Swimming in the Deep End

Swimming in the Deep End

by Christina Suzann Nelson


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Olympic dreams on the line.

A beloved son’s lost future.

Long-buried secrets uncovered.

A broken heart and empty arms.

In this moving, masterful saga from best-selling novelist Christina Suzann Nelson, four women's lives collide. Their tangled courses and attempts to find grace in the midst of crisis combine in one heartfelt story showing the many faces of motherly love.

"An exceptional read and one that will live with me long after I close the book."
Jaime Jo Wright, best-selling author of The House on Foster Hill and The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780825445576
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Publication date: 09/25/2018
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 826,221
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Christina Suzann Nelson writes stories featuring women who survive circumstances to live lives closer to God's calling. She focuses on changing legacies from dysfunction to hope.

Her first novel, If We Make It Home, was named debut of the month and one of the Best Books of 2017 by Library Journal.

For the past ten years, Christina has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Oregon Christian Writers, who named her their annual Writer of Promise in 2017.

Christina lives in Oregon's gorgeous Willamette Valley with her husband of twenty-five years and their four children. The family owns a small farm where the kids raise animals as 4H projects.

She is honored to be a member of the steering committee for Every Child, Benton and Linn County, where she has the opportunity to influence the lives of families and children in the foster care system.

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Swimming in the Deep End 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
mymissdaisy 11 months ago
great read filled with emotion and strong characters. This one was hard to put down. This was different kind of read for me. I was glad to get the chance to dive into this story. A story filled with raw emotion at times as each of the characters find thier way seperately and with each. A beautifully written touching story that is filled with grace and redemption. I received a complimentary copy.
Mylittlebirdie More than 1 year ago
Well, this wasn’t exactly a light read. I knew what the book was about when I started it, though. This is one of those stories that tugs at the heart strings with its realism, that doesn’t gloss over the messes that we sometimes make in our lives. There are a number of secrets that people keep in this story, and some of the consequences are quite heavy. Without giving anything away, I would say that this book reinforces my belief that we should be honest with our children about our own upbringing and our own shortcomings. I will also say that I was sad at one of the twists in the story, but it was necessary for the characters to be able to arrive at the ending that they did. Also, there was one big surprise at the end that I didn’t see coming! Don’t worry, this was good surprise. I feel like this book could serve as a cautionary tale for teens, but adults should be aware that this book deals with serious issues like teen pregnancy, abortion, adoption, and mentions of sexual assault. I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications via NetGalley and am under no obligation to provide a positive review. All opinions are my own.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
This is a truly character driven story that evoked the full gamut of emotions in this reader. The story covers many issues including destroyed dreams, teen pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, adoption, estranged family members, marital discord, tragic death, grief, and secrets. There are four different points of view: Jillian, who struggles with choices from her past and how the secrets affect her life, Izzy, who is Jillian's high school aged daughter who discovers she is pregnant as well as dealing with the grief of the death of her baby daddy and her part in it, Margaret who is the mother of Travis, Izzy's boyfriend who dies in a tragic accident and Stacey who so wants to be a mother, but is still dealing with her own grief and secrets. I do not want to ruin this story for anyone so will talk about my feelings while reading this book. The characters in this story felt so real. The problems and their reactions to various situation were genuine and I could feel a real empathy for them. The girls in the house were all young and trying to make the best of the situation they found themselves in. I wish there was such a place around here as it really seemed to be helping these young women and their babies. As I read, I became invested in the stories of all the characters and yes, tissues were needed. The church families involved were amazing. There was acceptance of the girls and their situations, support of the home and a lot of prayer and forgiveness. If only we could always move forward without guilt and regret at things in our past that we can not change. There were a lot of twists and turns in the story. I thought I had it figured out, knowing what Izzy was going to do, then bam, she did what? There were times that I got frustrated with the characters and their actions and/or decisions, then the next minute I was cheering for them. This was a book that once I started reading it, I didn't stop until I finished. It was a relatively quick read, and one that I enjoyed very much. It is an emotionally packed story that will stay with you long after you finish. This is a great book for anyone who loves emotional dramas, that are realistic and will have you reading instead of doing whatever you were supposed to be doing that day or night. I received a copy of this book from Just Read Publicity to read and review. The rating, ideas and opinions are my own.
AnOpenBookFamily More than 1 year ago
Swimming in the Deep End is powerful, moving, and realistic women's fiction that examines the heartache and joy of unplanned pregnancies from every angle. The author uses the first person point of view of generations of women burdened by the crosses of their own mistakes and from their families of origin in the context of an unplanned teen pregnancy, a tragedy, and a young couple whose hearts are ready to love a child - if only they could. Through it all, the joy of new life and the unique, precious value of each life is uplifted as well as the goodness of God and the goodness of those from whom we may not expect either acceptance or love. Without glossing over the heartache of grief, guilt, and sacrificial love, Christina Suzann Nelson shows the reader that there is joy to be found when we love, forgive, and support one another. Highly recommended!
Wizardrylibrary More than 1 year ago
This was such a beautiful heartwarming read. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions with this book. Be warned, you will need lots of tissue; there are some sensitive topics covered in this book. I really enjoyed the authors writing style, it was the first book I've read from her and I am very impressed. The story is told from multiple POV's which I really liked. The characters were well developed and relatable. I'll be reading more work from this author in the future. Disclaimer: I recieved this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
cularien More than 1 year ago
'Swimming in the Deep End' shares the stories of four different women. With four different 'voices' I was concerned that the plot might suffer, or that one woman's voice would rise above the others', to their detriment (or that, frankly, I couldn't keep them straight). Thankfully, none of those were the case! Nelson writes thoughtfully and poetically. Each word was chosen for a reason, and I found myself savoring the writing style and hesitant for the plot to move forward -- but it did, much like how time marching onward. My heart ached for each of the women and their respective struggles. You just never know what goes on beneath the surface, and plenty occurred within this story. It's a perfect example of how God weaves a tapestry; we here on earth see the underside of it, and it seems all messy and knotted, but God sees the picture weaving together. One day we will see that side and praise! A hard, but encouraging, read, to be sure. Recommended. I received a copy of the book from JustReads Publicity Tours. All opinions are my own.
WarrriorPrincess More than 1 year ago
Abortion, adoption, and teenage pregnancy; all emotionally charged subjects that bring out the worst amongst dissenters, yet Christina Suzann Nelson’s Swimming in the Deep End dares to take an in depth look at each subject through the eyes of impacted individuals. Swimming in the Deep End is an intimate story of five incredibly different, and seemingly unconnected women, whose lives are actually intricately interwoven. Nelson does a tremendous job connecting readers with her humanly flawed but very real characters. Hearts will soften towards the difficult plights of Izzy, Stacey, Margaret, and Jillian, while being intrigued by the mysterious yet benevolent, Irene. Even better, Nelson provides a few very unexpected plot twists that will leave readers in awe of a story that only the very hand of God could orchestrate. ***The publisher provided a free book. However, all opinions included in this review are entirely my own.
PianoLady831 More than 1 year ago
Emotionally gripping, bittersweet, compelling and heartwarming … Swimming in the Deep End is an engrossing read that I highly recommend. In a realistic and thought-provoking way, it shines the light on emotional themes of teen pregnancy, abortion, infertility, and adoption. I grew up loving women’s fiction and have long been frustrated at the lack of these stories in Christian fiction. With the release of Swimming in the Deep End, Christina Suzann Nelson has joined the ranks of a handful of authors who write quality fiction in this genre – right up there with Cynthia Ruchti and Kellie Coates Gilbert. The use of four different voices works very well – mothers of soon-to-be-parent teens (Jillian and Margaret), the teenage girl herself (Izzy), and an infertile young woman (Stacey) – and gives insight into all their thoughts and struggles in a personal way. This story plumbs the depths of almost every emotion imaginable and I never wanted to put it down. Guilt, regret, and fear are major themes – emotions that we can all identify with, even though the root cause might be different. Christina Suzann Nelson is a gifted writer, with a prose that flows effortlessly, complex characters, and multilayered storylines. Jillian, with her guilt-ridden secret from 20 years ago and her craving for control as her comfortable world fell apart, is a character that I wanted to wrap my arms around. Another character that grabbed my heart is Irene, manager of the home for teenage girls in a crisis pregnancy, a home filled with faith and hope. It was impossible not to shed some tears while reading, many of which were tears of happiness. This story is filled with imperfect Christians, just like us, who learn that God works to fulfill His purpose in every situation. These words, spoken to Jillian by her husband, especially spoke to my heart: “Sometimes, especially in the tough times, we have to come to God even if it’s only in obedience.” Swimming in the Deep End is a story of the highest quality, a “best of the best” read for me. I hope many more stories flow from the pen of Christina Suzann Nelson. Very highly recommended. I received a copy of this book through JustRead Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
LJShuck More than 1 year ago
Swimming in the Deep End by Christina Suzann Nelson tackles the lives of four women whose struggles impact their lives and the lives of their families, and not always in a positive way. Searching for redemption and grace, each strives to resolve these struggles alone, in their own way. It isn’t until truthfulness, with themselves and others, that healing and grace are finally found. The teenaged daughter finds herself in quite a predicament after a decision results in serious consequences. A mother struggles with a decision made years before, a decision that impacts every facet of her life. A retiree tangles with her own haunting decisions, decisions that resulted in estrangement. Yet another is the Queen of Snarkiness, covering up her own pain and keeping others at arms length. When each woman hesitantly reaches out, grace and forgiveness begins soon overflowing in the lives of all four women with the most stunning of miracles. Emotionally deep, I enjoyed reading Swimming in the Deep End, and have tucked away in my heart how miraculous grace can be, both toward ourselves and others. The story is cross generational and can be enjoyed by a variety of ages. Swimming in the Deep End could be a great book for a small group book club. I received a complimentary copy of this book via Just Read Tours and the publisher and am under no obligation to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions therein are solely my own.
Debi_2014andBeyond More than 1 year ago
Rating 4.5 Stars!! Back in October, I received an email from Ms. Nelson asking if I would be interested in reading her book, Swimming in the Deep. I responded with a quick "yes" based on what I had read about the book. Just a couple of weeks later, JustRead Tours sent out a sign up for their Blog Tour for the same book and I couldn't help but to sign up since I knew the book would soon be coming in the mail! To be honest, I get hundreds of emails every week from publishing companies and authors asking me if I'm interested in their books. Ninety percent of the time I have to decline these offers - not always because I'm not interested, but because my "to be read" stack can easily get out of hand thanks to -- well, life itself -- the day to day living, work, and medical visits with my spouse. This book, Swimming in the Deep End, was one I was glad I didn't pass up! I'll warn you to grab your tissues so you'll be ready for this emotionally packed book! You won't help but to be affected by your emotions if you are a human being and you read this book! The story is provided to readers with four different points of view. First there's Jillian, whose past choices continue to cause her to struggle both in her marriage and as a parent. Jillian's daughter and teenager, Izzy, is slated to have a future in competitive swimming, but she discovers she is pregnant. Izzy's boyfriend is Travis and his mother, Margaret is trying to do the best she can as a single mother. She can barely make ends meet and unfortunately this causes her to be absent in the lives of her four sons. Last there's Stacey, who has just moved to town with her husband. They've experienced the loss of a child after their efforts to adopt ended in failure. It has been two years and they are finally ready to move forward and give adoption another chance. By the end of this story, readers will learn some surprising details about a prominent figure, and they will see God’s love, forgiveness, and grace shining throughout the story. The story and the characters felt real and believable, and it grabbed me at the start and moved me throughout. I enjoyed the story very much and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it. I would recommend Swimming in the Deep End to anyone looking for a strong, deep and powerful read that will touch your heart long after you've finished the book. I received a complimentary paperback copy of this book from the author, and then I received a digital copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and a positive review was not required. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
Wow. This book will break your heart open but in the breaking you will see the light hope.  I was drawn into the brokenness of this book. The secrets that have been kept buried but needed to come up for air to set the characters free.  My words are not enough to express how deeply this book touched my heart. This is a must read. If you are looking for a book that will move you pick this one up and be prepared to take a look at some tough truths.  A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own. 
TheBeccaFiles More than 1 year ago
Wow, to call this book "moving" is an understatement! Don't attempt to read this book without some tissues handy nearby! The characters are clearly going through the trenches, and the only way this story couldn't affect you is if you never open it up. I literally needed a few moments to compose myself before considering writing my review. This is such a powerful story and absolutely one that won't be forgotten. A common theme throughout this story is that of regret. No one is immune from it. While the circumstances that produce it or the way they handle it may be different, the presence is clearly felt. One line that really stuck with me was "you've got to learn how to give up the guilt. It's only good when it helps you make wise decisions. You can't change the past" (loc 3935). How often do we look at our situations in life and dwell on our desire to wish we could change the past? It won't do us any good and yet we find ourselves stuck in a never-ending cycle. It isn't until we are able to fully let go and let God that we can begin to find healing.  Crisis pregnancy is nothing new. Without a doubt it has the ability to rip a family to shreds and leave permanent scars on those involved. Unfortunately the world preaches abortion as if it's the simplest, most logical solution. What they don't tell you is that often the guilt from such a horrible procedure, can leave the mother emotionally broken for the rest of her life. And here's where my tears start back up. Yet when a mother makes the decision to parent or place her child in adoption--that's where love shows through. I don't know if the ministry home that the girls lived in in this story is real or not, but I do know places like it are truly in existence. It is because of a similar ministry that I have my husband and several sibs-in-law. His birth mother loved him enough to give him what she thought was his best chance in life. It wasn't because of a lack of love, but because of the fullness of love, that she had him placed in my in-laws arms as a newborn baby. Knowing a bit of that, you can imagine what an emotional ride this book was for me! It's hard to share about this story without spoiling anything. In a very real way I'm still processing it, and dealing with leaking eyes. I know there are a lot of books that I sit here and recommend, but I honestly don't think I can recommend this enough. It's going straight into my favorites pile. It deals with some very difficult topics, but the process to redemption is fully worth the ride. If you give it a chance, this book will not leave you unchanged. Don't forget the tissues but absolutely pick it up. *I received a copy of this book through the author and JustRead Publicity Tours through NetGalley. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
MFurumasu More than 1 year ago
Oh, the deep emotions I experienced while reading this book! I am still wading through the waves they have made in my life this week. Christina Suzann Nelson is a fairly new author to me, but I believe I'll be reading more of her works. This story was compelling and so full of relational aspects. It was well written and flowed smoothly, so smooth that at the end my heart was spilling all over the place. I felt I knew these women and had walked with them through all their issues. I ached with those who ached and I rejoiced with those who rejoiced. I appreciate the way the author wrote about the sensitive issues that affect many women these days. The choices we make and how it can change lives through generations. If you aren't afraid to get your feet wet, dive into this book, you won't be disappointed! I received this book from the publisher for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I highly recommend this book.
kp68 More than 1 year ago
Swimming in the Deep End, by new author Christina Suzann Nelson, is a tale I will not soon forget! This book is set up to tell the same story from four different perspectives. First, you meet Jillian, mother to Izzy, a teenager who has a life ahead of her in competitive swimming. Jillian daily struggles with a secret, she has kept hidden for twenty years. Then, you are introduced to Izzy, whose life is about to change, when she discovers she is pregnant. Izzy and her boyfriend, Travis, must make some serious life decisions! Next, you hear the story from Margaret's perspective, a single mother, who has been struggling to raise four sons. Margaret does not know which way to turn when her son, Travis, dies in a automobile accident. Finally, you meet Stacey, a young woman who is unable to become pregnant. Stacey and her husband have moved to a new home, after their efforts to adopt ended in failure. It has been two years and they are finally ready to give adoption another chance! This book will have you reading page after page to discover where each of these characters land. By the end of this tale, you will learn some jaw dropping details about one of the prominent figures you meet along the way. You definitely will see God at work in each of these lives!
theskett More than 1 year ago
Christina Suzann Nelson’s latest novel, Swimming in the Deep End, has the perfect title. As women—mothers, grandmothers, daughters, or sisters—we often feel we swim in the deep end when it comes to the women we love. We care for them, we want the best for them, we hurt with them and rejoice with them. Readers will do all these things as they travel with Nelson’s characters on journeys of discovery, acceptance, and love. We are caught up in these stories of babies, friends, and family. Nelson’s writing skill shines through her individual characters and their unique voices. A strong addition to Christian women’s fiction, and yes, there’s even a thread of romance. Swimming in the Deep End has it all—a great read for a wide audience. I’ll be looking for Nelson’s next novel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book deals with so many difficult real life issues and the author handles them in a very caring way. I love how she showed God's love and grace all through the book.. This is a book that will make you laugh and cry. It was very emotional to me. You won't regret getting this book. Thank you Kregel Publications via NetGalley for the free copy of this book. I really enjoyed it. This is my honest opinion of this book.