Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
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Nine months ago, Jackson Linder left Clayburn with no explanation to anybody. Now he, too, is back. He isn't sure he's ready to face the rumors and well-meaning questions of the town's busybodies. Yet he's determined, once more, to make his art gallery a success -- in spite of the secret that haunts him every day....
Leaving November is Raneys second Clayburn novel that explores issues of regret and addiction, while also revealing the redemption of Christs love. As Vienne attempts to juggle owning a café and being back in her hometown after law school troubles, Jackson deals with the long-term effects of alcoholism. Will they be able to overcome their pasts in order to live in the present?
Winner of the RITA award, the HOLT Medallion, and the National Readers Choice Award, Deborah Raney grants fans another small-town romance that is sure to please many readers. The book includes somewhat believable characters, who are both honest and lovable, and an inviting world in which they live. The vulnerabilities of people who both fail and succeed, gain and lose love, work and play, presents a more realistic image of modern day Christians making an effort to lead a righteous life, even with sinful tendencies. However, with a predictable plot and no dynamic climax, Leaving November may lose some readers interest. It is a slow paced book that is purposely character driven rather than plot driven. It focuses more on the development of Vienne and Jackson rather than on the success of the café or the fulfillment of the dream to gain a law degee.
Readers might not like every aspect of the book, but with the help of some intriguing back-stories, a realistic romance, and an easy-to-picture café, the hope that shines through in the end is enough to put a smile on anyones face. -- Amy Nickerson www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
"Deb Raney's books have been an enjoyment and inspiration for me since her first, A Vow to Cherish. She has again touched my life with Leaving November. A gifted storyteller, she also has a way of having her characters learn to lean on God that causes me as a reader to relearn that same lesson. I highly recommend Leaving November." -- Yvonne Lehman, author of 46 novels and director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference
"I loved Leaving November by Deborah Raney! Raney's books always touch the heart in deep ways that keep me thinking about the undercurrents long after I turn the last page. The Clayburn series is a keeper!" -- Colleen Coble, author of Anathema
Chandra Lynn5 Stars Out Of 5September 11, 2008Chandra LynnDeborah Raney never disappoints. With skill, faith and depth, she tells stories that are real and filled with hope. Her characters could be your neighbor, your best friend, maybe even you. In Leaving November, she takes us back to the small town of Clayburn, Kansas where we meet some new characters and become reacquainted with old ones.Vienne Kenney, left Clayburn with plans never to return. Eight years and two failed bar exams later she is back. When her mother suffers a stroke, she determines to stay, refurbish Clayburn Diner into a coffee shop and run it until her mother recuperates. But will she ever get used to the small town gossip and find her place in the community and in God's plan? Jack Linder returns to Clayburn to face his largest challenge. He must reopen his art gallery and face his past mistakes without running to the crutch he used before. Will he be able to fight off temptation and convince Vienne that he truly has changed his ways?Deborah creates flawed characters you will love and a story you will believe. She weaves faith and truth masterfully in the pages and when you close the book you will want to visit Clayburn, Kansas again. I highly recommend Leaving November and the first book in the series, Remember to Forget.
Sally5 Stars Out Of 5September 3, 2008SallyAs a child of an alcoholic, I can relate to Vienne Kenney. She does not really want to return to painful memories of Clayburn, KS after her mother's stroke, but she must. The business, a cafe, needs attention. Vienne turns the lunchroom into an upscale coffee shop and names it Latte-dah and meets a bit of opposition from some in the small town. Romantic tension is provided by Jackson Linder, Vienne's high school crush, when he returns from rehab to reopen his art shop across the street. Jackson has problems of his own as he struggles to stay sober. Can Vienne overlook Jackson's past? Will her mother approve the changes in the cafe? Will there be enough business to keep these two new business ventures going?This is the first book by Deborah Raney I've read, and what a delightful surprise it is! It will not be the last one of hers I read.
Nancy Jo Jenkins5 Stars Out Of 5August 22, 2008Nancy Jo JenkinsIn "Leaving November", award winning author Deb Raney has written another "Can't put the book down". This second book in the Clayburn series left me with a deep yearning for the release of her next book. As usual, Deb has the reader turning pages in anticipation of her character's life-choices in the small town of Clayburn, Kansas. Deb is second-to-none in creating believable, exciting characters and does so in "Leaving November". She also catches us up on the lives of characters we came to love in her first book in the series, "Remember to Forget". As I followed Vienne Kenney and Jackson Linder through the pages of "Leaving November", I was amazed at Deb's ability to connect the reader with the realities of life that Vienne and Jackson have to face, so that we "feel" their frustrations, fears, disappointments and temptations along with them. Vienne and Jackson face their deep-rooted problems head-on, yet in true-to-life experiences that tug on the heart. The couple's gradual love and trust for each other leaves the reader with a contented heart. But Deb didn't choose a "happily-ever-after" ending for her story, but one that whets the reader's appetite to read more about this couple we've invested our hearts in. Congratulations go to Deb Raney for writing such a wonderful story of faith and love, and triumph and victory. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Linda Rondeau5 Stars Out Of 5July 9, 2008Linda RondeauIn November, Vienne Kenney makes a life-changing decision. After failing the bar exam, again, she decides to return to Clayburn, the town she left eight years ago. She learns quickly that the ghosts of her past still inhibit the small town. Nor has she found the strength to forgive her alcoholic father. She tries to make a go of her mothers caf. With the help of town artist, Jackson Linder she might succeed at something. Jackson Linder left Clayburn eight months ago for reasons he would like to forget. Those who matter to him, realize the accident that took the life of his best friends wife wasnt his fault. But he drank to forget and became chemically dependent. Months of rehab have sobered him. Trevor is remarried and happy. Can he return to a town full of gossips that wont let him forget?Award winning author, Deb Raney has woven yet another great story of overcoming insurmountable odds through the grace available in Christ. Christians are not immune to disappoints, failures, and tragedies. Sometimes these experiences can alter our lives in ways we could never expect. Sometimes, we find God forgives our past more readily than our neighbors or church associates. Through Vienne and Jacksons story, Leaving November, the heartwarming sequel to Remember to Forget, reminds us that our pasts are in the sea of Gods forgetfulness. Where they need to stay.
Marion Kelley Bullock5 Stars Out Of 5July 7, 2008Marion Kelley BullockVienne Kinney failed the bar exam a second time. After shed spent tens of thousands of dollars on a law degree thats now useless. Then her mother suffered a stroke and Vienne came back home to Clayburn, Kansas, determined to make a go of the fancy coffee shop that was once her mothers caf. She must swallow her pride and try to forget that the townspeople probably view her as a failure just like her father, who was the town drunk.Jackson Linder is back in Clayburn, after a mysterious absence of nine months. He must make his art gallery a success. How many people know his secret? Hes working hard and keeping busy shooting prayers up to God the God whom he leans on.Vienne and Jackson, two new business owners, form a tenuous friendship. When she finds out about Jacksons past, she vows to have nothing to do with him. If she dares to let herself fall for a man with the same addiction that killed her father, she fears it will end up like it did for her mom.Leaving November explores the curse of addiction, the healing balm of forgiveness, and the faith in God that makes it possible to succeed one day at a time.A beautiful story, I could never do it justice in a review. As have other Deb Raney books, it touched my heart in a special way. Vienne and Jackson, and even Pete, will live on in my memory because Deb made them real.
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