When offered River Jordan’s novel Saints in Limbo to read and review, I jumped at the opportunity because, well, y’all know me, I do love a good story set in the South.
Saints in Limbo is set in the South but it isn’t really a story about the South. It is instead more Frank Peretti than Jan Karon; a tale of the supernatural and the spiritual rather than cornbread and sweet tea. More unexplainable mystery than front porch hospitality.
In fact, there was so much mystery to the story, particularly in the first several chapters, that I was about halfway through reading before I realized the true intent of the novel. At first, the story was so very mysterious that I had difficulty believing the characters and understanding the plot. However, as I kept reading my confusion soon dissipated and I was drawn into this story of memories and regret, hope and fresh beginnings.
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.
Jordan does indeed write as a true Southerner though at times the Southern-ness seemed somewhat superfluous. Still, once I got past my initial confusion, I enjoyed the ride. Saints in Limbo is genre-defying tale, Southern, spiritual, redemptive and suspenseful, offering hope to those, like Velma True, who feel trapped in past regrets.
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes….