Folk artist and author. Museum of American Folk Art, New York, NY, former instructor.
"DORSETVILLE" SERIES; NOVELS
A Miracle for St. Cecilia's, Viking (New York, NY), 2002.
A Gathering of Angels, Viking (New York, NY), 2003.
Grace Will Lead Me Home, Image Books (New York, NY), 2004.
On a Wing and a Prayer, Image Books (New York, NY), 2005.
A Haunted Rectory, Image Books (New York, NY), 2006.
The County Fair, Image Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Katherine Valentine is the author of the "Dorsetville" series, an inspirational set of novels that is based in her own personal faith and experiences as a cancer survivor. Valentine lives in the Litchfield Hills in Connecticut and uses the region as the physical backdrop for her fictional town. She wrote the first book in the series, A Miracle for St. Cecilia's, at a time when she needed something positive on which to focus her attentions; a series of tragedies had resulted in the loss of everything she and her husband owned, including their house, just when her husband was preparing to retire. The story line for the novel came to her as a result of her prayers for assistance, and within a year she had written the book and signed a multi-book contract with her publisher. The debut novel introduces the small New England town of Dorsetville as the local Catholic Church struggles to remain open in the face of a shrunken population and dwindling attendance. A Kirkus Reviews critic found this first volume in the series to be "a beguiling mix of characters in a sunny story that faithfully emphasizes the positive."
Subsequent volumes in Valentine's series follow the residents of the quaint town as they face other crises of faith and finances by pulling together to solve their difficulties. In Grace Will Lead Me Home, Valentine introduces a single mother whose twins need an expensive operation, as well as an expectant mother who faces a tragedy of her own. A Haunted Rectory pits the priest and the town psychic against the powers of darkness. Although the books are often compared to the similar "Mitford" series by Jan Karon, Valentine's efforts have been labeled as somewhat less successfully executed by some reviewers. For instance, a Publishers Weekly writer dubbed them "highly reminiscent of, but not quite equal to" Karon's books. Another Publishers Weekly critic, reviewing The Haunted Rectory, remarked that the author "succumbs to weak mechanics, telling instead of showing, offering redundant information," but a Kirkus Reviews contributor called the same novel "devilishly entertaining fantasy fare for people of faith."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 2002, Mary Ellen Quinn, review of A Miracle for St. Cecilia's, p. 1823; August, 2003, Mary Ellen Quinn, review of A Gathering of Angels, p. 1959; October 1, 2006, John Mort, review of The Haunted Rectory, p. 32.
Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2002, review of A Miracle for St. Cecilia's, p. 767; June 15, 2003, review of A Gathering of Angels, p. 832; May 1, 2006, review of The Haunted Rectory, p. 438.
Publishers Weekly, July 29, 2002, review of A Miracle for St. Cecilia's, pp. 54-55; May 24, 2004, review of Grace Will Lead Me Home, p. 45; April 10, 2006, review of The Haunted Rectory, p. 47.
Katherine Valentine Home Page,http://www.katherinevalentine.com (September 21, 2004).