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Heaven Lake

Heaven Lake Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Americans didn't invent youthful naiveté, of course, but they patented it quickly....[O]ur canon is dominated by stories of young men striding into the world, only to find it a more complicated and compromising place than they'd anticipated. John Dalton's thoughtful debut novel, Heaven Lake, is a worthy descendent of that tradition....This is a story as sensitive to the complexities and beauties of China as to the territory of the human heart." Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Heaven Lake is about many things: China, God, passion, friendship, travel, even the reckless smuggling of hashish. But above all, this extraordinary debut is about the mysteries of love.

Vincent Saunders has graduated from college, left his small hometown in Illinois, and arrived in Taiwan as a Christian volunteer. After opening a ministry house, he meets a wealthy Taiwanese businessman, Mr. Gwa, who tells Vincent that on his far travels to western China he has discovered a beautiful young woman living near the famous landmark Heaven Lake. Elegant, regal, clever, she works as a lowly clerk in the local railway station. Gwa wishes to marry her, but is thwarted by the political conflict between China and Taiwan. In exchange for a sum of money, will Vincent travel to China on Gwa's behalf, take part in a counterfeit marriage, and bring her back to Taiwan for Gwa to marry legitimately? Vincent, largely innocent about the ways of the world and believing that marriage is a sacrament, says no. Gwa is furious.

Soon, though, everything Vincent understands about himself and his vocation in Taiwan changes. Supplementing his income from his sparsely attended Bible-study classes, he teaches English to a group of enthusiastic schoolgirls — and it is his tender, complicated friendship with a student that forces Vincent to abandon the ministry house and sends him on a path toward spiritual reckoning. It also causes him to reconsider Gwa's extraordinary proposition.

What follows is not just an exhilarating — sometimes harrowing — journey to a remote city in China, but an exploration of love, passion, loneliness, and the nature of faith. John Dalton's exquisite narrative arcs across China as gracefully as it plumbs the human heart, announcing a major new talent.

John Dalton was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of seven children. Upon graduation from college, he received a plane ticket to travel around the world, and so began an enduring interest in travel and foreign culture. During the late 1980s he lived in Taiwan for several years and traveled in Mainland China and other Asian countries. He attended the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop in the early 1990s and was awarded two fellowships at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown as well as a James Michener/Paul Engle Award for his novel-in-progress, Heaven Lake. He presently lives with his wife in North Carolina.

Review:

"Sober and searching yet sublimely comic....[A] noteworthy first novel by a writer to watch." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[E]vocative, beautiful....Powerful and rewarding reading." Booklist

Review:

"Vincent's passage from a sheltered, religious life into reality is filled with dramatic episodes and unique characters that make this an exciting page-turner." Library Journal

Synopsis:

In this extraordinary debut novel in the tradition of Graham Greene, a Christian volunteer treks across China in search of love and revelation.

About the Author

John Dalton was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of seven children. Upon graduation from college, he received a plane ticket to travel around the world, and so began an enduring interest in travel and foreign culture. During the late 1980s he lived in Taiwan for several years and traveled in Mainland China and other Asian countries. He attended the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop in the early 1990s and was awarded two fellowships at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown as well as a James Michener/Paul Engle Award for his novel-in-progress, Heaven Lake. He presently lives with his wife in North Carolina.

Table of Contents

Contents

Part One: The Volunteer

Part Two: Sister Gloria, Sister Moon

Part Three: Best Intentions

Part Four: The Goat Herder

Part Five: The Other Half

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743246347
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Scribner
Author:
Dalton, John
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
China
Subject:
Christian fiction
Subject:
Young men
Subject:
Americans
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Volunteers
Subject:
Taiwan
Subject:
Christian educators.
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
General Fiction
Series Volume:
03-5
Publication Date:
20040316
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
9.30x6.34x1.32 in. 1.33 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Heaven Lake
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 464 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9780743246347 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Americans didn't invent youthful naiveté, of course, but they patented it quickly....[O]ur canon is dominated by stories of young men striding into the world, only to find it a more complicated and compromising place than they'd anticipated. John Dalton's thoughtful debut novel, Heaven Lake, is a worthy descendent of that tradition....This is a story as sensitive to the complexities and beauties of China as to the territory of the human heart." (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)
"Review" by , "Sober and searching yet sublimely comic....[A] noteworthy first novel by a writer to watch."
"Review" by , "[E]vocative, beautiful....Powerful and rewarding reading."
"Review" by , "Vincent's passage from a sheltered, religious life into reality is filled with dramatic episodes and unique characters that make this an exciting page-turner."
"Synopsis" by , In this extraordinary debut novel in the tradition of Graham Greene, a Christian volunteer treks across China in search of love and revelation.
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