Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Swimming in the Deep End by Christina Suzann Nelson

It took a while for the story to grab me but about a third of the way into the book, I was hooked. This is an emotionally packed novel. Nelson's writing style is such that I felt the turmoil and pain of each of the four main characters, such as the “perfect” Christian mother devastated by her unwed teen daughter's pregnancy.

There are many issues covered in this book, including destroyed dreams, teen pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, adoption, estranged family members, marital discord, and tragic death. All of that in one novel may seem overwhelming. Yet Nelson pulls it off, weaving together all of those issues as the novel progresses. I was amazed at how Nelson developed the plot to include healing in all of those areas through God's grace and peoples' love. And there was a surprise at the end I did not see coming but made perfect sense, even though it was emotionally hard to accept.

I highly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy emotionally packed character driven stories. I feel I must offer a caution, however. I have never experienced any of the issues included in the book first hand and yet the novel had a great emotional effect on me. I can't imagine how a reader who has experienced a failed adoption or a teen pregnancy or any of the other issues included would be impacted by this novel. I think you would find healing in these pages but first your heart might hurt deeply.

You can read an excerpt here.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Christina Suzann Nelson is a member of Oregon Christian Writers and ACFW. Her essays have been published in the Cup of Comfort series. Her first novel is If We Make It Home. She lives in Oregon's Willamette Valley with her husband and four children.

Kregel Publications, 288 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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