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A Garden to Keep (The Derby Series #4) de…
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A Garden to Keep (The Derby Series #4) (edició 2001)

de Jamie Langston Turner (Autor)

Sèrie: The Derby Series (4)

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1782156,338 (4.35)Cap
When betrayal strikes at the heart of her very existence, Elizabeth Landis retraces the path of her life and her marriage, discovering along the way memories both painful to the touch and a joy to embrace.
Membre:LorenWarn
Títol:A Garden to Keep (The Derby Series #4)
Autors:Jamie Langston Turner (Autor)
Informació:Bethany House Publishers (2001), Edition: Repack, 416 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
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A Garden to Keep de Jamie Langston Turner

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Elizabeth Landis makes the decision to become a Christian on a Sunday just hours before she discovers her husband is having an affair. Jamie Langston Turner’s novel A Garden to Keep is the story of the next four months.

It is a literary tome that delves into Elizabeth’s past and present. She probes her marriage, her mothering, her friendships, and her relationship with her parents and in-laws. In this she is often comforted by her ‘friends,’ the poems that are her companions, teachers, seers and the lenses through which she views life. As she becomes familiar with her new-found faith, Bible passages join their ranks.

The story is told in first person with our narrator anticipating the objections we’ll have to the way she’s telling the story, she says in the first paragraph:
“Let me warn you from the start that this story might make you angry.”


In another place after playing fast-and-loose with verb tenses she informs:
“In case anybody is wondering, I know my verb tenses are wildly erratic. I know all about verbs .... But verb tense is one of the most irrelevant parts of reviewing your life” Kindle Location 329.


And several times she asks for our patience as she spins out this lengthy tale:
“I’ve got something to say to anybody who’s grumbling about the slow pace of the story. And to anyone who wants to lay it aside because it’s disjointed. Don’t. A story goes forth in its own way. It takes its own sweet time to do whatever it’s going to do …” KL 4645.


I enjoyed the writing, though. Turner writes with lots of wisdom and perception:
“Every minute of every day is dragged down and held back by the heavy anchor of my broken marriage” KL 4657.


I also loved all the many references to poets and specific poems. I have highlighted a host of poem titles that I intend to check out. There are also some good insights about poetry:
“That’s what poetry does. You read it once and feel the quake, and then, as time goes on, you feel the aftershock” KL 7369.


But the slow, rambling, tangential storytelling style did tax my patience, despite the narrator’s pleas. And the longer I read, the less I liked Elizabeth herself. For someone who prided herself on how “Aware” she was (she haughtily classified people as “Aware” and “Unaware”), she was pathetically unaware and lacking in social graces (though she remarked early on about what a burden her ever-present politeness was in that it had her doing things that she would rather not just to be nice). Her possessive ways with her son while she ignored her husband and her rudeness to her mother-in-law (for which she justified herself at every turn) had me wanting to shake some common sense into her little poetic head.

Maybe I’ve prejudiced you against reading. I hope not. Because Christian literary novels are rare, this one was a prize-winner (2002 Christy Award for Contemporary Novel), and it does contain a lot of wisdom about relationships and how life with Christ makes forgiveness and extending grace (to oneself and others) possible. Of course for poetry lovers a work of fiction that incorporates poetry into its very essence is a rare find and worth reading for that content alone.
( )
  Violet_Nesdoly | Jan 4, 2015 |
A Garden to Keep by Jamie Langston Turner is a beautiful, poignant story of a woman’s life. Two momentous things happen in the life of Elizabeth Landis on the same day. One, she becomes a born again Christian, and two, she discovers that her husband is having an affair. The story retraces Elizabeth’s life as she looks back on her marriage: how she and her husband met, and how their relationship progressed and gradually deteriorated over the years.
The story deals not only in the past, but also in how Elizabeth and her husband deal with the present situation. Turner doesn’t shy away from difficult issues like separation and divorce. She also looks ahead to the future, asking questions such as: Are forgiveness and reconciliation possible?
This novel is beautifully penned in true literary form. It is written in a combined stream-of-consciousness/flashback style which may be disconcerting for some readers although it accurately portrays Elizabeth's inner struggles. Full of quirky characters who are just as flawed as we are, this bittersweet tale pulls the reader between tears and laughter. Turner’s story is compelling in that we can so easily relate to her characters, their foibles, attitudes, and actions. ( )
  multilingualmaid | Jul 28, 2006 |
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"Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." Proverbs 31:25-26
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For

Beta Gail Langston Steryous

my sister Betsy

whose life is an ornament of grace
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Though the roots go back many years, the story begins to bloom around a kitchen table after Sunday dinner.
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When betrayal strikes at the heart of her very existence, Elizabeth Landis retraces the path of her life and her marriage, discovering along the way memories both painful to the touch and a joy to embrace.

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