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Crooked Lines

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Two continents. Two cultures. Two souls seek hope and a future.

On the shores of Lake Michigan, Rebecca Meyer seeks escape. Guilt-ridden over her little sister’s death, she sets her heart on India, a symbol of peace.

Across the ocean in South India, Sagai Raj leaves his tranquil hill station home and impoverished family to answer a higher calling. Pushing through diverse cul
Paperback, 367 pages
Published July 22nd 2014 by AMDG (first published July 20th 2014)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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Rick Bylina
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read an ARC of this book. It is a fascinating blend of two cultures and two life paths in a well-written, inspirational story that puts God in the middle of their hearts’ desires and making Him the ultimate match-maker. Whether you are in it for the positive Christian message, love story, or just tempted by the sights and sounds of distant lands (okay, Wisconsin is as distant for some as India is for others), you're sure to enjoy this read.
Holly Michael
Crooked Lines, a beautifully crafted debut novel, threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. Compelling characters struggle with spirituality through despair and deceptions in search of truth. ...more
Alicia Ruggieri
When I started reading Crooked Lines, I figured that I’d pick it up, read a few chapters, and set it down again. That did not happen. This book grabbed me by the shirt collar. I gobbled it up in just a couple of reading sessions. I found myself scraping for more time to finish this intriguing, interwoven story of Rebecca – a girl from Wisconsin – and Sagai – a Catholic priest-in-training from India.

With a splendidly easy writing style, the author weaves a tale of how God can and does use the hor
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
At first I wasn’t sure what to think about this book – the beginning was intriguing but since Holly is a debut author I honestly was worried that her writing wouldn’t be up to what I was used too. I was wrong. Holly’s debut book starts out with an intriguing sentence, “It didn’t occur to me at the edge of the pond that I’d broken the sixth commandment, actually committed murder.” Now that is a way to start a book and pull the reader in – at least this reader. When Holly put out the call for revi ...more
Christine Lindsay
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended
I suppose it's no surprise to some that I would absolutely LOVE Crooked Lines. It's set in modern-day India. But that's not the only reason. Sure the setting takes me back to the land I fell in love with over the years when I dreamed of exotic India from afar (like the main character in the book) and from my one and only visit.

But my reasons for highly recommending this book have more to do with the beautiful entwining of two characters and two cultures over decades. I was mesmerized reading th
Katie Cross
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Oh my goodness, where to start?

First of all, I thought this was a romance. It is SO not a romance, which actually helps me love it better, to be honest. It's more a journey with a couple of very lovable people throughout their lives.

I don't have much experience with the Catholic church, so perhaps what I loved best was taking the journey with Sagai through his faith, and all the experiences he has. I was angry for him, heartbroken for him, rejoiced with him, and in the end, just wanted the best
Caryl McAdoo
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful tapestry of God's weaving, Holly Michael's debut novel CROOKED LINES will stay with you long after the last page. The threads gently intertwine as two souls on opposite sides of the world reach for faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love! And I believe you will love this book as I did.

The setting is split between India where Sagai becomes a man while in the church studying toward the goal of becoming a priest. He loves God with his whole heart and longs only to serve
Penny Marks
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a powerful read. Two worlds drawn together by God's plan. This book was well written and completely drew me into the story. Each of these characters have gone through great trials in life. On one side of the world you have Sagai Raj in India getting ready to enter the priesthood and in the US you have Rebecca Meyer being drawn to India. Sagai has been feeling pressure from superiors in power. All he wants is to help people and show God's love. What does God have planned for him?
Darlene Foster
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An inspirational story of two very different individuals, living halfway around the world from each other, dealing with the trials of life. One lives in North America and one in India. This well written and believable story, makes you feel the pain of these two contemporary young people as they struggle. It is a story about destiny that proves God does work in mysterious ways. I loved the descriptions of India and the different regions of that diverse country. The characters are well developed, ...more
Aug 14, 2014 rated it liked it
I really wish I could separate this book and give the Indian story a 5 while giving the American girl part a 1. Although Rebecca Meyer's story starts out strong she becomes weak, loathsome and almost unbearable to read by the middle to end of the book. If it were not for Sagai's story I would not have finished this book. The author regularly travels to South India and that really shows; the color and texture of India are amazing. But plotwise it was not a strong book. The ending seemed very abru ...more
Paula Ackley
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a great book! As you follow the lives of two people living half a world apart from each other you can't help cheering for them and crying with them. As their life's path takes twists and turns you hope that they get to fulfill their dreams. With determination and faith they continue along life's journey knowing that God does have a plan and that His plan for you doesn't necessarily coincide with yours. This book touched my heart. I hope to read more from Ms. Michael.
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. The author does a wonderful job of describing two different cultures and telling the stories of two different characters at the same time. I was pulled into the story line and the characters from the first pages. It is a beautiful story of how God can make straight the crooked paths we sometimes walk. I really enjoyed this debut novel and will look forward to future books from this author. I was gifted with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Ashlee Willis
Dec 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
A unique book that follows the separate stories of two people who are intertwined, yet half a world apart. The author has a fresh, admirable way with words and storytelling. The story itself is one that has a great message at heart. Recommend!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review :)
Francene Stanley
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From opposite sides of the world, two teens skitter stones over the top of water. When they take their place in the adult world, the author reveals with an amazing understanding how, although the depths of their lives swirl with different challenges, kindred spirits float over the sea of life.
Edith Parzefall
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Crooked Lines builds bridges across cultures. Tragedy, spirituality and survival of the human heart in the face of cruel adversity lie at the center of this fascinating and ultimately uplifting novel. Crooked Lines held me spell-bound.
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Crooked Lines by Holly Michael...what an amazing debut book. I just could not put it down, and felt bereft as I came to the end and had to leave the familiar characters behind.
The novel has the parallel stories of Rebecca in America and Sagai in India. it begins in 1985 and follows the action over the next twenty years. Both are the seventh child in their families, and neither quite fit in. As the story opens, so both have seen a dead body floating face down in water. for Rebecca, it is her seve
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Crooked Lines
By: Holly Michael

This is a very interesting story. While Rebecca Meyer is going through life and what’s happening to her, on the other side of the world, in India, Sagai Raj is going through the procedures to become a priest. Both are following different paths, but they both end up asking the same question: Where do I go from here? By the end of the story they end up at the same place-relying on God for their futures.

Rebecca Meyer has had a difficult life and just wanted to get awa
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Teenage Rebecca Meyer, of White Gull Bay, Wisconsin, blames herself for the death of her seven-year-old sister, Kara. The seventh of nine (now eight) children, her desire is to finish high school, and then to travel to India. Sagai Raj is also the seventh child in his family, and he also wants to leave his home village of Sheveroy Hills, Tamil Nada, South India, to become a Catholic priest. Both find the journey long and difficult, and have to reconsider their beliefs and ambitions.

“It didn’t
Nadine Keels
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While book covers may or may not immediately catch my attention, they're rarely what persuade me to read a book. However, running across the beautiful image of the Taj Mahal against a blue sky set over sunset-hued water is what made me want to read Crooked Lines.

I liked seeing the parallels between Rebecca's and Sagai's lives in different worlds, and I enjoyed the story of Sagai's challenging journey to priesthood the most. I could have been watching a documentary about him or could've been righ
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Crooked lines follows the lives of Rebecca Meyer and Sagai Raj from childhood through their thirties. It chronicles their trails through Sagai’s vocation and Rebecca’s relationship. In her early years, Rebecca lost her sister Kara, the baby of her 6 siblings, and the one she was closest to. During this trial, Rebecca feels as if she lost her connection to a God whom she had known so well. Despite the guilt she feels for the tragedy involving Kara, she makes a plan for peace and happiness in life ...more
Gail Johnson
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rebecca Meyer (America)

I found the character, Rebecca, a complex character evoking complex feelings. On the one hand, I cried for the little girl. Her solitude caused by the guilt of her sister’s murder was a great weight for a girl to carry. Add the mother’s attitude toward her and you get a sad childhood. I was glad to see a more mature and happier Rebecca at the end of the book.

There is also a thread of suspense I wished we could have delved into a little deeper. But because this book has two
Donna Kimpel
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Powerful Spiritual Truths in Fiction!!!! Must Read!!! 5 star read!!!!

Wow!!! This book is a must read. Rebecca lives in America on the shores of Lake Michigan and blames herself for her younger sisters death. She searches for meaning and truth in her life. She yearns to go to India. Sagai lives across the world from her in South India and leaves his poor family to become a priest. He tries through every test to draw closer to God. Rebecca feels that God let her down from the time of her sisters d
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews

Crooked Lines is Holly’s debut novel… but she is no novice to writing! She’s published in various magazines, newspapers, and in Guideposts books. Crooked Lines is a beautiful story – yes there is heartbreak, but there is faith, hope and love, too.

The story begins with Rebecca who lives in Wisconsin; her opening lines are intrinsic to the story…

“It didn’t occur to me at the edge of the pond that I’d broken the sixth commandment, actually committed murder.”

Rebecca leaves home on a search to find G
Jul 26, 2014 added it
I received Crooked Lines as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

Please note: the lack of stars isn't a reflection on the writing; it's simply that, even after reading the entire book, I don't feel qualified to rate/review it. I did not realize this was Christian fiction when I entered the giveaway, and as a content non-Christian, I feel like I'm not the audience for this book. Even so, the author, Holly, signed and wrote a lovely little note in my book, which many authors don't take the time to do, and
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received the e-version of this book from Goodreads and hadn't read any blurb so had no idea what to expect but surprisingly I was hooked from the first paragraph.

Crooked Lines is an account of the emotional and spiritual journey of an American girl following a dreadful tragedy and an Indian boy who feels his destiny is to become a priest. The storyline alternates between the two which can be annoying at times but generally flows quite smoothly.

Each new chapter begins with a relevant quote whic
Laurie Penner
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was so unusual that it’s hard to describe. It says it’s a novel but I’m inclined to think it must be partly based on a true story, because how could anyone possibly make up such an amazing tale or characters? The two lives portrayed back and forth in each chapter are on opposite sides of the world yet also connected by God in many ways. As Sagai and Rebecca grow up and become adults, they encounter similar life-changing circumstances. Not even knowing each other yet, they experience ma ...more
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
__God writes straight with crooked lines__ -- Portuguese Bishop In the 16th Century
I was surprised at how much I liked this story since I am not a religious person, and this book is based on religion. I do not like it when an author tries to force a point of view on the reader, and she did not. I enjoyed seeing how each of these main characters were affected by religion, sometime good and sometimes not so, but always staying firm in their convictions. The story takes us back and forth between Re
Cheryl Roth
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually read a whole book through the Kindle App on my phone, but this one was so good that I couldn't put the phone down. It was suspenseful, dramatic and real all at the same time. There are 2 main characters living in different countries and the chapters alternate between these 2 people's lives. Parallels exist yet their lives and experiences couldn't be more different. It seems doubtful that they would ever meet and even if they do someday meet, what would be the outcome of that? Eac ...more
Aug 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Crooked Lines is about two cultures, miles apart, connected by faith and adversity and triumph of the human spirit. The story flips back and forth telling the stories of Rebecca and Sagai.. Rebecca is a young girl trying to escape the pain and guilt of losing her baby sister. She continuously makes bad decisions as she tries to get her life in order. Her story made me very angry and sad. On the other side of the world is Sagai who is going through the difficult procedure of becoming a priest. Bo ...more
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

This moving story is told from two points of view, one in first person for Rebecca and the other in third for Sagai. Sometimes I don’t enjoy multiple points of view, but in this case they add to the emotional impact of the story, allowing the reader to share in Rebecca’s dream of Sagai before she even knows who he is. Through a mutual friend who is a priest, they learn of each other as they experience heartache and trials that are separated b
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Award Winning Author Holly Michael-published in various magazines, newspapers, and in Guideposts books-released her debut novel, Crooked Lines in 2014. She lives in Missouri and has three adult children--daughter Betsy, and two sons who play football—Jake (NFL) and Nick (Rajin’ Cajuns).

Visit Holly at
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“If I could turn my thoughts into spoken words and share them with someone, they’d become real and mean something. Now, they were only lines that could be erased when I didn’t feel them anymore or hopeful thoughts that, like shadows, would disappear when the sun went away. - Rebecca Meyer, Crooked Lines” 0 likes
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