Book Review: Karen Kingsbury’s ‘Oceans Apart’

Have you ever read a story that made you so sad that you actually shed tears? That was the situation I found myself in when I read Karen’s Kingsbury Oceans Apart. The story was so moving that most of the pages had me in tears.

Synopsis

Kiahna, a flight attendant and young Christian dies in a plane crash leaving behind her seven-year-old son who neither knows his dad nor any family member except an old babysitter who takes care of him when his mum is away. Before her death, Kiahna kept a will (she updates annually) which included finding the father of her son, Max if anything happened to her. The father of her son, Connor is a happily married man in another State, with two daughters who had had a one-night-stand with Kiahna about eight years ago. He never met with Kiahna and had no idea he had a son till he was contacted by Kiahna’s lawyer a few days after her demise. Kiahna’s will was for Max to spend two weeks with Connor and after that, Connor could decide whether he wants to adopt Max or not. The quest to meet with the his dad, the tremor which shook the Evans family after they discovered Connor had a son and the emotional roller-coaster Max had to endure after meeting the Evans was what made this story a touching one.

The Good

This book was easy to read and the author carried the reader through the story quite effortlessly. The over 300-paged novel was generally sad, particularly when it was told from the perspective of seven-year-old Max. The simplicity and purity of his thoughts and actions were generally beautiful and moving. Some people may think Michelle (Connor’s wife) may have overreacted when she discovered her ‘almost perfect’ husband had cheated on her and even had a son and to even make matters worse, had kept it a secret all these years. As a married woman, I think Michelle’s concerns were quite legitimate, especially, when you have had no cause to mistrust your partner.

The Bad

Worldviews are not black or white. There is always that grey portion that sometimes prevents people from distinguishing right and wrong behaviour immediately. The manner in which the characters accepted their faults made the story a little unbelievable. For instance, Kiahna easily accepted that Connor was married. She simply allowed him to go and made no attempt to contact him to even inform him of his son. In her heart, she loved Connor (how she fell in love with a man she spent just a day with is another puzzle to be solved later) and that prevented her from loving any other man (rolling my eyes ). How Connor easily accepted the son he had no idea about without much questioning was a little disbelieving.

I also felt Max was portrayed just too perfectly – he was only seven years. His speech and mannerisms were sometimes unconvincing and too advanced for a little boy. Nonetheless, the story was great.

Recommend or Nah

The broader theme of love and forgiveness in relationships is portrayed well in this story. Karen Kingsbury magnifies the importance of forgiving one another no matter how difficult it is. She also highlights the need to spend time daily with God to know his voice and where He is directing you.

I recommend it to anyone who is having a hard time forgiving a loved one for a mistake they committed. This book is also for people having second thoughts about their faith in God – that is, whether to continue listening to the voice of God or taking matters into their own hands.

Have you read this book? What was your impression? Share with us in the comments section!

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