Velvet Sky Paperback – Apr 2002
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This novel is a coming of age story that follows a boy and a girl as they struggle to find their way emotionally and physically in a small southern town in the middle 1970s.
About the Author
Born April 14, 1960, in a small southern town in (Newton) Mississippi, Rusty Van Reeves was the first child of Charles and Sandra. Rusty excelled in music (piano, trumpet, French Horn) and sports (football, baseball, basketball, track, tennis, swimming) before a tragic High School football accident in 1975 left him paralyzed from the neck down (C4 Quad) at the age of 15.
A former Eagle Scout and gifted athlete he was forced to look inward for any creative talent that might make his future bearable. He attended Mississippi State University in 1978 and began writing aggressively as a way to pass the time and cope with his newfound physical limitations.
VELVET SKY is his first novel and depicts life in a small southern town as seen through the eyes of a true observer. His words are those of a genuine poet as he paints truly memorable characters that live with the reader long after the final page is turned.
In 1996, at the age of 36, Rusty started a small software company called Preservation Software. The company develops and markets reference CD-ROMs.
The author currently resides in the small town of Madison, MS (with Tim, his younger brother and only sibling). Rusty recently completed a second novel (COVENANT) which has not yet been published. VELVET SKY is a novel about hope, perseverance and love. It highlights the constant struggle of good and evil in all of us.
Top Customer Reviews
The main characters are all very different, yet linked in many ways. Patrick is a young man who is being pushed by his father to become a prize athlete. Chase has been his best friend since grade school and is struggling with a secret he feels he must keep or risk losing everything he holds precious; Chelsea has a secret of her own that is so horrible it could slowly destroy her. Kelley is a beautiful, yet kindhearted girl who cares deeply about everyone.
These characters are slowly drawn together when Chelsea's secret comes to light when a horrible murder is discovered. The characters in this book are very believable. The reader grows to understand and care about each and every one.
The book progresses from the early ages of 9 or 10 until the characters are graduating high school. The mystery of the two young people's secrets and the growing love between the other two keep the book interesting and rapidly moving forward. All in all, Velvet Sky is a wonderful read and I would gladly recommend it. ~Susan Johnson /reviewer
a reliable sense of pacing. The story builds almost perfectly, balancing a leisurely beginning with well-paced final chapters;
the outcome is always in doubt as the story races toward its conclusion. "Velvet Sky," in fact, reads so much like a movie
scenario that it's easy to imagine it adapted to the screen.
The book centers on the story of four young people growing up in rural Mississippi in the 1970s. Strong family bonds are
counterpoised to the brutal schemes of dangerous and malevolent human predators with the potential to bring ruin to all
the young folk's dreams.
The main narrative tells the story of a young woman named Chelsea, her eventual escape from an abusive father, and her
struggle to build a normal life. She's an engaging character that the reader can't help rooting for. Some of the other characters
are equally well-drawn.
While it teeters on the edge of sentimentality, "Velvet Sky" avoids crossing the boundary. In any event the novel is redeemed
by the author's careful plotting and deft use of suspense. "Velvet Sky" is a book that is well worth reading.
Review of Velvet Sky / Reviewed for Gotta Write Network (GWN)
Reviewed September 2002 by,
--Bill Stephens, Online Reviewer / Canada
Young Patrick feels helpless to aid his friend Chelsea, barricaded within her dark tower of isolation because of her father McCormick's abuse. He and his best friend and fellow athlete, Chase, indulge youthful high spirits together. All the while Patrick pines for pretty Kelly from afar for years, then finally musters the courage to ask her out after she breaks up with Thad.
These lives intertwine as the storyline ebbs and flows, from dead-calm to tidal wave climaxes. As Patrick's and Kelly's love intensifies, ex-boyfriend Thad sinks into an ever-deepening psychosis that threatens Kelly. Chase's emerging awareness of his homosexuality triggers violence. After sexually molesting and abusing his daughter Chelsea for years, causing her total withdrawal, a gruesome discovery reveals the depths of McCormick's depravity; this revelation and its results could cost Chelsea her life.
This trans-genre novel entwines a complex plot with robust pacing, varied characters and high suspense. At times the writing waxes most eloquent, reminiscent of Impressionist brush strokes. It contains only a few tiny errors in proofing. Yet despite these small blemishes I gladly offer high praise for this novel by a talented new writer with an artist's eye -and soul.
Young Chelsea McCormick has never forgiven her mother and baby brother for abandoning her when she was five years old. She has endured years of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of her sadistic father. Her torture finally culminates when the town makes a shocking discovery, one that puts her father behind bars, but he is determined to make his daughter pay for her "revelation".
Patrick Williams grew up next door to Chelsea. His friendship with her never faltered, but as he grows older his eye wanders to another girl in the neighborhood, Kelly Dawson. As they enter high school, Patrick and Kelly finally find their friendship becoming serious. However, Kelly's ex-boyfriend is not as willing to forget about her. He is determined to possess her, no matter the cost.
Chase Morton knows the hardship his mother faced raising him alone, but he is certain they were much better off without his no good father. As he enters his teen years, Chase must hide a secret - he is gay. As a gay teen in the 1970's prejudice runs high. When his father decides to enter their lives once more, he learns the truth about his son, and would rather kill than have an "imperfect" child bearing his name.
Rusty Van Reeves paints a stunning portrait of the lives of these children as their lives are ripped apart by tragedy. While each handles their dilemmas in a different manner, their actions are extremely believable.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I finished Velvet Sky and it was absolutely brilliant, a work of fine art. I finished it, closed the book and just cried. I was so moved and I was so glad I read it... Read morePublished on Dec 9 2003
The time, place and characters, even references to music, in the novel took me back to younger days, and while my own trials and tribulations of that time were not those of these... Read morePublished on Aug. 8 2003
During the summer I like reading books that remind me of my childhood and growing up in the south. VELVET SKY is the perfect book to transport you back in time (1960's/1970's) to... Read morePublished on June 13 2003
This novel, VELVET SKY by Rusty Van Reeves, is a multi-story effort. This guy knows how to cook on all cylinders. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2002
I found this book (VELVET SKY by Rusty Van Reeves) by accident while searching Amazon and I'm glad I stumbled upon it. This novel is all about secrets, love, and suspense. Read morePublished on Oct. 18 2002
This novel is a fantastic cross between J.D.Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" and John Grisham's "The Client" and it'll keep you wondering about the multi-story... Read morePublished on Oct. 7 2002
VELVET SKY is a fast, deeply felt emotional ride set in central Mississippi in the 60s. The writer pulls you in from the first page and carries you on a journey that you won't soon... Read morePublished on Sept. 5 2002
"Velvet Sky" by Rusty Van Reeves is a powerful and complex book that leads from one emotional crisis to another. Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2002 by Caroline P. Hampton