Swimming to the Surface – Kristin Billerbeck


I think I like Kristin Billerbeck – but I’m not sure. She’s one of those authors I find difficult to pigeon hole. This is the 4th book of hers that I’ve read.

I really enjoyed What a Girl Wants. I found it refreshingly down to earth and honest, and I’ve re-read it a couple of times. I then bought the two sequels to it, and they didn’t impress me so much.

What I love about Billerbeck is that she writes about real-life issues in a down to earth, honest and often humorous way. What I find difficult, is that she manages to combine that with something superficial and cliché, almost reminiscent of a television drama. These things are somewhat paradoxical, which is why I find her hard to pin down.

This novel, Swimming to the Surface, deals with a real and somewhat confronting issue: A woman who has become disillusioned with the Church because of the way in which they dealt with her in the breakdown of her marriage to her legalistic, mentally unstable, and, as it turns out, homosexual husband. These are heavy topics that do make for a fascinating story. But, somehow, Billerbeck still manages to give the plot a sense of story-book perfection, with many scenes that, to me, seemed unrealistic and cliché.

From what I’ve seen, this book has had quite good reviews, but to be honest, I’m not a fan.

Oh, and it’s the first book I read as an e-book. Probably didn’t help!

7 comments on “Swimming to the Surface – Kristin Billerbeck

  1. booklovers1 says:

    I know exaclty what you mean. I was really looking forward to reading her novel A Billion Reasons Why however didn’t find it that crash hot like I first imagined. Yes, I probably rose my expectations too much. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy the book- it was certainly entertaining. There was just an element missing for me.
    Thanks for you review 🙂 I have been wondering what her other books are like.

    • sarsrose says:

      Hey, Thanks for visiting!! Great you hear your thoughts. Have you read her ‘Ashley Stockingdale’ series? It’s a light, girly read, but I really enjoyed them. Well the first one anyway. The following ones got a bit crazy/superficial! What other authors (christian or otherwise) do you like?

      • booklovers1 says:

        No, this is the first book of hers that I have read.
        Well, there are many Christian authors that I enjoy, but my absolute favourites are: Colleen Coble, Denise Hunter, Jenny B Jones and MaryLu Tyndall. Any book of theirs is guaranteed to be an enjoyable journey!!!

      • sarsrose says:

        Ahh… well try reading ‘What a girl wants.’ Would be interested to know what you think.
        Wow… I’ve actually never read any of those authors!! Can you recommend specific books?
        My absolute fave is Francine Rivers, Some of Karen Kingsbury, particularly the earlier stuff, nor really the later stuff. In fact, I don’t read her anymore. Growing up I loved Janette Oke, and Dee Henderson and Lori Wick, but don’t read them so much anymore. Have read a fair bit of Ted Dekker too and enjoyed that for something different.
        They’re my Christian Authors anyway!

      • booklovers1 says:

        Yes- I love Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series and I have read quite a lot of Janette Oke’s books. But just like you I haven’t read them of late.

        Well, specific books… The Convenient Groom & The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter; Forsaken Dreams & Surrender the Heart by Marylu Tyndall; A Simple Mistake by Andrea Grigg; Just Between You and Me & There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B Jones; and The Lightkeeper’s Bride & Lonestar Secrets by Colleen Coble.
        I know!!!! – They’re a lot of books 🙂 I have posted reviews on all the books mentioned but one by MaryLu Tyndall- Surrender the Heart, but I rate it 5/5!!!

        I hope you get a chance to read at least some 🙂

  2. BooksHQ says:

    I rather enjoyed reading your review here and your honest opinions. Whilst I know nothing about the book, or author, I also write about books and quite often have found myself unsure whether I enjoyed a book or not. Occasionally I’ve read a book I’ve thought boring, yet a year later it’s grown in my memory. Other times there’s only certain aspects I’ve enjoyed. This was certainly the case with Cloud Atlas and The Master and Margarita…

    • sarsrose says:

      Thank you! I know exactly what you mean. I have the opposite happen to. Sometimes, immediately after finishing a book, I’m on a big high about it and feel like it was SUCH a great book, but then it quickly fades and doesn’t stay with me!
      Thanks for visiting my page!

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