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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
After reading a very negative review on the book, I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading. Since Janette Oke has been a favorite author of mine for many years, I took a chance and bought the book anyway. As the younger sibling of a Hemophiliac who spent many weeks in the hospital during my growing up years, Dana's Valley hit very close to home. I could relate to Dana's younger sister completely. Erin's mixed feelings were very real - I've been there. If you haven't walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death with a family member or close friend, this book may not be for you. But if you have, have a box of tissue handy!
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. All the thoughts and feelings I have had dealing with my mom's illness came out. I recommend this book to any who is dealing with a serious disease. This book will make you think and discover feelings you never thought you had.
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. Although it was sad, it was also uplifting and spiritual. I felt sad and happy at the same time. I intend to buy several copies to give to my family. It was a real moving story. I also intend to buy more books from the author!
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. Each person has needs that must be met and the authors have presented in a subtle but positive way how they are met. I fell in love with the characters and cried when they cried. This is a book for anyone who has gone through a valley.