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Cross Currents by John Shors

Cross Currents by John Shors is set in the paradise of Ko Phi Phi in Thailand in 2004 as the lives of two families — struggling resort owners Lek and Sarai and brothers Patch and Ryan — cross paths.  In paradise anything seems possible, especially for Patch who is running from the Thai police after a stupid mistake, but even more so for Lek and Sarai’s children with so much ahead of them.

From the moment readers enter Shors’ world, readers are engrossed in the sand, the sun, the stars, and the humidity of the jungles and the resort shops that wait for tourists to arrive.  Lek and Sarai’s plight will draw empathy from readers, but what is more stunning is the strength they show on a daily basis.  It is enough to see Sarai cook, clean, massage, and devise new ways to earn income for her family, while her husband is dreaming and keeping their spirits lively.

“Lek opened his eyes, though his body remained as still as the gecko on the ceiling.  He watched it, as he often did, admiring its patience, aware of its seemingly perpetual hunger.  The creature was the length of his forefinger, and the color of mahogany.  Lek enjoyed gazing at the gecko, though he was jealous of its speed.  If a moth landed nearby, the gecko moved as if lightning filled its veins.  Yet in the absence of insects, the gecko was without motion, a silent sentinel that protected Lek’s home from airborne invaders.” (page 1)

Shors attention to detail draws a larger comparison between the characters he creates and the environment within which they live.  Patch has been helping out the Thai family, building a path, repairing bungalows, and more — almost as though he is doing penance.  In the midst of this work, Patch becomes like part of the family and he begins to feel at home, but that sense of contentment is uprooted once his brother Ryan comes to rescue him.

Cross Currents by John Shors is a devastatingly beautiful novel.  The ground beneath these characters continues to shift, placing them in harm’s way and bringing them closer.  Shors is a master at breathing life into different cultures and bringing different people together to demonstrate the power of love.  It is a novel about family, friends, and much more.  These characters are stronger for their struggles and for having known one another, and readers will not forget them.  A perfect candidate to nominate for the Indie Lit Awards literary fiction category.

Interested in other books by John Shors, check out my review of Dragon House and my interview with the author.  As with his other books, Shors will be making a donation from the sale proceeds of Cross Currents to the International Red Cross.

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  • This book sounds amazing! I’m hoping for a chance to read it!

  • Harvee/Book Dilettante

    This is on my wish list! The writing is very descriptive and that part of Thailand is lovely!

    • I hope you check it out. Loved this book.

  • I have not read this author yet but think I need to put him on my must read soon list. Seeing this one is your favorite of his books, this may be the one I should start with.

    • I would start with this one. phenomenal.

  • Putting this one right on my to-buy list! It sounds so evocative and the quote you inserted shows a lovely flow to the writing. thanks for the review!

    • I hope you pick up a copy and let me know how you enjoyed it.

  • I love the way this author transports the reader to a foreign locale in his books. I have this one and am looking forward to it (especially after reading your thoughts). Thanks Serena.

    • Diane, I hope you enjoy it. I really loved it and I read Dar at Peeking Between the Pages and she loved it as well. We both count it as a favorite.

  • I really want to read this author… One day!

    • You should start now.

  • I love stories that transport me to a different place. This exotic setting and the characters sound perfect.

    • Janel, I think you would really enjoy this.

  • I love the fact that Shors donates some of the proceeds of his books to charities. This sounds like another winner!

    • That’s one thing I’ve always loved about him as a person. Shors is so giving of himself and his gift. Honestly, Kathy, this is my favorite of his books. It was astonishing.

  • So glad to see you liked it. It sounds fantastic, and the cover is gorgeous!

    • I really loved it. The cover is gorgeous…too bad I have the plain ARC. I may have to get a nice copy for myself later.