Sunday, May 31, 2009

Book Tour : Saints in Limbo by River Jordan

Summary: 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 home outside Echo, Florida.When a mysterious stranger appears at her door on her birthday and presents Velma with a special gift, she is rattled by the object’s ability to take her into her memories–a place where Joe still lives, her son Rudy is still young, unaffected by the world’s hardness, and the beginning is closer than the end. As secrets old and new come to light, Velma wonders if it’s possible to be unmoored from the past’s deep roots and find a reason to hope again.

My Thoughts:
What first got my attention was the beautiful writing; descriptions that were lyrical, almost poetic. You can see by the following quoted paragraphs how easily this book grabbed my attention.

" 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 stream of 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."
And this is only page 2 !

River Jordan's book has been likened to Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen most likely for the element of fantasy. I have read both books, truly enjoyed Garden Spells, but I honestly think River Jordan's book has characters with much more depth and authenticity.

Velma True is the type of character that really feels genuine. On the occasion of her birthday she has been wishing she could go back and fix some parts of her life.What she would really like is to go back when her husband Joe was still alive. Since Joe died, Velma is afraid to venture into her front yard and will only go out the back door and walk to the store. No way on earth will she get into a car. Try as they might, her son Rudy and her friend Sara cannot get Velma past her fears. Although Velma really loves her only son, Rudy, she is well aware of his faults.

Rudy doesn't have too many expectations of life, in fact, just being able to pay his rent and have enough left over for beer , cable tv and visits to the local pizza joint is good enough for him. As long as he has a new woman on the string to keep the nightmares at bay, and his mother doesn't bother him too much, he is one contented man.

Rose, owner of the local pizza/bar, is a single woman who secretly harbors a longing for Rudy . When a young runaway named Annie finds her way to Rose's bar, Rose takes her in and that's when things really start to kick into high gear and get very interesting.

Fourteen year old Annie has a picture of her mother when she was very young with several others Annie does not know. The only clue on the back of the photo is Christmas in Echo, FL and this is the catalyst for Annie to leave Texas and her neglectful aunt. This picture of the past is the key to the future for Velma, Rose, Rudy and Annie.

Sara, retired school teacher and friend to Velma, fears she is slowing losing her mental capabilities. But still, Sara is one spunky lady who finds out through several hair raising incidents that she doesn't really know Velma as well as she thought. Sara is more of a peripheral character but the story would be incomplete without her.

The story weaves around these main characters and takes the reader on an unforgettable journey. All the characters in the story are fighting some sort of personal demons and their fears and regrets are given a form that is downright scary at times. The pieces of this mesmerizing and almost haunting tale are revealed slowly, layer by layer, compelling the reader forward with each new page. Once I started this book, I had a very hard time putting it down. Highly recommended 4.5*****

Author Bio:
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 and makes her home in Nashville. For the author's website, please visit here.

Be sure to visit Random House website for more info on Saints in Limbo.
A huge thank you to Liz Johnson at Waterbrook for a copy of this wonderful book


  1. My review of this one is scheduled for tomorrow. I LOVED this book and couldn't put it down.

  2. I do love poetic language in a book, the words just flow. Hope to read this one day

  3. I've read such interesting reviews of this book. It's definitely on my TBR list. Nice post, Kaye!

  4. Thank you so much for such a beautiful description of Velma and her world. The setting for Velma's house and the creek is actually my Daddy's old homestead and it's just like I wrote about it.

    And thank you for taking time to review the story with such lush description and detail.

    You honor me, truly.

    River Jordan

  5. Wow! This sounds great! Thank you for your great review.

  6. Oooh, I haven't heard of this before but it's going straight to my list! This sounds really good and I LOVE the cover. So glad you found this one so I could find it!

    And as always, you've got the cutest penguins, ever!

  7. Nice review Kaye. I've got this book on my shelf and now I'm even more anxious to read it. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

  8. While this sounds beautiful, I really need light and fluffies at the moment. I have enough stress all day at work so need the light hearted break.

    Thanks for your comment on my Teaser. Dog Gone It might be right up your ally. Its told from the point of view of the dog and he thinks he is "high" like humans get with drugs because he sticks his head out the car window!

  9. How cool that it was like Garden Spells. I haven't read it either, but have heard such wonderful things about it that it's been on my wish list for a while. Looks like I'll have to add this one too.

  10. Your review certainly caught my attention - I'm adding this to my wish list.

  11. I read this last month too and once I started, I couldn't put it down. I agree with your comparison to Garden Spells and also felt this was on a much deeper level. I had such vivid images in my head as I read. It was really, really good!


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