The Way Back

The Way Back


Fiction - Drama
314 Pages
Reviewed on 04/27/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jeff Turner is a Waterford, Connecticut born author.
As a lifelong academic and Professor of Human Development and Family Relations, Turner is no stranger to publishing. The textbooks on which he has worked have been used in over three hundred colleges, both nationally and in translation internationally.
However, after devoting many years to creating these college-level textbooks, Turner could not resist the urge to turn away from the pedagogical, and to devote himself to the craft of fiction. Using his free time over the course of several years, Turner made this lifelong yearning a reality.
"The Way Back" is his debut novel, a family drama set against the backdrop of his familiar Connecticut shoreline surroundings. Turner is currently working on his second novel, "The Hero of Willow Creek," a tale about an ordinary man who becomes a reluctant hometown hero and struggles with the fame and fortune that notoriety brings.
Jeff Turner is a Waterford, Connecticut born author.
As a lifelong academic and Professor of Human Development and Family Relations, Turner is no stranger to publishing. The textbooks on which he has worked have been used in over three hundred colleges, both nationally and in translation internationally.
However, after devoting many years to creating these college-level textbooks, Turner could not resist the urge to turn away from the pedagogical, and to devote himself to the craft of fiction. Using his free time over the course of several years, Turner made this lifelong yearning a reality.
"The Way Back" is his debut novel, a family drama set against the backdrop of his familiar Connecticut shoreline surroundings. Turner is currently working on his second novel, "The Hero of Willow Creek," a tale about an ordinary man who becomes a reluctant hometown hero and struggles with the fame and fortune that notoriety brings.
Jeff Turner is a Waterford, Connecticut born author.
As a lifelong academic and Professor of Human Development and Family Relations, Turner is no stranger to publishing. The textbooks on which he has worked have been used in over three hundred colleges, both nationally and in translation internationally.
However, after devoting many years to creating these college-level textbooks, Turner could not resist the urge to turn away from the pedagogical, and to devote himself to the craft of fiction. Using his free time over the course of several years, Turner made this lifelong yearning a reality.
"The Way Back" is his debut novel, a family drama set against the backdrop of his familiar Connecticut shoreline surroundings. Turner is currently working on his second novel, "The Hero of Willow Creek," a tale about an ordinary man who becomes a reluctant hometown hero and struggles with the fame and fortune that notoriety brings.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

The Way Back by Jeffrey Turner is a powerful novel of love, deception, and mistakes. Jack Elliot is a college professor, teaching a creative writing class. He is also a published author, husband to Claire, and father to Nathan. The day starts ordinarily enough - until they discover they have mice in the attic. What should have been a simple enough task kicks off a chain of events that have the potential to devastate lives and families. Jack discovers a series of emails hidden away in the attic, emails between his wife and another man. Instead of confronting Claire, he decides to investigate first. Meanwhile, things take a nasty turn in his classroom when two students cause serious disruption and end up being escorted off the premises by security. Jack briefly entertains an affair with one of his students, Rachel Pond, not knowing who she is. A series of events conspires to join all parties in one crashing conclusion, drawing on events from the past. With whom did Claire have an affair? Who is Rachel Pond? And what happened so many years ago to kick-start the chain of events?

The Way Back by Jeffrey Turner is a powerful novel. Anyone who reads this may be able to identify with parts of the story - this isn’t just a novel; it’s a real-life lesson and one that many would benefit from reading. Turner kept my eyes glued to the pages as his skillfully written story unwound. At first, it was difficult to see where all the little side stories fitted in, but with a few curve balls thrown in for good measure, it all becomes clear. Great story, exceptionally well written and thoroughly enjoyable, if a little humbling. Would love to see more from Jeffrey Turner.

Lisa Jones

The Way Back by Jeffrey Turner is about Jack Elliot and the turmoil he faces when he finds out that his wife has been having an affair. Apart from a few emails from a year ago, Jack has not much else to go on and is left in despair. He desperately tries to uncover the truth and at the same time he has his own demons to deal with at work. Jack is a professor and his recent altercations with classroom bullies leave him in hot water as far as his job is concerned. His family have also never come to terms with the tragic death of Charlie Ledger and for years Jack and his son Nathan have secretly blamed themselves. Also, in a strange turn of events, Jack finds himself attracted to one of his students, Rachel Pond, but the consequences of crossing paths with Rachel goes deeper than Jack will ever know.

Jeffrey Turner delivers a wonderful novel. As a reviewer, I tend to seek out and scrutinize a novel in great detail. This novel, however, is one of the best I have read this year. I shall start with the thing that reeled me in from the very beginning. "A mouse told me that my wife was having an affair. I know this sounds ridiculous but it's true." These words were all that was needed to keep my interest in discovering just how this was possible. What I discovered was a well thought out and beautiful story. As a reader, I empathized with Jack and felt his pain as he hit the bottle. The clever way in which the story about bullies was entwined was just lovely. It will send out a clear message and give hope to other victims. The fate of Rachel Pond and her husband was a surprise and this just shows how much of a promising author the writer is, giving us yet another twist of fate and depth. My favorite piece as a reader had to be about the ospreys and about the elderly woman Jack had met. Sadly, he would never get to meet her again, but I found this a beautiful piece of writing which was cleverly woven into this incredible novel. I cannot wait to purchase this book and add it to my library of rare finds and I urge others to do the same as you will not be disappointed. Jeffrey Turner should be proud of this remarkable novel and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future.

Mamta Madhavan

The Way Back by Jeffrey Turner is an exciting story where readers can connect well with the characters and the happenings in the book. Jack Elliot is a professor as well as a popular author who lives in a posh neighborhood in Connecticut. He has everything going for him when suddenly everything changes. A series of personal events in his life throws his life off track - wife having an affair, fourteen-year-old son being bullied in school, and problems at his work place. The story shows the emotions that each member of the family undergoes which make them all strangers living under one roof. It is about a family that experiences problems and complexities in their lives; it is a story of tragedy and rebirth, and acceptance and tolerance.

What hit me about the story is the originality in the characterization and plot. The personal struggles faced by Jack Elliot's family is something that happens in many homes. The characters have been portrayed well and the scenes have been tied into each other beautifully. Then there is Rachel Pond, who brings a surprise twist into the plot.

The importance of tolerance and acceptance in relationships forms the underlying message of the story. Though the story might seem to be predictable initially, there are many twists and turns in the plot that keep up the excitement level. It is an engaging novel where a simple theme has been worked out well to create an excellent read. On the whole, well worth reading.