Book Review: Crossing Oceans

I know that it must be frightening to think about dying, but the darkness won’t last forever-Craig, Crossing Oceans.

Crossing Oceans Synopsis: Jenny Lucas swore she’d never go home again. But being told you’re dying has a way of changing things. Years after she left, she and her five-year-old daughter, Isabella, must return to her sleepy North Carolina town to face the ghosts she left behind. They welcome her in the form of her oxygen tank-toting grandmother, her stoic and distant father, and David, Isabella’s dad . . . Who doesn’t yet know he has a daughter. As Jenny navigates the rough and unknown waters of her new reality, the unforgettable story that unfolds is a testament to the power of love and its ability to change everything–to heal old hurts, bring new beginnings . . . Even overcome the impossible. A stunning debut about love and loss from a talented new voice. via Goodreads

“One-minute blackness and the unknown, but then just like that, everything changes.”-Craig, Crossing Oceans

Thoughts/Final Thoughts: I don’t know when I figured it out, but at some point I knew Genevieve was dying, she seemed more sentimental than usual, everything felt final–the ” I should have, would have, what if moments crept up like a thief in the night” (always wanted to say that). So yes, death, Jenny was dying, what do we do now, well first, fix your relationship with your father–in the beginning, I couldn’t stand her father because he was so lost (not stuck, but) lost in the past, he couldn’t see what was in front of him, his family–he blamed Dr. Preston for his wife death and in a way, blamed Jenny for not stay, but Jenny wasn’t without fault. Their lack of communication and inability to see their own flaws plus Jenny’s belief that her father hated her because she was the spitting image of her mother made this father-daughter duo great to read. I love how frightened her dad became when he found out she was dying and how worried Jenny was because her mother had left the same way; “It’s not fair for him to see another woman he loves deteriorate.” Their relationship and growth played out well, I cried at the end of the book when he held on to her. Speaking of holding on, Craig, the boy who loved Jenny, he became sort of her rock, even though she was afraid to love him because of their lack of “forever” he helped her come to terms at the end, I also like him because he was nice–not a nice guy but a genuinely nice person who just wants to help which is why I cried when they took their last dance. Now,  David Lindsey, Isabella (Bells), and Mama Peg.

David: Jenny’s first love who is also her baby father and the reason I just don’t like some type A personalities.  I understand, she didn’t tell him she was pregnant but David is someone who doesn’t give you a chance to talk. He grew to, in some ways, I’m glad Jenny met with him again because it allowed her to stop living in the past and to face her present circumstances. I also love how Holmes kept David’s personality consistent. While other’s changed and grew David stay the same which I’m thankful for because if he had miraculously become a great well rounded human being, the realism in the book would have faded away.

Lindsey: The love of David’s life who was prim and proper and the opposite of  Jenny. Even though she’s a” side character” she plays a role in “bringing David and Jenny” together for the sake of Isabelle, and at the end, Jenny and Lindsey formed an odd sisterhood.

Isabella and Mama Peg: I place them together because they both were the reason Jenny made it through, they thought her why she needed to live in the now and not to wait, even though there were times I was not a fan of Isabelle, I love how the author allowed use to kind of see Bells evolve from a confused little girl to someone who would one day be without her mother. The innocence of her made the story more enjoyable, I also love how Mama Peg was portrayed she was the pillar of the family and even though she wasn’t “healthy” she seemed to be the strongest person, someone other’s could rely on.

Two Characters I was not a fan of David and Dr. Preston, when we first meet David he is not as nice as we thought he would be “I’m married now” and he just sounds pompous and at some point I’d ask myself “WHO RAISED YOU!” he’s father Dr. Preston was elitist to say the least, and believed he knew everything under the sun, other than the time he cried over Bells, I didn’t like him. But they both served their purpose and brought the story to life, in their own “normal people villainous” way.

What I Loved: The Life Lessons, death is so scary, change is scary, the unknown is scary but that shouldn’t keep you from living.

Takeaway Message: ” Sometimes I tend to focus so much on the future that I forget about today” Mama Peg

True, we are so consumed with the future and the what “ifs” that we often ignore the present and the things around us.  Everyone is too busy trying to survive that we forgot about living.  The book makes you think about your life and what’s truly important. The Gina Holmes isn’t telling us to forgo our responsibilities she’s reminding us, to live, breathe, and care about the things happening now, not to stress about the things we can’t change. It isn’t bad to think or plan for the future but we should also remember that

I don’t know if its because it’s the song I was listening to during the last few pages of this book or if it’s because the lyrics fit so perfectly but… Tom Odell’s -Grow Old With Me, a song about being with the one(s) you love just living life and remembering today not worrying about tomorrow. The book, it’s message, and song makes you think about your reason for being as well as where you are and where you hope to be, death and fear of the unknown is scary, but I think that’s part of living and the author does a great job of depicting that.

 

Rate: 9.5

The visuals were amazing, the character development was amazing, being able to experience a person struggle, triumphs, and how each character acted during a time vulnerability was interesting, to say the least, I also love that Holmes made the character’s realistic, everyone had their flaws–even the cat, the characters were relatable. Very realistic depiction of what happens when the end is near and all your fears are placed in front of you. I also enjoy reading the epilogue, we had a glimpse of the future: Bells becoming a mom and she reminisces about her mom and her own future.

Check out: Book In Review: Crossing Oceans

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