Historical Fiction Book Review: Across the Blue
Publisher's Description"Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don't approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson's new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson's newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella's heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella's faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?"
Across the Blue, by Carrie Turansky, is an especially charming historical fiction novel set primarily in England during the Edwardian era. I greatly admire Ms. Turansky’s elegant and expressive writing. Her elaborate descriptions of the clothing, manners, customs, and culture of a time long since faded into memory make this novel especially fascinating and engaging.
The characters within this book are truly authentic and relatable. I found myself easily invested in their stories, sincerely caring about them and eagerly turning the pages to learn more about them and their fears, their dreams, and their faith. The gently unfolding romance in this novel is wonderfully endearing and heart-warming. Ms. Turansky has the talent to ensure that the mere touching of two foreheads is a literary moment so sweetly thrilling that it causes you to pause in your breathing.
The compelling mystery within this story, the focus on early advancements in aviation, and the expectations placed upon women at the turn of the last century quickly became my favorite components of the overall plot. Like all great stories, Across the Blue artfully integrates an intriguing thematic combination of struggle and success, heartache and hope, and loss and restoration. With its thoroughly satisfying blend of history, romance, faith, and mystery, Across the Blue is a well-written, delightfully entertaining novel that I can enthusiastically recommend to all readers.
Within the pages of this novel, the characters display a tremendous depth of patience. They must wait frequently. They wait for favorable weather. They wait for equipment to be fixed. They wait for their work to be approved and accepted. They wait for social events to occur. They wait for answers. They wait for their dreams to be realized. Yet, in all their waiting, there exists a patient trust that all things will work out as they should according to God’s perfect will and timing. Throughout this book, the characters’ patient perseverance is evidence of a faith grounded in a God who is always trustworthy. How uplifting it is to find examples of patient hope woven into the words and sentences of a fictional story! What a treasure it is to have novels like Across the Blue that overflow with affirming examples of humble endurance!