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Swimming in the Deep End

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  56 reviews
A moving novel entwining the many faces of motherly love

Jillian Cline has the perfect daughter: loving and smart, she's an Olympic hopeful with a bright future. But when Izzy becomes pregnant, Jillian fears that future is lost. Worse, she must confront her own secret past and hope the decisions she's made don't drown their whole family.

Izzy can't believe God let this happe
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Kregel Publications (first published September 2018)
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Average rating 4.47  · 
Rating details
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Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Swimming in the Deep End

Christina Suzann Nelson

Wow wow wow! SWIMMING IN THE DEEP END shredded my heart over and over again! Izzy is the perfect teenage daughter. Or at least that's how her mom, Jillian sees her, but when Izzy gets pregnant, it's as if Jillian's secret past comes back to haunt her. Wow, all I can say is, this story blew me away!

Keep the tissues close by as you are reading THE SWIMMING IN THE DEEP END by Christina Suzann Nelson. Once I started reading, it was very hard to stop! T
Carla Johnson-Hicks
This is a truly character driven story that evoked the full gamut of emotions in this reader. The story covers many issues including destroyed dreams, teen pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, adoption, estranged family members, marital discord, tragic death, grief, and secrets. There are four different points of view: Jillian, who struggles with choices from her past and how the secrets affect her life, Izzy, who is Jillian's high school aged daughter who discovers she is pregnant as well as deali ...more
Kathryn in FL
This a very thought provoking story that will have an emotional impact on the reader. That is a consistent comment among reviewers and I agree.

Ms. Nelson handled the subject matter better than anyone I have read thus far. I had contemplated writing something on this topic but it never developed for me. I am so pleased to read this story as it was exceptional in the storyline, the realistic characters and the messages conveyed. Izzy in particular is so honestly portrayed. Her mother, Jillian is n
Becca-Rae Weidel
Wow, to call this book "moving" is an understatement! Don't attempt to read this book without some tissues handy nearby! The characters are clearly going through the trenches, and the only way this story couldn't affect you is if you never open it up. I literally needed a few moments to compose myself before considering writing my review. This is such a powerful story and absolutely one that won't be forgotten.

A common theme throughout this story is that of regret. No one is immune from it. Whil
Swimming in the Deep End is powerful, moving, and realistic women's fiction that examines the heartache and joy of unplanned pregnancies from every angle. The author uses the first person point of view of generations of women burdened by the crosses of their own mistakes and from their families of origin in the context of an unplanned teen pregnancy, a tragedy, and a young couple whose hearts are ready to love a child - if only they could.

Through it all, the joy of new life and the unique, preci
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It took a while for the story to grab me but about a third of the way into the book, I was hooked. This is an emotionally packed novel. Nelson's writing style is such that I felt the turmoil and pain of each of the four main characters, such as the “perfect” Christian mother devastated by her unwed teen daughter's pregnancy.

There are many issues covered in this book, including destroyed dreams, teen pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, adoption, estranged family members, marital discord, and tragic
Deborah Raney
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a wonderful, warm, full-circle story of hope! I loved this author's first novel, IF WE MAKE IT HOME, but this one was even more heartwarming and compelling. Bring a box of tissues, be prepared to fall in love with these characters, and close the book at the end with a happy sigh. ...more
Dec 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: empty-shelf-2018
From reading other reviews it seems as though I am in the minority when it comes to my thoughts about this book. First, this is the first book by this author that I've read. I was originally asked by Kregel publications to review this book and then signed up for the review tour with Just Reads because I already had a copy.

Overall this is a good read. Ms. Nelson pulls at the heart strings which keeps you reading. Hidden secrets create an intrigue to find out what drives the women in the book to m
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a moving story that covers many issues involving teen pregnancy, grief, keeping secrets, estranged family members, and many other things that go along with each of those.
The tale is told from four different points of view: Jillian, who struggles with choices from her past that continue to affect her life, marriage, and parenting. Izzy, who is Jillian's high school aged daughter and has a future in competitive swimming, yet discovers she is pregnant. Margaret is the mother of Travis, Izz
Emily Yager
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is written in a way that tells the same story from four different points of views, that deals with some emotional and some difficult issues. It took me a little while before I really got into this story, mostly because I had a hard time relating to some of the aspects in this book. Overall, I enjoyed this story. Be warned, you will need a box of tissues when reading this beautifully written emotional book.
Carole Jarvis
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

Emotionally gripping, bittersweet, compelling and heartwarming … Swimming in the Deep End is an engrossing read that I highly recommend. In a realistic and thought-provoking way, it shines the light on emotional themes of teen pregnancy, abortion, infertility, and adoption.

I grew up loving women’s fiction and have long been frustrated at the lack of these stories in Christian fiction. With the release of Swimming in the Deep End, Christina Su
Debi Lantzer Stout
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rating 4.5 Stars!!
Back in October, I received an email from Ms. Nelson asking if I would be interested in reading her book, Swimming in the Deep. I responded with a quick "yes" based on what I had read about the book.  Just a couple of weeks later, JustRead Tours sent out a sign up for their Blog Tour for the same book and I couldn't help but to sign up since I knew the book would soon be coming in the mail!

To be honest, I get hundreds of emails every week from publishing companies and authors a
Swimming in the Deep End by Christina Suzann Nelson is a powerful and inspiring story of four women whose stories intertwine. From page one, readers will be pulled into the book as the characters and stories of these four women spring from the pages and become real to the reader. Readers will follow the women through some of the hard times in their lives and watch as they learn, grow, blossom, and overcome these struggles through hope. There is also a strong theme of handling and dealing with te ...more
Caitlyn Santi
I don't often read women's fiction novels, but the description of this one intrigued me so I jumped at the opportunity to review it! This is an absolutely wonderful book that I very much enjoyed reading. Swimming in the Deep End does touch on some tough subjects (teen pregnancy, abortion, family issues, grief after the loss of a loved one) but I felt that all these topics were handled with fabulous grace in a manner that most readers would not find offensive.
This book is told in first person PO
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This author has tackled a difficult subject and she has done so in a way that gripped me from page one. By the last few pages, I was bawling like a baby. What a touching story of hope in difficult circumstances.
I loved how the characters paths were interwoven. Cleverly done.
This story is written in the first person which makes it all the more intense.
Kellie Stocker
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I finished reading this book on a snowy day. As the snow fell and I reached the last few pages my tears fell. The story has an array of characters and the strength of many women who choose life. Great read and I look forward to reading another from this author!
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book will break your heart open but in the breaking you will see the light hope. 

I was drawn into the brokenness of this book. The secrets that have been kept buried but needed to come up for air to set the characters free. 

My words are not enough to express how deeply this book touched my heart. This is a must read. If you are looking for a book that will move you pick this one up and be prepared to take a look at some tough truths. 

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalle
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Swimming in the Deep End has so many dimensions; Christina Nelson addresses life-changing, heart-wrenching decisions regarding teenage pregnancy, adoption, abortion, all told from the various characters’ point of views, and how those issues affect marital and family relationships. Yet it remains a powerful novel showing how these characters’ lives are interwoven, with a few surprises sprinkled in. At times you’ll find yourself crying, other times rooting on one of the precious pregnant women, an ...more
Sarah Bowe
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-arcs
An emotional story all about the love of a mother. There are 4 mothers that we follow the journey of. Mistakes are made and have the mothers wondering where they went wrong. Get ready for the tissues at the end!
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Swimming in the Deep End is a women’s fiction novel by author Christina Suzann Nelson. I chose to read this novel because I reviewed another book by this same author and it’s published by a publisher I trust, Kregel.

There is a gamut of emotions throughout the book as the author touches on some tough subjects. A couple of the subjects are teen pregnancy and abortion, there are others. I do wish the author would have gone into a deeper relationship with God, not just a brief mention here and there
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Swimming in the Deep End, by new author Christina Suzann Nelson, is a tale I will not soon forget!

This book is set up to tell the same story from four different perspectives. First, you meet Jillian, mother to Izzy, a teenager who has a life ahead of her in competitive swimming. Jillian daily struggles with a secret, she has kept hidden for twenty years. Then, you are introduced to Izzy, whose life is about to change, when she discovers she is pregnant. Izzy and her boyfriend, Travis, must make
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-reviewed
Oh, the deep emotions I experienced while reading this book! I am still wading through the waves they have made in my life this week. Christina Suzann Nelson is a fairly new author to me, but I believe I'll be reading more of her works.
This story was compelling and so full of relational aspects. It was well written and flowed smoothly, so smooth that at the end my heart was spilling all over the place. I felt I knew these women and had walked with them through all their issues. I ached with tho
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Christina Suzann Nelson’s latest novel, Swimming in the Deep End, has the perfect title. As women—mothers, grandmothers, daughters, or sisters—we often feel we swim in the deep end when it comes to the women we love. We care for them, we want the best for them, we hurt with them and rejoice with them. Readers will do all these things as they travel with Nelson’s characters on journeys of discovery, acceptance, and love. We are caught up in these stories of babies, friends, and family. Nelson’s w ...more
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This story was very well written. Keep the tissues handy as Ms Nelson has written an extremely emotional story. The issues are hard, & gritty. There is no soft & easy life. Rather it tackles life's questions "which choice is the better choice when there is no best choice available?" I enjoyed her ability to show each characters thought processes, & what led them to think the way that they did. It was a deep book that I would highly recommend. I would clarify that there are some trigger issu ...more
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked it. I think the reason I didn’t love it is because of the stage of life I’m in. I really couldn’t relate to any of the characters. But! I do think it’s a good story of pregnancy from lots of viewpoints. Teenagers, infertility, addicts, adoption, pregnancy centers, life and death and how babies affect families. Good read!
Anne Marie
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This was a very moving book. Izzy (17 years old), Jillian (Izzy's mother), Margaret (Mrs. Owens, mother of Izzy's deceased "baby-daddy"), and Stacey (desperate to adopt a child), are the four major narrators, but their stories touch and affect other women around them, too. Keep a box of tissues handy; you'll need them.

(Editing oversights found in the Kindle version of Swimming In The Deep End:

Location 147, a couple Christmases ago / a couple OF Christmases ago ; 162, but what can we expect from
Jessica Higgins
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a prime example of how everything can come full circle.

Izzy Cline is a terrific swimmer who has a dream of competing in the Olympics. At least until she realizes that she is pregnant. Still in high school, she and her boyfriend Travis had plans. He was going to be the first in his family to go to college and he would do it on a baseball scholarship. Izzy would swim in college and at the Olympics. That all seems like a distant dream now. At least nothing can tear her and Travis apart
Kristie Ingerto
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Swimming in the Deep End" is such a moving story of lives that intersect and the grace that can be shown to ourselves and each other and the power of that.

It is so easy to think that a choice, that one decision that we
made is only impacting ourselves and it not that big of a deal;
however every choice that is made has a consequence, whether
positive or negative for ourselves and for others around us.
This is shown through this book, as Jillian, Izzy, Margaret and
Stacey are all dealing with thin
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Swimming in the Deep End by Christina Suzann Nelson tackles the lives of four women whose struggles impact their lives and the lives of their families, and not always in a positive way. Searching for redemption and grace, each strives to resolve these struggles alone, in their own way. It isn’t until truthfulness, with themselves and others, that healing and grace are finally found.

The teenaged daughter finds herself in quite a predicament after a decision results in serious consequences. A mot
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Christina Suzann Nelson is an inspirational speaker and the award-winning author of If We Make It Home, Swimming in the Deep End, and More Than We Remember. The Way It Should Be releases February 2, 2021.She writes and speaks about hope after dysfunction. Christina is over the top about her passion for faith, family, fiction, and foster care. When she’s not writing, she’s working with the Every Ch ...more

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