While I was at the ACFW Conference I picked up, Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes.I just had to share this beautifully written book with you. What an emotional ride of tears and laughter. Oh, this is one of the sweetest, most meaningful books I have had the pleasure of reading. As I walked through the book store this was the first book I picked up. Wow, did God know what He was doing.
The main character is Jenny Lucas. Home is not the place she ever expected to visit again, but that is exactly where the Lord has taken her. We meet her precious baby girl, and Jenny's father, whom she hasn't seen for six years. We too meet other characters that will touch your heart in ways you didn't think possible.
Such vibrant characters live within these pages. This is one of those unforgettable books that will tear your heart apart. I tell you I cried as I turned the pages of this book. Ah, but this story is just not filled with sadness. It if filled with the precious hope of Christ. We see faith and a love that is unconditional.
I can tell you that Gina Holmes is a Rock Star Writer! For her debut novel this is one of the best books ever! I promise, you cannot grab this book up fast enough. I walked away from reading this book with a reminder that when I feel like giving up or feel as though I cannot make it another moment, God is there to guide my way and to fill me with all I need. Life is precious and we must live each day as though it was our very last.
Even though I have met the author, Gina, and had been hoping for - and looking forward to - her debut novel for a long time, I admit I was a little bit nervous about the book's topic at first. Would it be depressing? Did I really want to devote so much time to a novel that might make me feel sad and hopeless no matter how well-written? I am so glad I read this lovely novel. It was full of hope and redemption. This beautiful story is one of the best I've read in CBA fiction, although I would not limit this novel to only Christian readers. I would recommend the book to both Christians and non-Christians for its wonderfully told story and its message of hope.
I found this book on sale at a local Christian bookstore and bought it because it sounded interesting. In this case, I judged the book by the cover but it went beyond what I expected. I could hardly put it down! I will definitely be looking for more books by Gina Holmes.
You can't go back home again...unless you're dying and need to choose who will become the guardian of Isabella, the most precious little girl in the world.
Years ago, Jenny Lucas left her two-light North Carolina town in her rear view mirror, taking secrets and her unborn, out-of-wedlock daughter with her. Then cancer strikes the blow that forces her to think of Isabella's future...and bring those secrets, blistered and ready to pop, back home.
At odds with her father, tormented by the once-love of her life and his little Mrs. perfect wife, Jenny finds someone who loves her despite the fact that she's dying. But whose future, whose dreams, would God have Jenny preserve?
In her amazing debut novel, Gina Homes scales the ladder of human emotions, captures the sometimes insular life in the small-town South, and wows you with her unpredictable ending. This is a book you DO NOT want to miss!
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'm looking forward to read more by this author.
I can’t help it—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 it—and I can’t wait to read more.
Crossing Oceans is one of the must reads for 2010. I was given this book to read by my sister who said that it was a fantastic book and so I began to read it. Little did I know that I would weep from more than half way through the book. The author did a fantastic job of drawing the reader into the story in such a way that you would begin to question what you would do in the same situation as well as what you would feel as a mom going through what she had to endure. The intense emotions throughout the book kept me reading until the early hours of the morning.
From the very first line I was intrigued. I wanted to know more about this woman. Why did she say she didn't have a decent relationship with her dad? I had to keep reading to find out.I appreciated Jenny's love for her small daughter, for her grandmother. I hurt for her when she remembered how she fell in love with Isabella's father, thinking he felt the same. I hurt for her when she revealed how he had broken off with her before she could tell him he would soon be a father.Gina Holmes has written a compelling book and her lead, Jenny Lucas is a strong woman. I admire her and wish to have the same strength of character.
I absolutely loved this book. It is one of those rare finds. The kind of book you carry with you every where you go hoping to get a chance to read some. I read this book in a day. Staying up until early this morning to finish it. Then today I have found myself going back to certain parts of the book to read again. It is truly a beautiful book. I love the way the author writes it is lyrical and amazingly funny and deeply spiritual. Be prepared to cry often through this book. Don't let that put you off though. It will be you alot of laughter and joy. What an amazing book.
In her debut novel, Gina Holmes draws the reader into the life and journey of Jenny Lucas, drawing tears at times, and bittersweet laughter at others. Crossing Oceans didn't just capture my heart, it took me by the hand and led me through a rose-covered arch to the shores of a placid lake. From there, I watched as the story unfolded in startling clarity on a wave of finely-crafted words. A piece of art that stays with you long after the cover is closed.
Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes is a stunning debut novel. Jenny Lucas has returned home after five years to do the hardest thing she's ever had to do. She left home after being dumped by her childhood sweetheart, David, just before she could tell him that she was pregnant. Her father's cold treatment after the death of her mother made her turn to David for comfort, but feeling abandoned by both of them, she left town to raise her daughter, Isabella, alone. Facing a death sentence from cancer, Jenny comes back home to find someone to care for Isabella when she's gone. I knew that this book would break my heart from the very first page. Holmes perfectly captures the agony and ecstasy of being a mother, and her portrayal of Jenny's trying to say good-bye to her child is poignant and heart-rending without being melodramatic. Just as in real life, when someone young and good is dying from a terrible illness, I found myself ranting at the unfairness of it all. The story goes even deeper when Holmes refuses to engage in cliches. David is a married jerk, and Jenny's father still can't seem to show his emotions, although his reaction to Jenny's diagnosis is one of the most moving in the entire novel. A twist midway through took my very breath away. Jenny's decisions show the true love of a mother, and her faith is inspiring. This is truly one of the most moving books I've read...ever! Even long after I've finished reading, I still find myself thinking about the message of love and devotion and focusing on my blessings. Gina Holmes is an author to watch!
How far will a mother go to protect her child? Gina Holmes delves into this question in her debut novel, Crossing Oceans. When Jenny Lucas returns to her childhood home something she swore she'd never do she comes face to face with the consequences of the choices she's made over the last six years. Jenny and the people she left behind must repair relationships and put aside their own feelings in order to see to the needs of Jenny's daughter, Isabella.Holmes takes a storyline that could easily be morbid and depressing and makes it a celebration of life. Jenny's journey is one of introspection, of hope, and of unconditional, sacrificial love. The kind of love a mother has for her daughter. The kind of love our Savior has for His children.With Crossing Oceans, Holmes sets a high standard for writers of Christian fiction. I eagerly await the next novel from this talented writer. Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for reviewing purposes.
From the back cover copy and what Id heard about this novel before I cracked the spine, I knew the main character, Jenny Lucas, was facing the end of her life. A life that would be cut short by cancer. I prepared myself for that in the way that I did when I read Marley and Me. It wasnt the ending that mattered so much, but the celebration of life on the pages. What I didnt know was that Jennys cancer was melanomathe cancer that claimed my own mom ten years ago. And although my mom wasnt leaving a young child behind, it was impossible to read Crossing Oceans without reflecting on the mother/child relationship and the fears we all facewhat will happen to the ones who are left behind when we die? What legacy will remain? Ginas writing is graceful, poignant, and emotional, but sprinkled with enough light-hearted moments to keep it from being melodramatic. Yes, you will cry, but not for the reasons you might think. Of course, Im not going to tell what happens because this story of love and healing and sacrifice is one you should savor for yourself. Id suggest you pick up a copy today. Lovely debut.