Bruce Cable has found the perfect life for himself in the small town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island off the coast of Florida. His store, Bay Books, is one of the most popular places to hang out. Bruce and his wife have built close-knit friendships with the writers on the island, of which there are many. Something is always happening at the bookstore – an author visit, a book discussion, a party, or just an informal gathering. It’s an idyllic life.
But when Hurricane Leo heads toward the island, their paradise quickly becomes a dangerous place. Most of the residents flee to the mainland, but Bruce and a handful of other neighbors decide to tough it out. The hurricane strikes with terrifying force, and all power and telephone service is lost.
I read this book because it was highly recommended by someone I am close to. The story-line is about a man named Jordan who takes a position at a university in Germany that pays extremely well, which will enable him to pay off a rather large debt. His wife Susan, son, and daughter are all dead set against moving to a foreign country, but Jordan drags them there anyway. Nothing goes right. They have a terrible time finding housing, their plans to home-school their daughter are cancelled because it turns out to be illegal there, they have a hard time finding a church that they feel at home in, and Susan is lonely and depressed. Their son finds a nice girlfriend, but even that turns out badly when a gang of Jamaican drug dealers slits their son’s throat and gang-rapes the girlfriend. The rest of the book is mostly Jordan in a rage, vowing vengeance and trying to find the gang so that he can kill them.
What I liked about the book was the theme that God is with us, no matter how terrible the situation we may find ourselves in. The older man who had also lost members of his family kept trying to point them to God for strength, and for the ability to forgive and re-build their lives.
What I disliked about the book was the total grimness of the story-line from beginning to end. I’ve read plenty of books with sadness and depressing themes, but those books usually mixed in some happiness and lighter portions to balance it out. It’s called “comic relief”, and theatrical performances as well as movies and books use it to give the audience a break from the constant negativity. “Jordan’s Crossing” was just depressing from beginning to end. Although I finished the book, it would probably not be one I would recommend.