Saints in Limbo  -     By: River Jordan
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Saints in Limbo

Random House / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

* Ever since her husband died, Velma True hasn't ventured beyond her own front porch. But then a mysterious stranger appears, presenting her with a special gift---the ability to step back into her memories where Joe still lives. As secrets old and new come to light, will Velma move away from her fears and toward freedom? 352 pages, softcover from Waterbrook.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Random House
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.19 (inches)
ISBN: 0307446700
ISBN-13: 9780307446701
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

“River Jordan’s Saints in Limbo is a compelling story of the mysteries of existence and, specially, the mysteries of the human heart.”
–Ron Rash, author of Serena and Chemistry and Other Stories

“I lose myself in River’s writing–transported to a different time and place– and in this case,  to one that makes the ordinary mystical and magical. I give it FIVE diamonds in the Pulpwood Queen’s TIARA!”
–Kathy L. Patrick, founder of the Pulpwood Queens Book Clubs and author of The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life

Ever since her husband Joe died, Velma True’s world has been limited to what she can see while clinging to one of the multicolored threads tied to the porch railing of her home outside Echo, Florida.

When a mysterious stranger appears at her door on her birthday and presents Velma with a special gift, she is rattled by the object’s ability to take her into her memories–a place where Joe still lives, her son Rudy is still young, unaffected by the world’s hardness, and the beginning is closer than the end. As secrets old and new come to light, Velma wonders if it’s possible to be unmoored from the past’s deep roots and find a reason to hope again.   
 
Praise for River Jordan

“[River Jordan’s] literary spice rack has everything you need to put together a good book.”
–Rick Bragg, author of All Over but the Shoutin’ and Ava’s Man

“River Jordan writes so beautifully.”
–Joshilyn Jackson, author of Gods in Alabama and The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

Author Bio

River Jordan is a critically acclaimed novelist and playwright whose unique mixture of Southern and mystic writing has drawn comparisons to Sarah Addison Allen, Leif Enger, and Flannery O’Connor. Her previous works include The Messenger of Magnolia Street, lauded by Kirkus Reviews as "a beautifully written, atmospheric tale." She speaks around the country on "Inspiring the Passion of the Story" and makes her home in Nashville.

Discussion Questions

Ever since her husband, Joe, died, Velma True's world has been limited to what she can see while clinging to one of the multicolored threads tied to the porch railing of her rural home outside Echo, Florida.
Then one day a stranger appears at her door. Without knowing why, the agoraphobic widow welcomes him into her kitchen for coffee while she tells him stories of how life used to be, before her purposes were "all dried up." Just before disappearing as suddenly as he came, the man presents Velma with a special gift, one that allows her to literally step back into the past through her own memories to a place where Joe still lives and the beginning is closer than the end.
While Velma is consumed with the man's gift, her son Rudy is also being presented with a challenge to his self-centered, complacent lifestyle. And a teenage girl winds her way to Echo, determined to unravel the mysteries her dead mother left behind. As secrets old and new come to light, Velma finds herself unmoored from the fears of the past and feeling her way toward freedom.
This lyrical, Southern novel weaves mystical elements with tangible touches of God's redemptive grace to reveal a pattern of irresistible hope.

Endorsements

“River Jordan’s Saints in Limbo is a compelling story of the mysteries of existence and, especially, the mysteries of the human heart.” — Ron Rash, author of Serena and Chemistry and Other Stories

“River Jordan’s artful writing style is utterly captivating. Add to that the heartfelt, intriguing story line of Saints in Limbo, and you’re hooked from the start.” — T. Lynn Ocean, author of Sweet Home Carolina and the Jersey Barnes Mysteries

“In the quiet of light and shadow, on what portends to be an ordinary day, miracles and magic envelop Velma True, a widow, a mother, and a lonely woman who does not suffer fools. Readers will care deeply about Velma’s life: her past, her present, her future, and her good heart. Saints in Limbo brims with truth and insists on hope. River Jordan has written a lyrical and relentlessly beautiful book.” — Connie May Fowler, author of The Problem with Murmur Lee, Before Women Had Wings, When Katie Wakes, Remembering Blue, and other titles

“Saints in Limbo is a lyrical and transcendent novel that will linger with me for years to come. I was entranced from start to finish.”— Karin Gillespie, author of the Bottom Dollar Girls series

“Strange as it sounds, River Jordan’s fascinating novel Saints in Limbo somehow reminded me of Walker Percy and Dean Koontz simultaneously. It’s that original. It’s that good. It’s a wise, funny, joyful, and deadly serious book, written with a poet’s multilayered sense of metaphor and meter and a page-turning sense of urgency. Saints in Limbo is the kind of story they ought to publish in leather-bound hardcover with gilded pages so you could leave it to your grandchildren.”— Athol Dickson, Christy Award–winning author of River Rising, The Cure, and Winter Haven

“Saints in Limbo is an elixir that combines two doses southern literary tradition and one dose magic realism. Jordan evokes the elements of mystery and evil, wisdom and family, in a tale that will make your heart surge and your skin tingle.”— Kim Ponders, author of The Last Blue Mile

“River Jordan’s words flat-out sing. Some pages of Saints in Limbo will soothe you with lullabies, others will reach inside you for the blues, but all of them will pull you inside and slow your multitasking self down. One may speed-read the paper, the grocery list, and the e-mail but not the words of River Jordan. Her stories court you to pace yourself and give them their due. It’s hard to close Saints in Limbo without wondering why River Jordan isn’t a household name.” — Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, author of Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On: What Southern Mamas Tell Their Daughters That the Rest of Y'all Should Know Too and creator and host of All Things Southern

“Mystical and magically written, Saints in Limbo is a beautiful novel. With its vivid characters and lush language, readers will find themselves thinking of Augusta Trobaugh’s Resting in the Bosom of the Lamb.” — Michael Morris, author of A Place Called Wiregrass and Slow Way Home

“River Jordan writes about love’s triumph over fear, reconciliation, and dissolving ancient hurts in words as lyrical as a poem. Her characters wriggle into your heart from page one and will stay there long after you’ve regretfully finished the last page. Saints in Limbo is not only a tribute to the power of place and community but a rollicking good read as well.”—Charlotte Rains Dixon, owner of the writing Web site Wordstrumpet (www.wordstrumpet.com) and director of The Writing Loft, Middle Tennessee State University

“River Jordan’s written words are as poetic and captivating as her name, and her story, Saints in Limbo, is as powerful and healing as the River Jordan itself.” — Denise Hildreth, author of the Savannah series, Flies on the Butter, and The Will of Wisteria

“In Saints in Limbo, River Jordan’s melodious writing lets you see, feel, taste the wind, and she practically sings her characters to life. You will hold on to this book and treasure it and flip though the pages like fire. Saints in Limbo is a triumph of the spirit and a reminder that there’s much more to life than meets the eye. Read this book to remind yourself that heaven can be found right here, right now.” — Nicole Seitz, author of A Hundred Years of Happiness, Trouble the Water, and The Spirit of Sweetgrass

Publisher's Weekly

Not much happens in the small town of Echo, Fla., especially to the spunky yet agoraphobic widow, Velma True. But when a mysterious storyteller steps out of the wind and up to her front door, his ordinary-looking birthday gift sends Velma on a breakneck journey over the landscape of her memory, even though she can't even cross her yard to the mailbox. The gift has its consequences and forces Velma to relive both her happiest and darkest moments, trapping her between “what she has and what she wants.” Even more troubling, something evil wants the gift for itself and threatens to take away Velma's home, family and dearest friends. In a wild mix of thriller, mystery, romance and drama, Jordan (The Gin Girl) unravels a complicated plot that sometimes knots up and often leaves loose ends unexplained. Too many side plots and mysteries tumble together and become confused. Despite these vagaries, Velma True's mystical adventure will speak to an audience interested in a thrilling, often touching gothic tale about conquering fear and regret with a stubborn, Southern love. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Saints in Limbo

“River Jordan’s Saints in Limbo is a compelling story of the mysteries of existence and, especially, the mysteries of the human heart.”
–RON RASH, author of Serena and Chemistry and Other Stories

“River Jordan’s artful writing style is utterly captivating. Add to that the heartfelt, intriguing story line of Saints in Limbo, and you’re hooked.”
–T. LYNN OCEAN, author of Sweet Home Carolina and the Jersey Barnes Mysteries

“In the quiet of light and shadow, on what portends to be an ordinary day, miracles and magic envelop Velma True, a widow, a mother, and a lonely woman who does not suffer fools. Readers will care deeply about Velma’s life: her past, her present, her future, and her good heart. Saints in Limbo brims with truth and insists on hope. River Jordan has written a lyrical and relentlessly beautiful book.”
–CONNIE MAY FOWLER, author of Before Women Had Wings and The Problem with Murmur Lee

Saints in Limbo is a lyrical and transcendent novel that will linger with me for years to come. I was entranced from start to finish.”
–KARIN GILLESPIE, author of the Bottom Dollar Girls series

“Strange as it sounds, River Jordan’s fascinating novel Saints in Limbo somehow reminded me of Walker Percy and Dean Koontz simultaneously. It’s that original. It’s that good. It’s a wise, funny, joyful, and deadly serious book. Saints in Limbo is the kind of story they ought to publish in leather-bound hardcover with gilded pages so you could leave it to your grandchildren.”
–ATHOL DICKSON, author of River Rising and Winter Haven

Saints in Limbo is an elixir that combines two doses southern literary tradition and one dose magic realism. Jordan evokes elements of mystery and evil, wisdom and family, to make your heart surge and your skin tingle.”
–KIM PONDERS, author of The Last Blue Mile

“River Jordan’s words flat-out sing. Some pages of Saints in Limbo will soothe you with lullabies, others will reach inside you for the blues, but they’ll all pull you inside and slow your multitasking self down. Her stories court you to pace yourself and give them their due. It’s hard to close this novel without wondering why River Jordan isn’t a household name.”
–SHELLIE RUSHING TOMLINSON, author of Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On:What Southern Mamas Tell Their Daughters That the Rest of Y’all Should Know Too and creator and host of All Things Southern

“Mystical and magically written, Saints in Limbo is a beautiful novel. With its vivid characters and lush language, readers will find themselves thinking of Augusta Trobaugh’s Resting in the Bosom of the Lamb.
–MICHAEL MORRIS, author of A Place Called Wiregrass

“River Jordan writes about love’s triumph over fear, reconciliation, and dissolving ancient hurts in words as lyrical as a poem. Her characters wriggle into your heart frompage one and will stay there long after you’ve regretfully finished the last page. Saints in Limbo is not only a tribute to the power of place and community but a rollicking good read as well.”
–CHARLOTTE RAINS DIXON, director of The Writing Loft, Middle Tennessee State University

“River Jordan’s written words are as poetic and captivating as her name, and her story, Saints in Limbo, is as powerful and healing as the River Jordan itself.”
–DENISE HILDRETH, author of The Will of Wisteria

“River Jordan practically sings her characters to life. Saints in Limbo is a triumph of the spirit and a reminder that there’smuchmore to life than meets the eye. Read this book to remind yourself that heaven can be found right here, right now.”
–NICOLE SEITZ, author of A Hundred Years of Happiness, Trouble theWater, and The Spirit of Sweetgrass

Saints in Limbo reminds me of the adage ‘Life is not about the destination but the journey.’ In this case it’s not about the ending of the book but the telling of the story! The journey in River Jordan’s latest book is to savor every word, every sentence, and every paragraph.”
–KATHY L. PATRICK, founder of the Pulpwood Queens Book Clubs and author of The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life

"River Jordan’s third novel is a Southern Gothic masterpiece." – Tina Fondren, Paste Magazine

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 9, 2009
    Christy Lockstein
    Saints in Limbo by River Jordan is a haunting, almost mystical story of memories, love, and the battle between good and evil. Velma True has given up on life after the death of her husband, even refusing to leave her house. She only goes out in the yard as far as her colored strings take her, always keeping her tethered to the house and the life she once knew. When a strange man visits her and leaves her a unique stone, she finds herself lost in the past and with just a hint of hope for the future. Annie, a young teen-aged runaway, finds her way to Velma's town, but she is being stalked by something evil, something definitely not human. Her journey is tied to Velma's stone, and one secret will reveal the other. Jordan's writing is lyrical and poetic, making every page come to life whether it's a bright summery day or a ominously dark sky. She weaves the various stories of Sarah, Velma, Annie, and the rest together into a beautiful tapestry of life, hope, faith, and love. Pick up this book and allow Jordan to soothe with her captivating tale.
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