“The Crossing” is the first novel by Serita Jakes, the wife of Bishop T.D. Jakes. “The Crossing” tells the story of Claudia Campbell. Claudia, a preachers kid, life change in a tragic instance. One night on her way home from a high school football game, a masked gunman open fired on the bus that was carrying the football team and the cheerleaders home. The incident took the life of her best friend, teacher and Cheerleading coach BJ Remington. Ever since that day, no matter how hard shes tried, Claudia has not been able to get over that night.
Plagued with nightmares and panic attacks, Claudia’s life is full of pain and suffering. Anything can trigger a memory and plunge her head first back to that night with all of it’s sorrow. To make matter worse Claudia’s husband District Attorney Victor Campbell decides to reopen the case. He believes that if he can find the killer and solve the case his wife will finally has some closure. But instead of making things better he may just be about to ruin to rip his family apart.
Casio Hightower, a cop, was also a victim of the horrible incident. At the time of the shooting Casio was a n up and coming quarterback with a promising career ahead of him. Having been shot, changed all that and life was never the same. Also plagued with nightmares and irrational behavior and fears Casio finds out that Claudia’s husband is reopening the case. He wants to find the man that shot him and hopefully put to rest his own demons that is causing him to hurt the one he loves most.
I thought that this was a pretty good book. I felt for Claudia. There were times when I didn’t understand her or her choices. But I know that they were made out of the pain in her heart. I also liked her husband Victor. I love how much he loved his wife and was willing to do whatever it took to help her find healing. Even if it meant running the risk of losing everything.
I couldn’t stand Casio. He was the worse kind of man – an abuser. Serita tried to make his character sympathetic; to make it easy for the reader to understand his motivations and what brought him to that point. I understood how he came to be that way. And the source of his troubles was far greater than the suffering that came about from getting shot on the bus. Even knowing all of that, try as I might, I could not like his character no matter how much I came to understand him.
The twist at the end is truly shocking and very unexpected. It is not clear why the person involved in this shocker did the things he did. There is no back story about this character, and therefore no understanding of the persons motivation. If feels almost like it was thrown in for effect. Which is something that I did not appreciate. I felt shortchanged somehow. Mrs. Jakes should have fleshed this character out more and told us more about him other than who he was related to and his involvement with another character. There was so little known about him that the end seemed almost far fetched.
Also there was some outright sexual sin in this book. There was no repentance or sorrow for it. I know that real life is like that too for many people. And I know that Serita was trying to keep it real. Still I found that sad. Also this book wasn’t very “Christian,” meaning that it was more of a secular story. All secular books aren’t bad. But if a book is marketed as “Christian” you expect Jesus and faith to take center stage, and they didn’t. I would have loved to hear more about Christ. I know this is a book and not a sermon. But Christians sometimes pass these books to their unsaved friends. It would be nice if the Gospel was more clearly presented. I always look for this when reading Christian novels, and it seems like a lot of writers miss the mark here.
Also the ending was too clear cut. These characters have a lot of problems. Yet the way the story ended was almost too perfect. How do you go through all of that and a short while later everything is practically a-okay? That was interesting.
Don’t get me wrong. All in all it was a good story. The pace was fairly quick. The twist at the end was so unexpected. But it was good. I won’t spoil it for you. You’ll just have to read it and find out all about it for yourself. It’s a story about unconditional love, overcoming your pain and finding healing. Your past does not define you. You can get well, be made whole and live again. God can heal our pain no matter how deep. I think this is what the book speaks to people. But it needs some work in places. But the bumps in the story don’t detract from it at all. I believe that the book is enjoyable and is well worth reading.
In spite of it’s shortcomings I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would read it again. I give this book three stars.
Haneefah Turner Copyright © 2011. All Rights Reserved. This review is not to be reproduced in ANY way without my express permission. Thank you.
I am a member of the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group Book Review Program. I received a copy of this book free of charge in order to review it. I was not paid for this review. I also was not required to give a positive review, but to give my honest opinion of what I felt about the product. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. Whether positive or negative, this is my honest opinion of the product.
The Crossing by Serita Jakes Book Review
Tagged Betrayal, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Brokeness, Christian, christian fiction, Contemporary Fiction, deliverance, Depression, Faith, fiction, Forgiveness, Grace, Healing, Hope, Inspirational, Loss, Love, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Novel, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, Redemption, Serita Jakes, Suicide, The Potter's House, Unconditional Love, Wholeness, Women's Fiction. Bookmark the permalink.