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No Dark Valley (Derby #5)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  309 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
From author Jamie Langston Turner, this story of reconciliation, for two people who come to see God's vast mercy, evokes small-town southern life.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Bethany House Publishers (first published January 1st 2004)
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(showing 1-30)
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Sep 04, 2007 Deb rated it liked it
This book was good, but long. Both of the main characters would tell their story in a stream of consciousness type of way--so that it could take half an hour of listening to get through a simple dinner scene because they would stop to comment on the family eating at the next table and make up a story about them. For the patient listener the story is wonderful though, about a girl named Cecilia who after her grandmother's death fulfills her promise to go back home for her funeral. In the process ...more
Nov 21, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing
I have liked every single one of her books. She's a great author
Sep 28, 2016 Theresa rated it really liked it
Celia is a director of an art gallery. Having lost her parents in an auto accident as a young teen, she spent her tumultuous high school years with a emotionally hardened but determined grandmother, a grandmother who not only has very high standards morally but expects Celia to follow suit. When Celia rebels and leaves for good, she finds herself in later years regretting her treatment of her grandmother and wishing she had another chance.

Fast forward several years, and now in the beginning cha
Brandi (Rambles of a SAHM)
Nov 01, 2016 Brandi (Rambles of a SAHM) rated it really liked it
This was a long book and took me awhile to warm up to it. Once I got into it I enjoyed it. It is a redemption story full of God’s grace. It is also a bit of a romance story set in the Christian genre.
Oct 05, 2016 Mimi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read, little too much thinking for me

I'm a big Jamie Langston Turner fan. That said, this is not one of my favorite of her books. The only reason I say that is because there's too much thinking done y the characters. We don't need to know that much about what they're thinking, it got boring to me, and I found myself skipping some of that part of the story. It was a great plot the characters were complex but we don't need to know what's going on in their head to this degree. At least that's
Rachel Crooks
Apr 14, 2011 Rachel Crooks rated it liked it
I'm inclined to give this book 2.5 stars. It kept me reading, which makes me lean toward a 3, but it also had some corny and unbelievable elements, which makes me slide backward to a 2. She might have been attempting to be coy with all of the "if Celia were a character in a book, how would she describe this moment"s...but they got on my nerves. And then, at the end, when two characters discuss the plot "as if it were a novel" and talk about how cliche it would be if they tried to write it all do ...more
Jun 17, 2014 Laurie rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, nook
First read when the book came out, so 2004 or 2005. 3rd person narration, but tells the first half of the story from her POV, and the second half of the story from his. Very clever, as we discover slowly what we didn't know. I liked these characters very much.
Re-reading now (2014) on my Nook.
6/17 Just finished. I still found it a pleasurable read. I get the feeling that the author decided in advance to stick strictly to the narrative and POV choices she made early on, no matter how clumsy. The
Debra Torgerson
An okay read

A story of two people who made choices in their lives that caused them regrets and how that affected their lives and how God brought them to himself and each other. I felt it to be somewhat drawn out. I found myself wondering when a chapter would end. I didn't feel that the Grace of God was presented as well as it could have been. I did like how the author showed what they where thinking and felt I believe we can relate with our own regrets, and that God is our answer. The Lord's Gra
Jun 04, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rather mediocre

Rather mediocre

The book kind of started out as annoying, like when the character decides to put what she just into a book. That annoyance fades only to be brought in the third part of the book. Another thing that was irritating was the incessant "I am getting too old not to be married/ maybe I am too old too find anyone to marry". Also in the third part the main characters were switched and the new character did not seem to be as developed as he should have been. As for the first
Jul 12, 2014 Renee rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I enjoyed Garden to Keep, Winterbirds and Suncatchers a little more, but this was excellent. I love how the author educates you on many different topics as a part of the story. In this book, you learn about poetry, clarinet, tennis, art, life science, and Shakespeare.

I felt the characters were very real and the story is much more about Bruce and Celia's journey to God and believing God could forgive their past than it is about them getting together, so definitely not a cheesy
Andrea Stoeckel
Jun 24, 2014 Andrea Stoeckel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Celia, a single woman with a fundementalist church past, has left both the church and her smalltown Georgia upbringing to start over.

Bruce, a single man, has left his devil-may-care lifestyle to live in the basement apartment of the house his sister has just purchased.

This book is unabashidly and unapoligetically riddled with cliche. It's also very long, possibly 2 books worth long. A bit Biblical parable, a bit Jane Austin and a lot of forgiveness and searching later.....

It's a sweet book I wo
Apr 25, 2015 Jane rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 07, 2011 Sally rated it it was amazing
My second time through this book. A story about a young woman who has turned her back on God, blaming Him for her parents' death and despising her grandmother's simplistic, practical faith. In God's sovereignty, He puts people in her life who show her what a real relationship with Christ looks like, and she 'enters into the joy of the Lord.' Turner writes well, and I particularly enjoy the characters she creates. My appreciation for hymns continues to grow, and I liked the way the characters thi ...more
Jean Cowden
Jun 04, 2015 Jean Cowden rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The book was 500 pages long. It went off onto many rabbit trails, but I couldn't seem to put it down. In the last 200 pages it came together. It let you get to know so much about the characters lives. The main character had turned her back on God during her youth. She had made many mistakes,and they haunted her. She couldn't date any man for long until they irritated her and she broke up with him. When she was 38 she finally found what she was looking for and returned to God. The story and conte ...more
Joan Arning
Aug 29, 2014 Joan Arning rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book about two adults who have regrets about how they have lived their younger years. Celia rebelled against God and her grandmother who gave her a home after her parents' deaths. Bruce spent his young years attracting women. Bruce and Celia each discover God's forgiveness for things they have done and discover a love for each other. The book was not always predictable (which I liked).
Jun 19, 2016 Deliasue rated it really liked it
Ms. Turner has a unique way of writing. It was hard for me in the beginning to get into this book because she used a lot of church songs as wording. I could relate to them as I have heard them my whole life, but to someone who was not a Christian and did not attend church I can see how it could be boring. I loved the story line. I love the way Ms. Turner depicted Bruce, a confirmed bachelor but God had other plans for him and the I don't like you girl next door.
Barbara J. Harbison
I really liked this one

If you are looking for a great read of a Christian love story, this is it. Not a typical story about a man and woman who meet and fall in love with at least one glitch in the falling part. This time you wait until almost the end of the book until they come together. The book spends most of its story on these broken people finding their way to God then realizing they can love each other. Different approach, great story.
Linda Davis
Dec 03, 2015 Linda Davis rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who reads for a deeply moving story that captures mind, heart, and soul
When a book reaches beyond entertainment to touch my heart, I recommend it. But when it touches my soul, I add it to my All Time Favorites list. Turner is gifted, plain and simple. Her writing is pristine and her stories are meaty. I recommend her to anyone who reads for a deeply moving story that will capture mind, heart, and soul. s
Jun 12, 2014 Meagen rated it did not like it
Shelves: free-reads
I don't like to give up on books but I only made it about a third of the way through before I threw in the towel. I tried skimming in hopes I could power through but I just became more confused. It was incredibly slow and the characters were not very easy to relate to. There was nothing to grab my attention to want to come back and pick up where I left off.
Aug 18, 2016 Susan rated it liked it
It took me quite awhile to get through this book. The Chapters were long and I would read a few in between other books. But the end was much better. After the perspective switched it was easier to and more enjoyable. Not sure why but the writing improved.
Jun 05, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it
"Celia Coleman and Bruce Healey are both struggling to overcome difficult pasts. Celia was orphaned at fifteen years old to an austere grandmother. Years later, her grandmother dies, setting in motions chances in Celia's life... and heart." (My review from 9/19/2004).
Sep 10, 2014 Melissa rated it it was ok
Decent Christian storyline but the rest is slow and many of the revelations occur outside the scope of the book, so readers "hear about" them, but don't experience them.
May 04, 2016 Tammy rated it really liked it
i enjoyed this book immensely-jamie really develops the characters and makes them "real". She is very detailed and wordy in her descriptions almost to a fault. i skimmed a lot of that.
Jun 22, 2012 Gaylee rated it liked it
So far I am not liking this book so much. Not keeping my interest like the others do. But I am going to finish it. Could get better as I go along.
Jun 20, 2008 Sheri rated it liked it
woman raised by her Christian grandmother and the guilt she's having in her life now because of an abortion she had years ago.
Apr 23, 2016 Deedee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My rating 3 1/2 stars. A Christian book, but at times gets "hung up" on religion. The book seemed to go on and on.
Jul 30, 2014 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this authors books. It is always interesting to see how a person can see a situation differently after many years. I liked both Bruce and Celia and how the author developed them.
Sep 15, 2009 Margaret rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the hymn lines, not first lines, as chapter titles and the issues of the book. I really like Jamie Langston Turner's novels but the ending of this one was a little trite and sappy.
di rated it liked it
Aug 16, 2009
Indianamom rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2008
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Jamie Langston Turner is the award-winning author of seven novels, including Sometimes a Light Surprises, Winter Birds, and Some Wildflower in my Heart, and has been a teacher for more than forty years. She is currently a professor of poetry and creative writing at Bob Jones University. Jamie lives in Greenville, South Carolina, with her husband.
More about Jamie Langston Turner...

Other Books in the Series

Derby (5 books)
  • Suncatchers (Derby #1)
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  • By the Light of a Thousand Stars
  • A Garden to Keep

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