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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.
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.
I listened to the audiobook--the reader was fantastic--it was very hard to listen to and drive because it was so sad and I couldn't see to drive for crying. Read morePublished on Jan. 29 2004 by Beverly Foust
This story related to what my family is currently going through. My mom is fighting breast cancer. Mrs. Oke's writing came alive to me. I felt everything that Erin felt. Read morePublished on Dec 15 2001
Dana's Valley explored a family's struggle in a very real way. Through the eyes of Erin, we see the family in a very real and human way. Read morePublished on Aug. 21 2001
After reading a very negative review on the book, I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading. Read morePublished on July 18 2001 by Kathy McElhaney