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Dana's Valley [Paperback]

Janette Oke , Laurel Oke Logan
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 2001
New Look for a Bestselling Author's Mother-Daughter Collaboration

Erin Walsh thinks her family is as close to perfect as it can be. When one grim diagnosis is all it takes to shake her family to the core, she wonders if they can ever go back to they way they were. Erin's attempts to go about life as usual feel empty and as each member of her family seems to struggle alone, she is about ready to give up on God. However, Erin has yet to learn that God will never give up on her.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Bestselling novelist Oke is a mainstay in the Christian fiction market but, unfortunately, this newest offering, coauthored with her daughter, falls flat, despite a promising plot. Dana, a young teenager, is diagnosed with a terminal illness and her solidly Christian family deals with the resulting turmoil. Oke and Logan make a noble attempt to show that Christian families don't always enjoy rosy lives in the midst of suffering and affliction. A teen son strays, a younger child feels neglected and a sister struggles with bitterness toward God. Yet despite chapters of narration describing the family's daily life before the cancer wreaks its havoc, there is little character development. The book is wooden where it has the chance to evoke deep emotions. For example, when the siblings wait at the house for the call telling them Dana's bone-marrow transplant surgery is completed, sister Erin notes, "We were all a bit anxious." No kidding. There are a few sweet moments, including one in which Dana's little brother, Corey, chooses a spot for his tree where she can see it from her window. However, everything is wrapped up quickly, neatly and unbelievably in the end. After pages of bitterness over her sister's disease, we see the younger sister's attitude toward God changed in a few paragraphs. This passionless story falls short of other titles in Christian domestic fiction, including Oke's own work. (Apr.)Forecast: Oke's books have sold more than 20 million copies to date, so this will surely enjoy strong sales among her many fans. New readers, however, will likely be disappointed, and lackluster reviews won't drive many to the book in any case, hobbling the crossover ambitions for this one.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

Erin Walsh doesn't understand what's happening to her family. First, older sister Dana loses her bubbly personality and wants to stay home all the time. Then, Granddad dies and Grandma comes to live with them, forcing older brother Brett to move into the basement and her youngest brother, Corey, to move in with her and Dana. Her parents, David and Angela, ask the kids to bear with them as they all adjust to the changes and to pray about their problems. Faith has always been a strong part of the family's life, but after a move to a larger house in the country and a change of school districts, the family starts falling apart. And then Dana is diagnosed with leukemia. While her siblings deal with feelings of rejection and anger as their parents focus on helping Dana, Erin must also deal with her anger toward God for allowing these events to happen. This emotionally wrenching journey through the devastation that cancer wreaks on a family is particularly suitable for teens.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love and sickness Jan. 20 2002
By Dizziey
This book deals with Erin's family and how they went through difficult times when her sister, Dana was diagnosed with cancer. It was especially difficult for Erin and her sibblings as her parents had to pay full attention to her sister and neglected the rest of them and how each one of the family members need to come to term with Dana's illness. It was especially hard for Erin because Dana was her best friend and it was heartbreaking to see someone you love and care is slowly deteriorating and is suffering every day.
Slowly, Erin lost faith in praying and in God as she believed it was useless since so many people prayed for Dana and yet Dana was not recovering. It was touching for me, how Dana restored Erin's faith and how the family was able to go through Dana's illness with prayers and faith in God.
Also, I think this book gives a good picture on how it's like to have a family member who is being diagnosed with cancer as it drains out everyone who loves the patient. One of the quotes in the book said something like cancer is like a magnet, it draws one closer to God.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a superficial sob story July 12 2001
The disappointed reviews are wrong! I am not one to throw myself into a book that I know will make me sad and weepy. Yet, when my husband brought this one home for me (since he knows I love Mrs. Oke's books), I felt I needed to dig in, even if tears did well up. I read that book based solely on my trust in Mrs. Oke's former works. I must say that at the end of the book, I felt that I had grown as a sibling. Without getting all caught up in too much emotion, I was able to realize that I needed to pray more for my siblings. I realized that even when I don't know why God is taking them through pathways I can't fix, I have to trust Him. Instead of a superficial sob story, this book went deeper. Thank you, Mrs. Oke!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A slow starter, but good otherwise May 15 2001
The first few pages aren't very exciting, but once the main plot settles in, you'll want to keep reading to see what happens next. This is the first Janette Oke book for adults that takes place in modern times (The 2 children's books by Janette Oke which I've purchased take place in modern times), and while the reviewer at "Publisher's Weekly" did not enjoy it, I would be willing to read it again. I had a brother who died of muscular distrophy when he was 17, and taking care of my 10-year-old son who also suffers from the same disease has not been easy. Sometimes I reach the end of my rope just as Dana's mother did, so I applaud the realistic writing style - things like this really happen to good people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down!! July 26 2001
By A Customer
I am a big fan of Janette Oke and have read nearly all of her books. I bought this book a few months ago but hadn't had a chance to read it until this week. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. I thought that the characters were very real and believable and I found myself wanting to get to know them as I got more into the book. I finished it in a little over a day because I didn't want to stop. I cried at certain points of the book and at the end. Janette Oke never fails to entertain and to minister to her readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful story of God's healing power May 6 2001
By Beverly
Very unlike typical Janette Oke, Dana's Valley is a wonderful modern-day story of a family struggling with the illness and death of their child. Oke and daughter Laurel have a way of making the reader empathetic with each and every family member, be it the angry, resentful older brother, or the exhausted, heartsick mother. The journey that the Walsh family takes through fear, denial, acceptance, and, finally, resignation will keep you riveted throughout. I could not put the book down.
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