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He made himself an island until something unexpected washed ashore.When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making drifwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife’s illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he’d given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby’s father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.
|Publisher:||Tyndale House Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
Read an Excerpt
By Gina Holmes, Kathryn S. Olson
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2014 Gina Holmes
All rights reserved.
The lab had either made a big mistake and none of the results could be trusted, or else her world was about to be turned upside down. It was this Libby Slater thought of as she rushed from the stationery store, bag in hand.
The day had started out pleasant enough. The weather was beautiful, she'd met Rob for lunch, and not one of her clients had dropped a shoe box of receipts on her desk, assuming she'd sort it all out. But then, in the middle of her ordinary day, she'd logged on to her online health account to check the results from Rob's and her premarital genetic counseling workup and gotten the shock of a lifetime.
The results should put her mind at ease, the doctor's note read, but they did just the opposite. Although her fiancé was a carrier for cystic fibrosis, the disease that had taken the life of his younger sister, Libby was not. This was good news, because apparently it took two to tango. Other than that, all the results were a very positive negative. She would have been relieved if it weren't for her blood type, listed innocently along with the rest of the results: A positive, which wasn't positive at all. Both of her parents had O blood types, and two Os couldn't produce an A child. It had to be an error. Had to.
The screech of sirens ripped Libby from her thoughts. Hunching, she slapped her free hand over her ear and waited for the pulsating red lights to pass. Two city blocks later, her ears were still ringing.
A bus with a giant cell phone carrier ad scrolled across it, dotted by finger-smudged windows, screeched to a halt in front of an empty bench. Pneumatic doors hissed open and passengers hurried off so fast they were almost a blur. After the last passenger filed past, she stepped off the curb to cross the street.
She assumed the approaching cab would stop, or at least not accelerate, but she assumed wrong. Jumping back onto the concrete, she felt a whoosh of exhaust part her long hair. In lieu of an apology, the driver screamed as he flew by. Although she couldn't decipher what he said, the vulgar hand gesture he thrust out the window gave her enough of a clue.
Soon her heartbeat returned to normal, and traffic broke just long enough for her to make a run for it. Having crossed the one-lane freeway of death, life and limb intact, she stepped again onto the relative safety of the sidewalk.
As she trudged forward, she could practically taste the tiny particles of soot and smog falling on her like mist, and couldn't help but wonder if breathing them in was making the inside of her lungs look like a coal miner's.
At last she reached her mother's brownstone. It was unfathomable that Caroline had paid almost a million dollars for what basically amounted to an old row home, even if it was located on the so-called Park Avenue of Casings.
Although the city was located in North Carolina, Casings was about as un-Southern as a city below the Mason-Dixon Line could be. This muggier, less-sophisticated parody of New York was a place she'd vowed to escape the second she graduated from college. Of course, that was before she fell in love with a man who just happened to be as dedicated to his job here as he was to her. She tightened her grip on the bag of wedding invitations she carried and couldn't help but smile at the thought of spending forever with the love of her life. But first they needed to survive this fiasco her mother called a wedding.
She climbed the brick stairs and peered over her shoulder, checking to be sure a mugger hadn't sneaked up behind her before unlocking the door. Inside, the foyer stood dark except for a rectangle of sunlight streaming down from the stained-glass transit window above. The flip of a switch flooded the hall in artificial light.
"Elizabeth?" Caroline's shrill voice echoed from the dining room. "You're late."
Libby rolled her eyes. "I had to pick up the extra invitations," she said, not quite loud enough for her mother to hear. Though, really, it wouldn't matter if she yelled it; the only person her mother listened to was herself.
Her Danskos thumped against the marble floor as she made her way through the corridor and into the dining room. Caroline sat at the long table with a stack of invitations tall enough to invite the entire state. The fact that she'd called Libby at work to tell her to pick up yet more invitations didn't bode well for Libby's vision of a quaint ceremony.
"It's positively barbaric to be doing this ourselves," Caroline said. "They have companies that take care of these things."
It was all Libby could do not to delve right into an interrogation about her questionable blood type. It was probably a mistake, but just in case, she didn't want to put Caroline on the defensive and get stonewalled before she got to the bottom of it.
She sighed as she hung her purse on the back of the chair. "So you've said. And as I've said, I want to know who's coming to my wedding, and I want to be the one who invites them." She eyed the invitations dubiously.
"You don't trust me?" Caroline asked in a sarcastic tone, but her expression was without humor. They both already knew the answer. "We could at least have hired a calligrapher to make them look pretty. Handwriting was never your best subject."
Libby gave her mother a dull look as she took a seat across from her. She hadn't realized how sore her feet were until she was finally off them. She kicked off her clogs and stretched her socked feet. "If I left it up to you and the Internet, my only guests would be the who's who of Casings." None of whom would be in the who's who of her small circle of friends.
A bottle of opened champagne sat in the middle of the table along with two crystal flutes. Caroline slid her tennis bracelet back on her wrist, then reached for the bottle and poured herself a glass. When she picked up the second, Libby shook her head. "Nice try."
Caroline huffed and flipped her blonde hair over her shoulder, revealing a dangling diamond earring—most likely another bauble from one of her long list of admirers. "I just thought it would be nice to celebrate a little while we work."
"No," Libby said. "You thought it would be nice to get me a little tipsy so you could sneak more of your debutante friends onto the guest list."
Caroline brought the champagne to her lips and sipped. "You certainly do think the world of me." She set her glass down and picked up a fountain pen. "Please tell me you didn't park that piece of junk out front."
Libby felt her cheeks flush in anger, but certainly not in surprise, at her mother's superficiality. "No, Caroline. I took a cab to the stationery store, then walked three blocks and almost got run over, all so the snobs you call neighbors wouldn't know your daughter drives a Jeep."
It was Caroline's turn to roll her eyes. "A Jeep from this century would be fine. Honestly, Elizabeth, you make enough money to afford something less dilapidated. I saw an Audi that you would look so—"
"Stop. Just stop," she said, swallowing the indignation. She'd already fought with her mother three times this week, and what had it accomplished? Nothing but two sleepless nights and a headache. Caroline was always going to be Caroline, and she was paying for the wedding, after all. Something Libby had told Rob they never should have agreed to for this very reason. Besides, there were bigger fish to fry tonight.
She reached into her purse, bypassing the test results, and pulled out her guest list. Holding her breath, she set the list of names down on the table and slid it across to her mother like a lawyer offering up a settlement. "I went through this last night, and—"
"I have my own list," Caroline said coolly as she glanced at her. "Don't look so glum. I took your requests into consideration."
Requests? Libby thought. What a joke. It was going to be the biggest day of her life, and she had no more say in who was going to be there than the caterer did. "Is Rob at least on your roll?"
Unfazed, Caroline ran a manicured nail slowly down Libby's list, pausing every so often to consider a name. "Don't be smart with me, young lady. It's my hard-earned money paying for every plate."
Libby looked away, disgusted. If she had the ceremony she wanted, she wouldn't need Caroline's money to pay for it. Caroline wanted the wedding she never had, and through her only child, she was finally going to get it. It wasn't fair; but then, as Rob always said, life wasn't.
"I don't recognize half these people," Caroline said as her finger slid to the bottom of the page.
An all-too-familiar pain began to throb behind Libby's left eye. The sooner this wedding was over, the better. "Of course you don't, because they're my friends, not yours."
Shaking her head, Caroline sighed. "Fine, we'll add them to the master list, but just so you know, this brings the guest count to three hundred."
"Three hundred?" Libby heard herself shriek. "I said I wanted a small wedding."
"It was going to be smallish," Caroline said, "but here you've gone and brought me another fifty names. Whose fault is that?"
Covering her face, she took a deep breath, willing herself not to cry. Two more months of this. That was it. She could do this, she told herself. For Rob, she could do most anything.
"Fine," Caroline said after a few seconds of uncomfortable silence. "I'll just cut out the DA's office, but if you get into any legal trouble, you're on your own."
Libby looked over her fingertips. "Why would I—? Never mind." She reached into the stationery bag and pulled out a sheet of the fancy return labels they'd chosen for the invitations. At least she could get started sticking those on. Any progress was better than none. Her phone rang, and she grabbed her purse off the chair, riffling her hand blindly through it. By the time her fingers touched the phone, the ringing stopped. As expected, her call log showed Rob's number.
"What's he want now?" Caroline asked, sounding more perturbed than usual.
Finally, the perfect segue. Keeping her tone as neutral as she could, Libby decided this was as good a time as any. "We had our genetic counseling, and the results were posted today. I was supposed to tell him what they—"
"Genetic counseling?" Caroline raised a barely visible eyebrow.
"You know Rob's sister, Heather, died from cystic fibrosis."
Caroline downed the rest of her champagne and reached for the bottle. "Rob had a sister?"
She couldn't tell by her mother's blank expression if she was just trying to get her goat or if she really was that oblivious. "That disease is hereditary. He wanted to make sure we weren't both carriers for it or anything else we could pass on to our future children."
Caroline finished filling her glass and set the bottle down with a clank. "And?"
"Rob's a carrier; I'm not."
Of course you re not.
"But I did find out my blood type—A positive." She held her breath as she waited for her mother's reaction to the bombshell she'd just dropped, but Caroline had already lost interest and started writing names on the front of the invitation envelopes.
"That's good to know," she mumbled.
Directing her nervous energy toward something productive, Libby began working like an assembly line, carefully affixing address labels to the top left corners of the envelopes. "Yes, it is." She finished her stack, slid it to the right, and grabbed another. "Did you and George get genetic testing before you had me?"
Caroline shook her head as she worked. "They didn't really do that when I was ..." Her voice trailed off. She never could bring herself to say the word pregnant, as if the thought of Libby inside her was too repulsive. Unless, of course, Libby hadn't been inside her after all.
"Your blood type is O positive like Rob's, isn't it?" Libby asked as nonchalantly as she could.
Caroline finally finished scrolling out the first invite. At the speed she was working, it was shaping up to be an excruciatingly long night. "That's all we have in common." Caroline could barely stand Libby's fiancé, but Libby tried not to take it personally. After George had abandoned them, Caroline pretty much hated all men equally. "How do you know my blood type, anyway?"
"I pay attention."
Caroline squinted at her.
"Wallet," Libby said, sliding another small stack of envelopes over to the finished pile. "You gave blood that one time, and you still carry the donor card." So everyone can see how fabulously altruistic you are, she wanted to add. She carefully peeled another label off the plastic sheet and pressed it onto an envelope. "George's dog tags say he's O positive too." For reasons she didn't know, she still kept her father's dog tags tucked away in her jewelry box. The military must have made a mistake. Lucky for him, he never got injured enough to need blood.
"I don't know what his dog tags say. I thought I threw those out with the rest of his junk." Caroline checked the first name off her list with a satisfied smile. "I just know his blood type is the same as mine because he donated for my hysterectomy."
That was it, then; the geneticist had gotten her results wrong. They'd just spent nearly a thousand dollars for results they couldn't trust. Rob was going to be ticked.
Caroline set her pen down and furrowed her brow in Libby's direction. "Why are you interested in everyone's blood type?"
Libby curled her toes. "Two O parents can't have an A child. It's impossible."
Caroline's face turned as white as the tips of her French manicure.
It was in that moment that Libby's life flashed before her eyes ... and she knew.
The baby books with no pictures of Caroline pregnant. Her mother's claim that she'd lost not only her baby bracelet, but also the umbilical clamp and crib card. Was this why she hadn't minded when, as a preteen, Libby had defiantly taken to calling her by her first name? "Why didn't you tell me?" was all she could manage around the boulder in her throat.
Caroline put on a plastic smile. "Tell you what?" she asked, her voice cracking under the facade. "Don't be silly. The lab made an error. That's all." She was usually such a good liar.
"Fine," Libby said coldly. "I'll get another test tomorrow."
Caroline's expression hardened. "Why can't you ever leave well enough alone?"
Before Libby could answer, Caroline left the dining room in stony silence.
So that was it? She didn't even have the decency to acknowledge the elephant in the room. Typical. Libby walked to the kitchen, poured herself a glass of water, and downed it like a shot, trying to decide what would give her the fastest escape—calling Rob to pick her up or a cab.
Before she could make up her mind, Caroline returned, her spiked heels clicking sharply against the wood floor. She closed her eyes and handed Libby a stack of papers.
Glancing down at the raised seal on the top document, Libby tried to process the unfamiliar names typed neatly on the lines.
With her arms crossed, Caroline tapped her nails against her tanned arms. "Say something please."
When Libby's gaze fell on the birth date—her birth date—her mouth went dry again.
After parting her thin, red lips, Caroline closed them without saying a word. It may have been the first time Libby had ever seen her mother speechless.
Caroline strode to the kitchen window and pulled open the roman shade. Sunlight flooded the room, casting her face in harsh light, which gave up every fine line. "With you getting married soon, I guess it was about time anyway. I thought about telling you when you turned eighteen, but ..." Her voice began to crack. "But I chickened out. I was just so afraid you'd find your real parents and you'd ..." She said more, but all Libby could focus on was the adoption papers she held.
The smell of Caroline's perfume wafted by, and suddenly Libby felt as though she might vomit. The hand that held the papers dropped to her side, while her other hand covered her mouth. This was real. This was really happening.
"I actually thought you should grow up knowing, but your father ..." Caroline looked out the window, suddenly interested in the Pathfinder pulling into the neighbor's driveway.
Excerpted from Driftwood Tides by Gina Holmes, Kathryn S. Olson. Copyright © 2014 Gina Holmes. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Saturday, August 29, 2015 Driftwood Tides by Gina Holmes, © 2014 Driftwood Tides is set at the Outer Banks in North Carolina, bringing another time and place to life. While writing Driftwood Tides, I sat on the beach, closed my eyes and heard what I would have guessed to be a sprinkler system rapidly firing. I knew it couldn't be, but that's what it sounded like. It was actually the sound of chirping cicadas and the sprinkler system description was something I was able to use to describe that sound in the book. --author Gina Holmes Holton Creary ~ An ordinary day ... jolting news. What do you do with that? In an instant, life changes. This morning started out so easy. Would we have lingered longer, not knowing this would be our last smile, our last touch? Libby Slater is going beachside for two summer months ~ only, her life is about to change ... Her fiancé is sure it is too. Living above an art studio as an intern without monetary pay, she may find there is more benefit than "experience on her resumé." At least, that is what she told him she was applying for ~ so much more.... I like the strength of the characters building upon weaknesses we all have in one form or another ~ unable to get out from under them without the Lord's help. Determination to become more than turmoil and what-ifs could produce, this story is very well-written with the foibles of man and the truth that no man is an island. We need each other. I like the steadfastness of Tess as she continues to give of herself regardless of return. Her artistic features blossom amid pain and rejection, not letting it mar what she sees or hamper her creativity. I would say she is the strong heroic person in this story. Accepting Libby, treating Holt with respect and honor, not giving in to be coerced beyond who she is. These people live ~ they're alive with daily life as it really is. How long can we remain influenced by the past, not recognizing the merits of today, and relishing a hope for tomorrow? ***Thank you to author Gina Holmes and Tyndale House Publishers for sending me a copy of Driftwood Tides for review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Thank you to Library Journal for the fabulous recommendation of Gina Holmes. I recently had a chance to read her novel Driftwood Tides. I could not wait for an opportunity to share her work with you. I can tell you that you won’t be disappointed! Synopsis: Libby Slater just picked up the lab results of genetic compatibility test with some interesting results. This test should show the type of family she and Rob her fiancé should have. The major difference is the blood work which Libby confronts her mother Caroline. Caroline reveals that Libby is adopted. Who are her real parents? Her mother Adele was killed in a car accident long ago, but her father is still alive. Holton is an artist that creates fabulous pieces of art out of driftwood. There are some complications such as Holton has been unable to get over the death of his wife. The second is how he chose to deal with the problem. Will Libby be able to get through and reveal herself or will it be too late? Will her actual family give her the room to learn who she really is? My Thoughts: As I mentioned above Gina Holmes is a new author to me. I have thoroughly enjoyed this novel Driftwood Tides! I found it extremely easy to read! It is also well written! The genre is Christian fiction. She strikes me as being similar to Elin Hilderbrand. I look forward to reading others. The author has chosen to tackle some difficult topics with alcoholism, adoption, and control. She also explores the ability of Libby the daughter to break away from both her mother and her fiancé to truly become who she is meant to be. This novel would be great for a Readathon or to read at the beach! by Jencey Gortney/ Writer's Corner
There are very few authors who write novels that move me like Gina Holmes'. Driftwood Tides is no exception. Holton is an artist who is struggling, not only with his career, but also with alcoholism. He is still mourning the loss of his wife, Adele, and drinks to try and dull the pain. Things are turned upside down when Libby enters the scene. She has her own agenda when Libby inquires about an internship. The story takes it's readers through the ups and downs of life, love, loss, and addiction. Each character is well drawn and certainly have their flaws. It brings to the forefront how people are affected by addiction and how it impacts those around them. Even the secondary characters play a vital role in how this story plays out. My favorite quote was, "I wouldn't buy a glass of water from him if I were passed out in the desert." I especially enjoyed the lessons in forgiveness, hope and love. If you are looking for a novel that will make you laugh, will bring on the tears, and have your routing for it's characters, this is the book for you. I highly recommend Driftwood Tides.
This is a well-written, emotion-engaging story populated by good but seriously flawed characters. Libby, at 25, is the unhappy product of a cold, disinterested mother and a father who abandoned them when she was five. . As she explains, “I think when you never experience love, real love, you have a hole in your heart. You may not be able to pinpoint what’s missing, but you still feel it.” Two months before her wedding to a great guy with his own insecurity and neediness, she discovers she was adopted. She goes into a tailspin and tracks down her birth mother only to find she had died years before. “I just wanted to know who I am”, she cries, when her last hope of finding a loving parent slips away. The book is the story of her quest to find her place in the world. She lies her way into the life of her alcoholic stepfather and his faithful but unappreciated friend Tess. As she tries to learn more about her birth mother, she becomes intricately involved with their relationship, financial, and emotional problems. I liked Libby, and my eagerness to discover whether she would ever find the love she yearned for kept me racing through the pages of the book. I received this in a First Reads giveaway, but the opinions expressed are solely mine.
Great Book! Driftwood artist Holton looses his wife in a car crash and is working to drown his sorrow in alcohol. Store employee Tess is doing her best to love on him. Engaged Libby is trying to discover her past after a routine blood test for her marriage license revealed that her parents were not her birth parents. All her life she has struggled to fit in and the blood test leads her to Holton and a search for answers. Answers about her birth parents. Answers about her relationship with her finance. Holton is forced to recognize his alcoholism, his financial troubles, the fact that he has a woman who loves him inspite of all his problems and realizes that its time to let his dead wife go. This was a beautiful book and it contained a healing journey for all the characters.
Strong and emotional story! At the lowest ebb in his life, driftwood artist Holton Creary is a full blown alcoholic. He started his drinking journey on the day that his wife died in a car crash. Adele was everything to him and he just couldn’t bear the idea that he was the cause of her death—or so he believed. Not having paid his mortgage and bills, and spending all the money he earns on gin, he is in big financial trouble. Foreclosure is around the corner and he is about to lose his property at the beach that Adele and he loved so much. Shortly before she’s hoping to get married, Libby Slater finds out that her mother is not her biological mother. Suddenly many things seem to make sense to Libby; like why her mother has never been “mother-material”. Her father left when she was only four and now she understands why he could walk away from her so easily—she was not his biological daughter. Having received the adoption papers from her mother, Libby decides she wants to find her birth mother. She has so many questions to ask. Her quest leads her to Holton’s door step. Their first meeting is not a pleasant one as Holton is completely drunk. In Holton’s house, Libby finds a picture of Adele and she sees the resemblance with herself. Her hope for answers shatters when she learns of her death. Not wanting to tell Holton right away that he is her step-father, she makes up a story that she is looking for an internship and that Adele had promised her the position when she was still alive. Reluctantly, Holton agrees and offers her the position for the summer. Libby hopes to learn more about her mother during the summer months, but she was not prepared for everything she was about to see and learn during her so-called internship. Fantastic storyline! I was sucked into the lives of Libby and Holton and the people around them, and had a hard time putting the book down. There were smiles and tears in this emotional tale that deals with real issues; like alcoholism, grief and acceptance. At times my heart ached for all that the characters had to endure – but beauty, hope and faith always shone through. Between the lines I learned about the driftwood art—something I had never heard about and I found it very fascinating to ‘see’ Holton create his art. A compelling story that follows the lives of well developed characters with real emotions, this is a recommended read!
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Quite a dramatic family drama with both main characters having the opportunity to tell their side of the story. The author creatively switched between Holton a man who has recently lost his wife and can't seem to find his passion since the accident and Libby who is on the cusp of a wedding that is getting out of hand and learns that her parents and past isn't what she thought it always was. These characters made the book. They played off each other and challenged each other at the same time. This book could have been set anywhere (although I love Nags Head!) which gives this book the ability to relate to almost any reader. The pursuit of self and passion made me easily fall in love with this book.
Libby Slater wades through one problem after another on her search for truth. I love the way Gina Holmes weaves the continual layers of characters that affect Libby's opinions of situations and of herself. Setting is so much a part of this story, you can feel the ocean breeze on your face and the sand beneath your feet. Interesting and insightful.
Libby never felt like she fit in her family. Her father left when she was young and her mother is just a different personality from Libby. When she discovers she'd been adopted it confirmed her questions. She sets out to find out who really made her. She discovers her mother has been dead for five years and her step father, Holton, is an artist with more than just and addiction to alcohol. He's slowly killing himself, unable to forgive himself for his wife's death and move on with his life. When Libby comes into his life, he's unaware of her real identity. She tries to discover what her mother was like by working with Holton over a summer. They grow to appreciate each other and by the time Libby and Holton discover that she is his child, they already love each other. Together they learn about acceptance and forgiveness and they each learn what it means to love again. These characters are real and raw. I enjoyed reading a story in which the Christian (Holton) happened to be more messed up than Libby, but still managed to be a witness even as God pulled him up out of his self destruction. The characters are believable, people you'd meet in the course of life. I enjoyed the analogy of driftwood being used as art. We can all be something beautiful. Thanks to author, Gina Holmes for weaving this story that will linger in our minds and hearts.
I loved Driftwood Tides and was, once again, awed by the beauty and emotion in Gina Holmes’s writing! In this compelling story, the emotional and spiritual journeys are intricately woven between the characters and my heart ached for all they endured. When Libby Slater arrived on Holton Creary’s doorstep, neither imagined the course that was set before them. Grief and alcoholism are two of the main issues that Holmes deftly explores, as well as other themes that will resonate with many readers. There is beauty in the writing, in the characters, and in the heartfelt storyline. Driftwood Tides is a novel that I couldn’t put down and one I highly recommend!
If I had to describe my favorite kind of Christian fiction, I’d say it’s the kind that portrays Christians in all shapes and sizes, because that is how our Creator designed us—A mosaic of broken fragments of color, pieced together to form a masterpiece of beauty. That is not only how one could describe the characters of Gina Holmes’ newest release, Driftwood Tides, it is to some degree the theme of the story. Driftwood Tides is about a young woman who discovers, shortly before she is to get married, that she is adopted. She travels to Nags Head, North Carolina in an effort to find her birth mother, only to discover she is dead, and the women’s intensely alcoholic husband knew nothing of her birth. Together they embark on a journey to learn more about the woman who appeared a saint to those who knew her, but harbored secrets that may reveal her raw humanity. As always, Gina Holmes paints vivid characters who are fraught with frailties, yet bear the hope of being something more. They are real, deeply felt, and unmistakably unique. In this novel there is a confused bride-to-be, an insecure groom, a haughty socialite, a drunken driftwood artist and an intensely loyal bathing-suit-top-wearing artist’s assistant. They are authentic, lovable and even aggravating at times—just like family. And yet they have the capability, with the help of a loving Father-God, to become more than the sum of their parts. They can be what God created them to be. I love the metaphor of the driftwood artist. It is what God is to us. He can take old scraps of wood, beaten and worn, and turn them into something useful and beautiful. This story is about imperfection and brokenness, and how even the ugliest of elements can be repurposed for His Glory.
Driftwood Tides isn't the type of book that I would usually fall in love with. Usually, I want my books to be chock-full of romance or suspense or historical tidbits. Usually, I need something more than a nice women's fiction story. Usually, I would read this book, enjoy it, post a review, and move on. That is not the case with Driftwood Tides. The premise of the book—a woman in her 20s learns of her adoption and seeks out her birth mother only to find her mother has died and her step-father is a drunk disaster of an artist—intrigued me. I immediately began reading the book upon receiving it in the mail. Within three pages, I knew this was a special book. I instantly loved the characters in this book—both the ones I was supposed to love and the ones that were supposed to drive me crazy. They each evoked a variety of emotions, and I found that I couldn't read about them without feeling something! The story itself was absolutely beautiful. This could have been a very preachy book, but it wasn't. Instead, the themes of forgiveness and redemption were perfectly woven throughout. Additionally, the story moved along in such a way that I felt that I was able to both enjoy what was happening while looking forward to the end. One of the most surprising aspects of Driftwood Tides was the descriptions of the art that Holton and Tess created. The only thing missing from this amazing book was pictures of all that beautiful artwork ... and possibly the opportunity to buy a piece! Driftwood Tides is a beautiful story that will tug at your heart. I highly recommend it! [5 stars] I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through CFBA in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Gina writes with passion and powerful emotion, and her newest book is her finest work yet. Keep the tissues close by, because you are about to embark on a highly emotional journey with Libby as she seeks answers to who she truly is. Holton Creary is bent on self-destruction by the time Libby finds him...the big question is can he provide the answers she's seeking, or will he take her under with him? For Holt, his big question is how such a loving, perfect, Godly wife could keep something like this a secret from him? Tess is likeable from the moment we meet her, and watching her stand by Holt no matter what comes his way is something to admire. Yes, you'll have moments of wanting to reach into the book in order to slap some sense into her, but in the end you'll understand why she makes the choices she makes. Caroline is a real piece of work....don't expect any warm and fuzzies upon encountering her! But hang in there and you'll find a human under all that tough as nails exterior...and you'll be prayer for her that she let down a little and be a bit more of a human than a controlling dictator. Rob...oh, have I known my share of Robs! Once again, the slap some sense into a fictional character will come over you...resist it! Let him slowly become the man he was meant to be. And, if it turns out he doesn't....feel free to slap! Believable characters, powerful sense of place and gripping story will all be found in the pages of "Driftwood Tides", and I challenge you to read "just one more chapter"...yeah, good luck putting this one down until you've reached the conclusion! My thanks to my friends at Tyndale House Publishing for my copy via CFBA in exchange for an honest review. Highly recommended, and should come with a box of tissues!
Results from a blood test prove that Libby is adopted, and her mother provides the paperwork that confirms it. Libby then begins the hunt for her birth parents. I believe that I would act much the same way. The author writes believable characters with flaws. The reader first meets Holton, when he's close to the proverbial bottom of the barrel. When his wife--the love of his life died, Holt began his long journey with alcoholism. He's truly unlikeable, but somehow Libby sees something worthwhile, and through her eyes, this reader relates. Here is a realistic story of the horrible life of an alcoholic, the frustration of an adopted child seeking acceptance from a parent, and the desperate need of several people to believe that their futures have the hope of love. Although this may sound like a depressing story, it's not. Forgiveness is a theme that threads its way throughout the tale. Each character has to struggle to forgive. We cannot be forgiven until we first forgive. I especailly like the discussion that Tess and Libby have about whether alcoholism is a choice or a disease. My favorite quote is: "She couldn't change what was done to her, but she could show them what love was supposed to look like. She could at least be the daughter she always wanted to be." (220+221) Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for my copy.