Jenny Lucas is returning to her hometown in North Carolina after an absence of almost six years. She’s come to try to make peace with her father and to find a home for herself and her out-of-wedlock daughter Isabella. She’s also come home to die. What she finds is conflict, an unresolved past, love and eventually grace.
Crossing Oceans is Gina Holmes’ first novel, and it is a moving story of death and life, of hope and betrayal, and of generational conflict. Jenny had left home to escape her past, only to return to find she has to confront it and deal with, all the time slowly dying of cancer.
Holmes draws her characters clear and true. Jenny’s father and grandmother; her former boyfriend David Preston (who qualifies as a total jerk if not an out-and-out villain) and his wife Lindsey; and Craig Allen, with whom Jenny will fall in love. She moves them through an increasing drama of learning who Isabella’s father is, to the conflict with the Preston family, through the Lucas’ family’s own internal conflicts, and eventually a bittersweet love story.
Holmes is the founder and editor of Novel Journey, the online site for Christian fiction whose writers include one of my favorite authors, Athol Dickson, and one who will be published soon and whom I suspect will join my favorites list, Mike Duran. She has another novel, Dry As Rain, due out for publication in the spring of 2011. If Crossing Oceans is any indication, it, too, will be a moving story told well.
(Attention Federal Trade Commission: I bought this book myself; no one gave it to me.)