wait a moment

Review: Crossing Oceans

Dying makes those things that seemed so important absolutely trivial.


Yet, Jenny only has a few months to set everything right and find someone to care for her young daughter.

She’s chosen to return to the home she left swearing never to return because, who else could she possibly ask to raise her five-year old? It’s not like Jenny ever told the father she was pregnant. Yet another mistake to rectify…

Maybe she’ll even tell them why she’s returned. If she can get up the nerve.

The only thing Jenny is absolutely sure of is that she doesn’t want her life to end while her daughter watches her wither away… like Jenny’s mother did.

My Thoughts

I honestly don’t remember ever crying like this over a book. It didn’t feel like I was reading a book. It was like I was the one with these choices, the unimaginable situations, the fear, the unutterable agony of giving away your only child.

I won’t say that the book was perfect because I had a rough time with the timeline. Jenny, David, Lindsay, and Craig were, at most, 25 yet all seemed – due to their maturity, status, and lifestyles to be in their early to mid 30’s. I never really could believe that the characters were as young as the story portrayed them.

This book brought two of my greatest fears together and forced me to take a long look at my own selfishness and short-comings. There really is no way to describe this except to say that it scraped me raw.

Rating: A+
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Steam: Nada

This month The Christian Fiction Book Club is being hosted at The Overweight Bookshelf and we’ve chosen Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes.

I’ve chosen 5 of the 18 discussion Questions for my review.

Discussion Questions:

  1. At the beginning of the book, everyone in Jenny’s family is hurting—Jenny, her dad, her grandmother. What are some of the things that have happened to bring them to this state? In what ways have they brought about their own suffering, or made it worse than it had to be?
    Jenny’s father’s refusal to allow her mother to die peacefully when she was ready really hurt them all. As did his refusal to forgive. Jenny never really got over her mother’s death and couldn’t forgive her father or her boyfriend for not being what she needed.
  2. How does Jenny’s return home change the family dynamics? She didn’t really want to go home, but she felt she had no other options. Do you agree? What would you have done in her situation?
    I don’t really see how Jenny had another option. She’d never made friends and though she wasn’t necessarily ready to forgive and move forward there really wasn’t anywhere else to take her daughter.
  3. Was Jenny right to keep Isabella’s existence a secret from David? How might things have been different if David had known about Isabella from the beginning?
    No, I don’t believe that Jenny was right to keep that secret but I could never condemn her for that. It would have made everything quite a bit more simple but forgiveness it always the harder choice.
  4. Jenny’s father has held Dr. Preston responsible for his wife’s death for several years. Is his anger justified? Have you or someone in your family experienced something similar to this? How did you or they respond?
    I don’t think he was responsible – there is only so much you can do, even as a doctor – but that doesn’t make it easy to admit.
  5. After Jenny tells her father she is dying, she reflects, “If anyone had been watching us, they’d have seen the tears spilling over my cheeks as a natural reaction to my father’s grief. There were tears of pain, yes, but as horrible as it may sound, there were tears of joy too. For the first time in my life I knew, really knew, that my father loved me.” Why is Jenny unconvinced, before this, of her father’s love? Is there someone you love who, like Jenny, might not be aware of your love? What might you do to change that perception?
    Jenny’s father loved his wife so very much that he closed himself off to everyone during her illness and after she died – even Jenny who desperately needed him.

THE THREE R'S** I’d like to thank the Christian Fiction Book Club for suggesting this book to me. It was a freebie at BN.com a few months ago and I grabbed it and then promptly archived it. It really wasn’t a book that I wanted to read due to the sensitive nature of the plot. Well, it’s been read and reviewed and, as usual, I’ll admit that my first impression was correct — it wasn’t something I wanted to read — yet, I can honestly say that I’ve been inspired to live my life differently and look at things in a different light because of it. So, thank you for helping me to grow in my Christian life and as a parent!

© Hott Books | Google+

7 thoughts on “Review: Crossing Oceans

  1. Gina, I can so relate to what you wrote here! I grabbed the book when it was free, realized what it was about, and put it away. Then I read some other bloggers' reviews and decided I had to go for it. So I welcomed the book club choice the way I'd welcome therapy or some other treatment!

    I read the novel in one sitting because I knew I'd never go back to it. It reminded me too much of a dear friend's last days on earth . . . I also agree with you that though I can't say I didn't have problems with the book, it did force me to take a look at some things in my own life. And I guess that's one of the highest compliments I can give a Christian author!

    Great review!

  2. I think I chickened out on this one. Reading about kids loosing a parent is very hard for me. On the other a good cry is cathartic sometimes. It sounds like a powerful emotional story.

    You wrote a great review, I loved this line:

    "This book brought two of my greatest fears together and forced me to take a long look at my own selfishness and short-comings. There really is no way to describe this except to say that it scraped me raw."

  3. This book scraped me raw and healed me all at the same time. I cried my own ocean of tears as I read it, but I was content and hopeful at the end. Gina Holmes is an outstanding author and this is one of the best debut novels I have ever read.

    I am new to your line up and thank you for allowing me to participate.

  4. You make a great point about their age. This story carried a strong sense of maturity that had me picturing the younger characters in their late-20s to early 30s.

    I completely agree that this book made me examine my own life and areas of weakness.

  5. What a lovely review! This book really moved me as well. I tried to imagine being as shelfless as Jenny and putting everyone ahead of myself. I think I went through an entire box of tissues while I read this…

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