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Turtle Valley Paperback – Jun 3 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada (June 3 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067697886X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0676978865
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #538,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

Praise for Gail Anderson-Dargatz:

“Anderson-Dargatz has something that no amount of craft can give a writer: She is hopelessly in love with and attentive to her subject, the physical world and all its gifts.”
The Globe and Mail

“Those who go hunting for ‘the next Margaret Laurence’ or ‘the next Alice Munro’ might find themselves perusing Gail Anderson-Dargatz. . . . If Margaret Laurence were alive today, she’d be looking over her shoulder–not with worry, but anticipation. Anderson-Dargatz is the real thing.”
Calgary Herald

“Anderson-Dargatz’s characters are vulnerable yet valiant as they thrust at the encroaching darkness. A rich blend of magic realism and brooding poetry, her writing is by turns warm and chilling, tempered to the mysteries of nurturing and nature. Her command of imagery and dialogue is nothing less than remarkable.”
Georgia Straight


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Turtle Valley is the fifth book to come from talented Canadian author Gail Anderson-Dargatz, whose novels have been published in several languages worldwide. Her first novel The Cure For Death By Lightning met with terrific acclaim and garnered her the UK’s Betty Trask Award and a nomination for Canada’s Giller Prize. A Recipe For Bees soon followed with nominations for the Giller and the IMPAC Dublin Award. A Rhinestone Button was a national bestseller in Canada and her first book, The Miss Hereford Stories, was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour.

Her style has been called “Margaret Laurence meets Gabriel García Márquez” because her writing tends towards magic realism, but Anderson-Dargatz says the ghosts and premonitions in her novels arise from her family’s stories of the Shuswap-Thompson area, which she carefully transcribed. “My father passed on the rich stories and legends about the region I grew up in, which he heard from the interior Salish natives he worked with,” she explains. “And my mother told me tales of her own premonitions, and of ghosts, eccentrics and dark deeds that haunted the area.”

Anderson-Dargatz has recently moved home to British Columbia’s Shuswap-Thompson area, that landscape found in so much of her writing. She is married to photographer Mitch Krupp, who took the beautiful photos that are reproduced throughout Turtle Valley. Now at work on her next novel, she is an adjunct professor in the creative writing optional-residency MFA program at the University of British Columbia.

Of her inspiration for Turtle Valley, Anderson-Dargatz writes, “It all started back in 1998 when I helped evacuate my parents from the Salmon Arm fire. Almost the whole city was evacuated, in what was the largest peacetime evacuation in the history of BC up to that time. It was both terrifying and visually beautiful, as fire quite literally rained down on the Salmon River Valley. Even as we went through it, I knew I would write of it someday, and I did, in Turtle Valley.”


From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found the writing sometimes simplistic, and most of the "twists" of the story predictable. It was by no means awful - I finished it, and it did deal with some interesting topics. But generally I found it heavy handed. I always feel bad leaving reviews that aren't glowing, but I had to be honest about this one. The writer seems sincere in their efforts, but the feeling of planning and "trying" is always there in the execution.
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By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on Oct. 17 2009
Format: Paperback
Set in the heart of Shuswap Lake B.C. during a raging forest fire, this fiction spins a magical tale of mystery and romance, one whose characters are haunted by ghostly memories.

The story starts slowly with Kat returning to her family's home to help her aging parents prepare in case of an evacuation order. To add to the stress she is accompanied by her young child Jeremy and her husband Ezra who is recovering from a stroke and can be very irritable at times. An added problem is the fact that her former lover Jude who she still has feelings for lives across the road from her mom and dad.

Tensions build when the out of control flames rush down the hillside posing an eminent threat to the valley and its inhabitants. Kat hurries to put the family's heirlooms in order and with the heighten adrenaline and stress everyone's mind starts to play tricks on them. The family house's haunted past comes to life, some see a creepy old man and the shadow of an old lady appear and disappear into thin air and no one can explain why the burners of the stove are on.

The eerie plot and the revelation of the family secrets are somewhat predictable. I found the torment between Kat and Ezra drawn out and that some of the scenes are hard to grasp no matter what dark secrets they may reveal. The writing gets magical when Turtle Valley catches fire and all hell breaks loose. The author's descriptive scenes of falling ash and trees turning into roman candles as the fire rages through are guarantied to leave a strong image in ones mind. In whole, the author's writing is quite engaging, the plot is unique and captivating, and the cast of characters is diversified and well developed.

With "Turtle Valley", I felt slowly plunged into the world of fantasy with a touch of realism. Well done Ms Anderson- Dargatz
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Format: Hardcover
Although the otherworldly aspect of this book surprised me - I found the storyline to be captivating and the authors prose to be beautiful. Having lived in the Rockies during some raging forest fires, I was captivated by her descriptions of both her feelings regarding the encroaching blaze, and the general emotions it incited.
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Format: Paperback
The places and events the author uses as background creates a uniquely Canadian atmosphere that wraps around and through the story. The actions and reactions of her quirky characters result in behaviour that could be viewed as a tad off centre....or not. And then there are those abrupt left turns....... An excellent read.
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