A Dark Oval Stone (Thorndike Press Large Print Clean Reads)

3.67 avg rating
( 36 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781410402806: A Dark Oval Stone (Thorndike Press Large Print Clean Reads)

Haunted by the death of her two brothers, and living under the shadow of her pious mother, Miriam Kovatch is thirtysomething, pregnant, and suddenly widowed. Her search for hope and purpose---from this startling new voice in literary fiction---is unforgettable. When her husband suddenly dies, Miriam Kovatch finds herself thrust into a journey of self-discovery, at odds with friends and family. Her search for meaning will take her to the brink of despair. With her temperamental cat and only a few belongings, Miriam finds refuge in a motel under the watchful eye of a caring stranger, who gives her hope, purpose, and a mysterious dark oval stone. In this poignant debut novel full of unforgetttable characters, Miriam begins the painful process of embracing a much fuller life, sustained by unexpected friendship and surprising grace.


Visit a reader's forum for A Dark Oval Stone at www.marsenakonkle.forumsplace.com.


Visit Marsena's blog at www.marsenakonkle.blogspot.com.


 

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About the Author:

Marsena Konkle's lovingly detailed writing style and compassion for her characters allow her to gracefully tackle the difficult subjects of family, grief, and recovery. She skillfully wields language--authoritative, crisply understated, lyrical in its simplicity--to create a fictional world that is nuanced and entirely believable. Marsena has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Vermont College and lives in the Chicago area with her husband and great aunt.

Review:

Marsena Konkle's debut novel, A Dark Oval Stone, deserves merit for its ability to wrestle with life's dreariest circumstances while offering a message of hope. Konkle presents a modern-day female Job, allowing her protagonist, Miriam, to face the loss of her husband, which compounds the pain of the loss of both her brothers. And that's just chapter 2. To top it off, Miriam is pregnant and on unsteady terms with her overly pious mother.
Through entangled relationships paired with spiritual lessons, the story offers the Gospel with a real-life approach where the realities of brokenness and desperation meet the beauty of grace and restoration. While the extraneous details sometimes slow the pacing, the plot is able to carry it through. Death is a delicate element to pull off in fiction; however, Konkle does it gracefully.
Kate Goodell radiant June 20, 2006

Cultured, cautious Miriam Kovatch has finally decided to have a baby with her cultured, cautious husband, Paul, but then he drops dead. Paul's loss is devastating, and Miriam is predisposed to depression in any case: her mother lost two sons and fell into a deep sadness from which she never recovered. So, a choice confronts Miriam: to sink in righteous despair or embrace life through the calm solace of her faith. When she does the latter, a surprise awaits her, but the true appeal of this quiet tale is Konkle's road map out of despair, likely to appeal to any woman who has suffered a loss. John Mort Booklist April 15, 2006<hr>

Miriam Kovatch has always lived in the shadow of death, raised by a mother who could not recover from the loss of two sons. Now Miriam seems destined to walk the same path when her 39-year-old husband, Paul, suffers a fatal heart attack after shoveling snow for an elderly neighbor. Alone for the first time in years, Miriam must choose whether to succumb to her mother's joyless existence or embrace life by accepting her loss without losing her self and soul in the process. A finalist in the 2004 Paraclete fiction contest, Konkle's debut resonates with an absorbing plot and a protagonist whom readers will root for to find her way back from her loss. Recommended for most collections. Konkle lives in the Chicago area. (from the Christian Fiction column by Tamara Butler)

Library Journal February 1, 2006

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