Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Crossing by Serita Jakes

The Crossing by Serita Jakes was a compelling novel relating a story of loss, bitterness, death, and renewal. While I enjoyed the book, I felt that the Christian message of the story could have been stronger.

Claudia Campbell has been imprisoned for ten years by memories of a masked gunman who opened fire on her school's bus on the way back from a football game. Cheerleading coach B.J. Remington was killed, but her murderer was never found. Claudia, who was a close friend of B.J.'s, is constantly reminded of that day, and she has never been able to move on. When her husband, the assistant district attorney, reopens the case, the secrets of that day threaten to tear them apart.

Officer Casio Hightower will also never forget that day, the day his dream was destroyed. A star quarterback with several prospective scholarships, he was on top -until one bullet changed it all. Casio is eager to help Victor Campbell find B.J.'s killer, who also shot him. Maybe finding the answer will silence the anger that causes Casio to hurt the woman he loves.

Will Victor, Claudia, and Casio be able to discover that what begins at the crossing ends at the cross?

I really enjoyed this novel. The structure was excellently done, switching between Viktor, Casio, Claudia, and Harper's points of view. Also included are snapshots into the last few minutes of B.J.'s life, told from her perspective. These snapshots are critical in helping the reader understand the mystery of the killer. It adds a considerable amount of suspense because the reader thinks that they understand how the murder occurred, but then there is a major twist in the end which is almost totally unexpected. The mystery of the novel was very exciting, and I loved the twists. Viktor Campbell was an awesome character, and he remained loving in the midst of Claudia's messes.

One of the things I was not found of in the Crossing was the ending. The ending is totally unexpected, and it made me feel really sad. However, I did like how the author Serita Jakes brought back a couple of the characters back to the Lord and how they in turn were able to forgive those who had seriously hurt them. I do wish that God had been pulled more into the story in the middle and beginning. B.J.'s last thoughts ask some very serious questions about sin and forgiveness which I do not feel like the author properly addressed. So if a doubting Christian or a seeker read some parts, they might have some serious questions. This is good, but I just wish that they had been addressed in the novel.

Overall, I enjoyed The Crossing, and I would recommend it to anyone who is prepared for some serious, thought provoking fiction. Do not expect a light read, for the mood of the entire novel is somber and sometimes frightening.

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