The Valley of Light

The Valley of Light

by Terry Kay


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Valley of Light 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Terry Kay's latest novel, The Valley of Light, the author has returned to what is probably his first love -- the hill country of the South in the post-World War II period, the late 1940s. The writing evokes the time and place: mellow and serene, yet mysterious and suspenseful. The best place to read this book would be in a rocker on a screened-in back porch, or on a front porch swing. Even better, beneath a tree next to a lake. The quiet hero is a mystical fisherman with a gift that sets him apart. But fishing, as both sport and food source, is only the axis for the story; the man's 'gift' is its body and soul. In fashioning his hero, Kay again turns to the returning war veteran (as he did in 'The Runaway') and gives him a name that is associated with water and wandering: Noah. References to the Bible and The Grapes of Wrath reinforce the image. Noah is to fishing what Tiger Woods is to golf and Lance Armstrong is to cycling, only more so. When an old man suggests that Noah should dip his hook in the waters of a place called 'The Valley of Light,' Noah is soon on the road, seeking out the monster fish the man spoke of. When he arrives, the reclusive Noah becomes more involved with people than he has been in years. But his gift brings him both notoriety and grief, moving him closer to the inevitable confrontation with the monster that waits for him within the dark waters of The Lake of Grief. As always, Kay's book is filled with interesting characters, mainly the widow Eleanor, who has one eye on Noah and one on store owner Taylor, but who mainly keeps her sights on escaping the valley altogether. Will she choose Noah, Taylor, or the road? What really happened to her husband, an apparent suicide? Will Noah win the fishing tournament, ending the long reign of local fisherman Littleberry Davis? As you turn the pages to find out, you are treated to streams of prose poetry. Kay's descriptions are some of his finest ever. He makes people and scenery both come to life. And, as a bonus, the surprise ending is designed to bring a smile to your lips, and hope to your heart. I loved Terry Kay's 'Taking Lottie Home,' thinking he would never have a better one. Now I think 'The Valley of Light' is his finest. Which makes me wonder what his next one will be like.
auntmarge64 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Still reeling from his part in freeing Dachau, Noah Locke has spent the 3 years since the war wandering the South, fishing, occasionally doing odd jobs, but mostly living off the land. His beloved parents are dead and his only brother in prison, and Noah needs to find something within himself to give him the peace to come to terms with his experiences and reenter his pre-war life. In his travels he meets an old man who tells him of a valley in North Carolina and a pond in which lives a warrior bass undetected by locals, who think the pond is cursed and devoid of fish. Noah is a gifted fisherman, seemingly at one with the water and his prey, and when he happens on the valley the fascinated residents urge him to stay for their annual fishing contest. He finds them good company and even meets a woman with whom he shares some pleasant meals and conversation, but as the ensuing week passes there is a tragedy in the town which affects him deeply. As he prepares to leave and finally return home, there is one last miracle, and it is a beautiful ending to a gentle story. I think I'll keep this book, so that now and then I can go back and read those last few pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Valley of Light: A Novel by Terry Kay has won the 2003 GOLD MEDAL AWARD for BEST MYSTERY/THRILLER from the Southern Writers Guild.