Turrill, David A.
Turrill, David A.
PERSONAL: Married (wife died, 1996); children: two.
ADDRESSES: Home—Rockford, MI. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Toby Press, P.O. Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531.
CAREER: Writer. Teacher of literature and history in Michigan secondary schools for thirty years. Also works as a theater director. Military service: U.S. Air Force, combat photographer, 1966–70; served in Vietnam.
Michilimackinac: A Tale of the Straits, Wilderness Adventure Books (Fowlerville, MI), 1989.
A Bridge to Eden (novel), Bonneville Books (Springville, UT), 2001.
An Apology for Autumn (novel), Toby Press (New Milford, CT), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: David A. Turrill has explored themes of love and religion in his novels A Bridge to Eden and An Apology for Autumn. In the former, the author presents Ben and Morgan Riveridge, a couple who have enjoyed an idyllic marriage for thirty years. When Morgan dies suddenly at the age of fifty, Ben is devastated and spends several years deep in grief and depression. Then he meets a new neighbor, Sophie, who bears a strange resemblance to Morgan. Ben slowly comes to believe that Sophie really is Morgan, brought back to him by the enduring power of love. When he is briefly committed to a mental institution, he even convinces a psychiatrist that Sophie is Morgan. Booklist reviewer Suzanne Young called A Bridge to Eden "a fantasy that will appeal to readers who like to suspend disbelief." Turrill's writing style was praised by a Publishers Weekly reviewer, who called the book "an intriguing, inspirational read."
In An Apology for Autumn, the story is narrated by Jim Gudsen, but it is primarily concerned with Jim's brother Herkimer. Herkimer is the young pastor of a Lutheran church who suffers a terrible accident when an arrow is shot through his head. He survives, miraculously, but surgeons must leave part of the arrow's shaft in his head. Soon Herkimer begins to hear God's voice, and the messages he receives place him at odds with the elders of his conservative church. Jim, Herkimer, and Herkimer's wife, Megan, set out on a picaresque journey to save souls. A Kirkus Reviews writer found that Turrill "can be rambling and slow to set the scene, but offers a taut and highly focused narrative once he gets going." John Mort, commenting on the novel in Booklist, called An Apology for Autumn, "a philosophical and religious argument for tolerance" and praised the author for portraying Herkimer with "humor and a lyrical style."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 1, 2001, Suzanne Young, review of A Bridge to Eden, p. 460; September 1, 2004, John Mort, review of An Apology for Autumn, p. 55.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2004, review of An Apology for Autumn, p. 775.
Publishers Weekly, November 5, 2001, review of A Bridge to Eden, p. 42.
Toby Press Web site, http://www.tobypress.com/ (March 2, 2005), "David Turrill."