Hats off to Gina Holmes for a spectacular debut novel! I picked up Crossing Oceans when it was a Kindle freebie in November and read the whole story in one day, almost unheard of for me in recent years. What's so special about this book?
It is the first person present tense story of Jenny Lucas, a young single mother with a huge dilemma. She's dying of cancer and needs to make amends with her estranged father and possibly with Isabella's father, who never knew he had a daughter. She needs someone to love this little girl and care for her when she's gone in just a few months.
But Jenny and her dad still butt heads constantly, and her ex-boyfriend from a wealthy family, David, is an even bigger jerk than she remembered. He's married, and he and his wife have been unable to have children. When David and Lindsey realize the situation with Bella, David's grasping fingers reach for the child.
Jenny is out of options. Who can she trust to cherish her most precious treasure? Will the long-standing feud between her dad and David's father, both forceful, hotheaded men, be smoothed over? Her time is very limited, and she needs to choose what's best for Bella, not herself, before she crosses over the ocean of death.
Yes, it's a tearjerker. Yes, it deals with material many of us prefer not to think about. But Gina Holmes winds her way through this young mother's last days in a sensitive, poignant manner that kept me spellbound. Please read this book. It cannot leave you unchanged.
When I turned the last page and sat back in my chair, the only word I could think of to describe this book is_wow. Heartrenching, gripping, can't-put-it-down kind of story that as a reader makes my heart glad to have the chance to read this book. It has a once in a life time quality to it that will make this story a best seller. It already is. It has that great of an impact.
With a reminiscence of Nicholas Spark's A Walk to Remember, CROSSING OCEANS is the story of a young mother dying of cancer and the journey she must take to prepare her five year old daughter. You might already be throwing the idea of this book out, right? Too depressing. This is the farthest thing from the truth. Jenny has a sense of humor and a way of looking at the world that brings the reader into the middle of the story with her. By the first couple of chapters my heart was already wrenching for her as she slowly gave up her worldly existence. But there is hope in this story, a hope that cannot be found in secular fiction because of the hope in Christ. This book goes beyond mere life and death, this book taps into the reader's emotions. I felt anger, sadness, joy, the full gauntlet in this well written and poignant novel. This is one book that will stick with me for years to come.
If there is one book you read this year, this needs to be it. It will change the way you look at all other books and the life you live, making each moment count_for Christ.
I loved this story from the moment I read the excerpt on CBD. I had a hard time waiting till I got the book home. When I received it, I closed the book I was just starting in, and began reading this one immediately.
I loved all the characters, I felt the pain Jenny must have felt, and oh- that sweet Craig- who wouldn't fall for him?
I cried, smiled, cried, smiled and cried the last chapters of the book. So beautiful!
I can't help itâ€”I love a happy ending. That's why, as Crossing Oceans unfolded, fear gripped my heart. I'd already fallen in love with the story's main character, single mom Jenny Lucas. I admired her fierce love for her daughter. I understood her desire to repair broken relationships. I rejoiced in her victories and wept at her frustrations.
In other words, debut author Gina Holmes hooked me. I'd already read too much about this novel, but her words pulled me in anyway. I didn't have time to read, but I couldn't stop. I wanted to find Jenny's happy ending. I wanted to discover my own.
Holmes delivered, but not in the way I expected. She gave me our language in uncommon beauty. She drew characters whose lives reached past the page. She provided reasons to consider eternity and how it applies to today. She poured out multiple layers of meaning and depths of relationship that made me reexamine my own.
First novel? Crossing Oceans doesn't belong in that category. Whether or not you cry when you read it, you'll see yourself and your family here. You'll remember how much small actions and quick conversations matter. You'll find your heart quickened, your love renewed.
Thanks, Ms. Holmes, for the years you labored to give us this gift. Thanks for Novel Journey. And thanks for reminding me of the preciousness of story.
Happy endings start with great beginnings. You did itâ€”and I can't wait to read more.