Between the urban bustle of Denver and the high-stress environment of a career in neurosurgery, Maggie Sullivan has hit a wall. When an emergency, high-risk procedure results in the death of a teenager, Maggie finds herself in the middle of a malpractice lawsuit—and experiencing levels of anxiety she’s never faced before. It’s in this desperate moment that Maggie’s boyfriend decides he can’t handle her emotional baggage, and she’s left alone, exhausted and unsure of what her future holds. One thing is certain, though: she needs to slow down before she burns out completely, and the best place she can think to do that is Sullivan’s Crossing.
Named for Maggie’s great-grandfather, the land and charming general store at the crossroads of the Colorado and the Continental Divide trails have been passed down through the generations and now belong to Maggie’s estranged father, Sully. Though raised by her mother and stepfather after her parents divorced, Maggie has always adored Sully—despite his hands-off approach to fatherhood. When she shows up unannounced in Sullivan’s Crossing, he welcomes her with opens arms, and she relishes the opportunity to rebuild their relationship.
But when Sully has a sudden heart attack, Maggie’s world is rocked once again. Consumed with his care, she’s relieved to find that Cal Jones, a quiet and serious-looking camper, has been taking over many of Sully’s responsibilities as he recuperates. Still, Maggie is suspicious of this mysterious man’s eagerness to help—until she finds out the true reason for his deliberate isolation.
Though Cal and Maggie each struggle with loss and loneliness, the time they spend together gives Maggie hope for something brighter just on the horizon…if only they can learn to find peace and healing—and perhaps love—with each other.
This was my book club’s book for discussion this month. Though it’s contemporary romance, I found that it was an enjoyable read without being too cliche. However, there were moments when I got scared it might be…
For one, Maggie is a neurosurgeon and the book starts off with her crying in a stairwell. I use to be a fan of Grey’s Anatomy and I couldn’t help but get a sense of deja vu. Fortunately, it was short lived, though I’ll admit I was skeptical throughout the book that it might get back to that point. But it never did and I’m happy about that. Also, if you add in Cal’s former employment (and maybe future one… Trying not to spoil anything here), it is a glaring red sign that’s pointing to how easily it could move into the obvious and overly done story.
As for the story, I really enjoyed the background that Carr created for Maggie’s and Cal’s journeys to rediscovering themselves. There’s a simplistic and wholesome feel to The Crossing. Even better, I enjoyed some of the characters that get introduced throughout the book. Yes, there may have been one too many “incidents”, but there were great moments of humor, where I found myself laughing out loud. It almost had the same feel as a cozy mystery in that aspect. Both work because the crazy, over the top characters and/or occurrences that happen in them. But that’s what makes it so enjoyable.
As for Maggie and Cal, I really appreciated the organic way the author was able to build their relationship. It didn’t feel forced and it wasn’t just because. Each were going through their own struggles and working on trying to figure out where they are going in life. At times, it seemed obvious how things were going to work out and yet, I was happy to find that it wasn’t necessarily rushed. The story unfolds over several months and I can’t express how important that is for a romance.
I really enjoyed this novel… even if it was a romance. I’m just kidding. I may not actively seek them out, but I do enjoy them from time to time. If you are looking for something that has that wholesome feel to it and will leave you wanting more, then I think you’ll love this. If you happen to check it out, I hope you will let me know what you thought!