Sunday, July 06, 2008

By Deborah Raney

Reviewed by Marion Kelley Bullock

Vienne Kinney failed the bar exam— a second time. After she’d spent tens of thousands of dollars on a law degree that’s 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 mother’s café. 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? He’s 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 Jackson’s 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.