Jun 09, 2009 Clockstein Lockstein rated it really liked it
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 futu ...more
Virginia Campbell
Aug 21, 2009 Virginia Campbell rated it really liked it
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 hi ...more
Nov 12, 2012 Heather rated it did not like it
Saints In Limbo was not what I expected it to be. When I requested it I was expecting a Women’s Fiction novel with southern style warmth and a message on the value of life (regardless of your age). What I read was very lyrical as it has been described, but it was also so mystical/science fiction that it lost the feminine character that I need as reader.

I’m a sucker for women’s fiction. I love a good heart-warming story. Add in time travel, magic stones, and mysterious man-creatures and I glaze
May 30, 2009 Monie rated it it was amazing
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 o
Jun 04, 2009 Delores rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, first-reads
I won this book in the first reads giveaway so I was excited about winning and excited to read because it sounded interesting. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I thoroughly enjoyed this book and not just because it was free:) What a fabulous well written story about fear, regret, unfinished business, and hope. My favorite aspect of this book was the spiritual, supernatural, other world element (not sure exactly how to describe it) that the author wove into the story. I loved the symbolism ...more
Nov 15, 2012 Gaynell rated it it was amazing
River's writing is like a melody that you find yourself humming along to. Her words are brushstrokes that paint a picture so vivid that you know that place exists somewhere, that the characters are real people, and you've just been visiting them. Each character is a person in his or her own right, not just 2 dimensional props to help the story along. Each has strengths and weaknesses, flaws and redemptions.
"Saints in Limbo" is River Jordan's best yet out of truly great works. The main character,
Aug 19, 2009 Andi rated it it was amazing
Someone (pipe up if it was you) reviewed this book on her blog, and then - as bloggers are wont to do - she offered the book as a giveaway. After reading her review, I thought this might be a book I wanted to read, so I commented and won. When the book arrived, I got pretty excited and moved it to the top of the TBR pile. I finished it last night, and I really enjoyed the book.

The basic story is of several people in the small southern town of Echo. These folks are all connected by blood or frien
Oct 24, 2011 Dottie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A friend received this book as an ARC from Librarything:) All I really knew about it was that my friend recommended it. So I began to read it....and found I didn't want to put it down! This was different than most of the fiction I enjoy. (I liked that it was different.) The story was written in a way that really made me care about the protagonist and look forward to knowing what happens to her and her family, friends. And who would've thought of what *did* happen? Not me. [return]Since the copy ...more
May 30, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing
I'm a First Reads winner! So excited!

I'll start by saying that this is not my normal read. In fact, I doubt I would have ever found this book except that I won it. After I finish this review I'm going to find a few more River Jordon books for my to-read list.

This story is about people who feel they've hit a dead end and have built up walls around their lives just to get through every day. It's sad but not depressing, creative yet quirky, sweet without being sappy.

I found myself putting the bo
River Jordan has written a beautiful book about people contemplating where the are in life. It is a good character study of the major stages of life and how we learn to accept the choices that have been made and move on to still get the most out of what remains.

I'm a bit torn with this book. I enjoyed it and at first I wasn't sure it would be that memorable. I didn't connect with some of the older characters because frankly, I'm not at the stage of life where I'm wondering what happened and how
Joni Keith
Mar 06, 2015 Joni Keith rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all time favorites. I have just finished reading it for the second time and I enjoyed it every bit as much as the first time. Life is a circle and we truly are all connected.
Jul 16, 2009 Kaya rated it it was amazing
Lovely! Lovely! Lovely! This is the first book in my whole life that I didn't cheat and read the last page before I reached it. I wanted to enjoy every second of this ride. You know, just today my editor and I were talking about how by and large, every story has been done. Then tonight, River Jordan blows that idea right out of the water. Both titles of hers I've read are entirely fresh and new and imbued with that Southern flavor and small town charm I just love. Jordan's storytelling is richly ...more
Jul 29, 2009 Renee rated it liked it
I got this in the book giveaway!
After the death of her husband Velma True is rooted to her small, rural home. Afraid of the outside world she intends to live out the remainder of her life in her small rural home- wishing for days gone by. When a stranger grants her wish of 'again' she is surprised and elated to be experiencing her past. But with this powerful wish comes trouble, mystery, and a new hope for the future.

Jordan creates interesting characters and a vivid landscape. While I wish the
Aug 02, 2011 Jonathan rated it liked it
This book was surprisingly good. (I say that from my own ignorance--I have had no prior exposure to River Jordan's writing and had no expectations.) The plot was predictable at parts, but I don't count that as a fault especially because it was told in a unique way. Jordan's strong suit is crafting believable characters and dialogue, along with an interesting story that keeps the reader engrossed. The cover design is not an accurate depiction of what the book contains--the book itself is not as f ...more
Michelle Bodle
Jul 29, 2015 Michelle Bodle rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
While I didn't care for the plot line there were moments of sheer brilliance in writing
Oct 20, 2009 Christina rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in a "First Reads" contest here on goodreads and was asked to post a review under a "First Reads" shelf. Hopefully, I will have others to review soon. In the mean time, here are my thoughts on Saints in Limbo.

Hmmm - I'm not sure what to make of this novel. It took me forever to read because I just couldn't get into it. However, I did enjoy the plot and underlying message once I found it in the end. An interesting read with compelling tones, but not one that I was able to really a
Oct 10, 2009 Elaine rated it did not like it
I really tried to like this book; I liked the characters but the story is weird. What's with the strings? The rock? I could see if this was an allegory but that doesn't seem to be the case. I have a difficult time understanding stories that are not realistic and frankly seeing your dead spouse alive at different stages of his life (and yours), from holding onto a special rock, well, that's a bit unrealistic, wouldn't you say!?! This book has great reviews but I just don't get it.

Sep 01, 2009 Janet rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2009
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!
Sep 15, 2009 Anita rated it it was amazing
Shelves: female-authors, drama
someone else reviewed Saints in Limbo by River Jordan and said: "Saints in Limbo by River Jordan is a haunting, almost mystical story of memories, love, and the battle between good and evil." I would agree. I totally loved this book. a lyrical book that was a reminder that this is why I read stories. I usually don't pick up books labelled as christian fiction...I'm so so happy this one was rec to me. and what an emotional reminder that memories are beautiful reminders to live for today.
Jun 20, 2009 Kevin rated it liked it
Flashes of inspiration and talent in this one. Interesting concept and some good characters, but it takes too long to play out when the outcome is rather predictable. And at times the prose gets in the way; too much flourish and too much tell instead of show. But still an interesting read.

fuller review here.
Lisa Kiguru
Sep 29, 2011 Lisa Kiguru rated it did not like it
I started this book, put it down, picked it back up, put it down, left it for a month, picked it back up and tried again but in the end just could not finish this book. I just did not buy into the whole idea of being transported through time/memories/space by holding a rock and the neuroses of the main character. Moving on....
Jan 05, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I was impressed with how well River Jordan writes. She is particularly good at telling a story and maintaining a good pace throughout the book.

I admit I haven't spent time pondering any of the "deeper meaning" within the story. I just enjoyed it as a good read that actually kept me interested.
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