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An Ocean Away

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The Advocate



An Ocean Away by Lisa Harris

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"...an engaging, redemptive storyline readers will enjoy."

Life along the banks of the rugged Zambezi River in southern Africa is not always easy or safe for foreigners, but it’s the only home she has ever known. Raised by missionary parents, Lizzie MacTavish wants to stay with the people God called her to work with after her parent’s death.

Set in 1921, An Ocean Away is a tale of two paradoxical cultures: Northern Rhodesia and New York City. Simple and impoverished . . . the upper class and elite. She is caught between two worlds not feeling like she fits into either of them.
Andrew Styles, anthropologist/explorer wannabe, has been paid substantially to bring Ms. MacTavish back to New York City at the bequest of her deceased grandfather’s will. He explains she has a fortune waiting for her back in America which could help her adopted family in Northern Rhodesia. And yet, the fortune comes with conditions.

An Ocean Away is a tale of two different faith journeys to embrace God with one of them running away and the other one hiding.

After tribal conflict erupts between two villages, coupled with a seemingly random attack on Lizzie, she reluctantly and tearfully leaves even while vowing to return in the future. Lizzie is ill-prepared for many of her new encounters in NYC and begins to long for the company and protection of her rough, yet intriguing explorer friend.

The intensity level of An Ocean Away pales in comparison to Harris’ previous historical thrillers, Blood Covenant and Blood Ransom. Yet, her newest effort is an engaging, redemptive storyline readers will enjoy.

Her character-driven story overflows with depth evoking the reader’s empathy. Vivid detail from Harris helps the reader step into the diverse scenes of the book. Amidst the secrets and deceit, compassion and a servant heart permeate these pages.

If you enjoy historical novels, you’ll celebrate this 1920’s rendering of an adventurous rags and riches, fame and famine drama.

Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.