Christianbook.com Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Simon & Schuster Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2

Simon & Schuster Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2

Daughter of the town drunk, Vienne Kenney has escaped Clayburn for law school in California. But after failing the bar exam-twice-she is back home with her tail between her legs, managing Latte-dah, the Clayburn cafe turned upscale coffee shop. Jackson Linder runs the art gallery across the street and Vienne has had her eye on him since she was a skinny seventh grader and he was the hunky high school lifeguard who did not know she existed. Now it is his turn to fall for her and suddenly Clayburn seems like a pretty nice place to be...until Vienne discovers that Jack is fresh out of rehab and still struggling with the same addiction that ultimately killed her father.
Average Customer Rating:
5 out of 5
5
 out of 
5
(14 Reviews) 14
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (14 reviews)
5 stars
14
4 stars
0
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0
Customer Reviews for Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
Review 1 for Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 11, 2008
Customer Avatar
Chandra Lynn Smith
Deborah Raney never disappoints. With skill, faith and depth, she tells stories that are real and filled with hope. Her characters could be your neighbor, your best friend, maybe even you. In Leaving November, she takes us back to the small town of Clayburn, Kansas where we meet some new characters and become reacquainted with old ones.Vienne Kenney, left Clayburn with plans never to return. Eight years and two failed bar exams later she is back. When her mother suffers a stroke, she determines to stay, refurbish Clayburn Diner into a coffee shop and run it until her mother recuperates. But will she ever get used to the small town gossip and find her place in the community and in God's plan? Jack Linder returns to Clayburn to face his largest challenge. He must reopen his art gallery and face his past mistakes without running to the crutch he used before. Will he be able to fight off temptation and convince Vienne that he truly has changed his ways?Deborah creates flawed characters you will love and a story you will believe. She weaves faith and truth masterfully in the pages and when you close the book you will want to visit Clayburn, Kansas again. I highly recommend Leaving November and the first book in the series, Remember to Forget.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 3, 2008
Customer Avatar
Sally
As a child of an alcoholic, I can relate to Vienne Kenney. She does not really want to return to painful memories of Clayburn, KS after her mother's stroke, but she must. The business, a cafe, needs attention. Vienne turns the lunchroom into an upscale coffee shop and names it Latte-dah and meets a bit of opposition from some in the small town. Romantic tension is provided by Jackson Linder, Vienne's high school crush, when he returns from rehab to reopen his art shop across the street. Jackson has problems of his own as he struggles to stay sober. Can Vienne overlook Jackson's past? Will her mother approve the changes in the cafe? Will there be enough business to keep these two new business ventures going?This is the first book by Deborah Raney I've read, and what a delightful surprise it is! It will not be the last one of hers I read.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 22, 2008
Customer Avatar
Nancy Jo Jenkins
In "Leaving November", award winning author Deb Raney has written another "Can't put the book down". This second book in the Clayburn series left me with a deep yearning for the release of her next book. As usual, Deb has the reader turning pages in anticipation of her character's life-choices in the small town of Clayburn, Kansas. Deb is second-to-none in creating believable, exciting characters and does so in "Leaving November". She also catches us up on the lives of characters we came to love in her first book in the series, "Remember to Forget". As I followed Vienne Kenney and Jackson Linder through the pages of "Leaving November", I was amazed at Deb's ability to connect the reader with the realities of life that Vienne and Jackson have to face, so that we "feel" their frustrations, fears, disappointments and temptations along with them. Vienne and Jackson face their deep-rooted problems head-on, yet in true-to-life experiences that tug on the heart. The couple's gradual love and trust for each other leaves the reader with a contented heart. But Deb didn't choose a "happily-ever-after" ending for her story, but one that whets the reader's appetite to read more about this couple we've invested our hearts in. Congratulations go to Deb Raney for writing such a wonderful story of faith and love, and triumph and victory. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 9, 2008
Customer Avatar
Linda Rondeau
In November, Vienne Kenney makes a life-changing decision. After failing the bar exam, again, she decides to return to Clayburn, the town she left eight years ago. She learns quickly that the ghosts of her past still inhibit the small town. Nor has she found the strength to forgive her alcoholic father. She tries to make a go of her mothers caf. With the help of town artist, Jackson Linder she might succeed at something. Jackson Linder left Clayburn eight months ago for reasons he would like to forget. Those who matter to him, realize the accident that took the life of his best friends wife wasnt his fault. But he drank to forget and became chemically dependent. Months of rehab have sobered him. Trevor is remarried and happy. Can he return to a town full of gossips that wont let him forget?Award winning author, Deb Raney has woven yet another great story of overcoming insurmountable odds through the grace available in Christ. Christians are not immune to disappoints, failures, and tragedies. Sometimes these experiences can alter our lives in ways we could never expect. Sometimes, we find God forgives our past more readily than our neighbors or church associates. Through Vienne and Jacksons story, Leaving November, the heartwarming sequel to Remember to Forget, reminds us that our pasts are in the sea of Gods forgetfulness. Where they need to stay.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 7, 2008
Customer Avatar
Marion Kelley Bullock
Vienne Kinney failed the bar exam a second time. After shed spent tens of thousands of dollars on a law degree thats 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 mothers caf. 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? Hes 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 Jacksons 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.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 10, 2008
Customer Avatar
Brenda aka Maggie Brendan
This book is great summer reading because if you take it with you on vacation or to the pool youll not be able to put it down. In Leaving November, we visit the community of Clayburn again from the book Remember to Forget. The author pulled me in from the first page with Viennes return to Clayburn after she failed her bar exam for the second time, then stays to help her mother after a stroke. She turns her mothers caf into a coffee shop just across the street from the art gallery owned by Jack, who she had a crush on in her high school years. She plans to only stay in Clayburn until her mothers health returns, but finds herself falling hard for Jack. But there is just one problem-- he has a past of his own to deal with. Alcohol. One that she swore to herself she would never allow into her life because of her fathers history. Crafted in such a way that we are able to see and understand Jacks addiction gave me great insight on how one struggles to overcome alcoholism. This is a wonderful story of triumph over personal life issues that affect our relationships and at the very core of our lives. Its a story of trust, love and forgiveness, which brings hope to each new day. This book is not to be missed!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 5, 2008
Customer Avatar
Jill Eileen Smith
As with any reader, I have my favorite authors, those whose books I anticipate, who get pushed to the top of my to-be-read pile. Award-winning author Deborah Raney is one of those authors. She just happens to know how to capture my imagination and keep me turning pages. She has a tendency though, to rob me of my much-needed beauty sleep. Her newest release LEAVING NOVEMBER 'from Howard Books/Simon & Schuster' had me reading last night by flashlight! I never do that! Honest! I had already spent a few hours last evening reading this can't-put-it-down book and had about four chapters to go. I took a break to work on my work-in-progress ABIGAIL, then watched a rerun of House with my dear husband and scampered back upstairs to read the rest. Dear hubby came to bed, exhausted from having stayed up to watch the Red Wings go into triple or quadruple overtime and lose the night before, and hoped I didn't plan to have the light on much longer. I had two chapters left! But, sweet, kind wife that I am - I decided to grant him his wish and turned out the light. But you know, those chapters weren't that long, and there were only two left! So I dug in my nightstand drawer for my flashlight pen. I tend to want to spare the flashlight pen's batteries, but threw caution to the wind and turned it on to read. I wondered how she planned to wrap up the story. Would the ending satisfy? Many books struggle with this - I'm at that point myself right now! I am pleased to announce that this book is thoroughly satisfying and deserves every sort of award out there! LOVED IT! Deb's characters are so true-to-life - Jack was my favorite, but then I love a flawed yet tender hero - and Deb knows how to handle tough subjects yet leave the reader with hope. Great job, Deb!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 1, 2008
Customer Avatar
Bonnie Engstrom
Leaving November is another Deb Raney winner! Although the plot isnt as deep as some of her previous novels, her characters are compelling, sensitive and real. Both Vienne, the heroine, and hero Jackson struggle with deep inner turmoil as a result of alcoholism. While half the town of Clayburn, Kansas knows their secrets, both are reluctant to admit them to each other. As their friendship develops into romantic longing, each reveals snippets of whats buried inside to the other. As with most of Raneys novels, trust is a major issue her characters deal with until they release their fears to God and allow Him to take control. As their faith deepens, Vienne and Jackson independently learn that leaning on God brings resolution and restitution, as well as life-long love for each other. The ending is especially satisfying because, in Raney style, its not candy-coated, but realistic and believable.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 12, 2008
Clayburn, Kansas is the last place Vienne Kenney wishes to return to but with her mother stricken by a stroke she has no choice. Humiliated by her failure to pass the Bar exam for the second time, Vienne invests her time transforming her mum's cafe into a coffee bar, passing the time until she can leave Clayburn forever.Determined to remain clean after a nine month stint in rehab, Jackson Linder returns to Clayburn to reopen his art gallery and make a better life for himself. When gossip and pressures abound, temptation follows Jackson and he can only pray he will be strong enough to resist.Vienne and Jackson renew their childhood acquaintance but when Jackson reveals his secret, Vienne knows she has no choice to but to sever all ties with him - she promised herself she would never again put herself near a man who would repeat her father's mistakes.Deborah Raney turns the tables on her second Clayburn novel. In the first story, Remember to Forget, Clayburn was a refuge for Maggie Anderson but in Leaving November, Vienne wants nothing more than to escape. I loved returning to Clayburn for another moving portrayal of the heartache of poor choices and the beauty of restored relationships. Jackson's struggle with his addiction is agonising in its authenticity, just as Vienne's loss of faith in God and herself is all too real. Beautifully written, Deb Raney touched my heart with her characters' journey towards love and redemption and I won't easily forget its message of hope. I am invested in these characters' lives and highly anticipate the third instalment, Yesterday's Embers.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 23, 2008
Customer Avatar
Reading Room Reviews
The topic of Deborah Raney's books definitely do not make for light reading, but they do give us a close-up look at real life, which isn't always pleasant. Leaving November touches on the topics of addiction and recovery and the importance of preventing the past from affecting our future.This book is a wonderful story of the importance of forgiveness. I wasn't sure it was going to have a "happy ending", but as I finished I was pleased. I look forward to her next book.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 19, 2008
This book is a gritty portrayal of recovery. Both for the alcoholic and those impacted by the alcoholism. Deb writes the story with a heart that kept me firmly on both sides of the fence. It was so easy to get in the shoes of each character and understand why they made the choices they did.At the same time, the book was about so much more. Small town America life. The prejudices we apply to certain segments in our communities. How the past can haunt us decades later. All these themes and more are woven together seamlessly in a way that made me think as I read.This book was a satisfying book that made me think as I read. I can't wait for the next installment from Clayburn. Please tell me there is another one!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 12 for Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 11, 2008
Customer Avatar
Betty Frazier
I think that this is one of the author's best books. It has a very human touch and shows what alchol can do to a persons life. It also touches on forgiveness and trust. It is the follow up to Remember To Forget. It also is a touching love story.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 13 for Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 4, 2008
Customer Avatar
Cynthia Hickey
Moving back home is never as easy as it seems. Vienne Kenney thought she had her life planned out. Leave her po-dunk small town life behind her, pass her bar exam, and give everyone back home something to talk about.She gives them something to talk about, all right. A failed bar exam, and turning her mothers caf into a high faluting coffee shop. One where the overall wearing, manure boot wearing townies are not welcome. And theres Jackson. The man she had a crush on in high school. But Jackson, too, isnt what she had planned for her life.In Leaving November, Deborah Raney shows the reader how what we have planned for our life, may not be Gods plan, and how His plan is the best in the end. Come along for a fun, sweet, thought provoking ride.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 14 for Leaving November, Clayburn Novels Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 12, 2008
Clayburn is a town I would like to visit. I could see myself visiting both the art gallery and the Latte-dah. In fact I would probably be a regular visitor at Vienne's coffee house since I love frequenting places like that. It sounds like a great place to hang out with a book and a cup of mocha. I understood her frustration at Pete's gang disrupting the ambiance of her place with their manure covered shoes and loud talking. It's tough to start business with customers insisting on doing things their way and not yours. Both Vienne and Jack had secrets in their life they didn't want to share. This was probably not the best way to start a friendship because it kept leading to awkward moments between the two of them. This story shows the effects of what alcoholism does to not only the person who drinks but to other members of the family. Vienne's reluctance to get close to Jack is not at all surprising due to everything she went through with her father. It was interesting to see a recovering alcoholic's struggle with addiction and how prayer was the main thing that Jack could rely on. It was also painful to hear all the gossip that was being spread about Jack. It's sad that people will spread lies without knowing the whole story and then make false assumptions about others. I also felt touched by her relationship with her mother. It's not easy to have a stroke victim in the family and it can be very trying just to communicate with them. Vienne showed wonderful patience and kindness toward her mother. It's refreshing to read about situations like this instead of hearing about adult children who just leave their parents in the care of others.The story is not overly preachy but instead shows the power of forgiveness and the struggles that addiction causes. It's a really touching story that everyone should read. If this is your first Deborah Raney book, it will make you become a fan. Highly recommend.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.