About the Book
Book: Drawn by the Current
Series: The Windy City Saga #3
Author: Jocelyn Green
Genre: Historical Christian Fiction
Release Date: February 1, 2022
A birthday excursion turns deadly when the SS Eastland capsizes with Olive Pierce and her best friend Claire on board. Hundreds perish during the accident, and it’s only when Olive herself barely escapes that she discovers her friend is among the victims.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, Olive returns to her work at an insurance agency and is soon caught up in the countless investigations related to the accident. But with so many missing, there are few open-and-shut cases, and she tries to balance her grief with the hard work of finding the truth. Is she just overwhelmed, or is someone trying to impede her investigations? When clues surface that impact those closest to her, how deep will she dig?
Newspaper photographer Erik Magnussen begins helping Olive with her cases, and they develop a fast friendship. Just when Olive begins to unravel the secrets, more setbacks arise. It will take everything she’s got to find the truth and stay ahead of those who want to sabotage her progress.
Jocelyn Green novels are some of my most favorite books. The way she weaves historical fact into the lives of beautifully crafted characters makes her stories some of the best in market today. Drawn by the Current, the final installment in The Windy City Saga series, is my new favorite of her stories. There really is a lot to love about this book, but my favorite aspect is that this book got me to talk a lot. For most books, I sit in my comfy chair and ignore the world, but for some really special reads I involve my family (whether they like it or not). Drawn by the Current is one such book that forced me to engage my hubby in multiple conversations. The SS Eastland disaster was discussed on many nights. I am utterly shocked by the gross negligence that caused the devastating deaths of 844 people, and I made sure my husband is aware of this historical atrocity. And the moral and ethical conversations my husband and I engaged in based on the timely themes and topics found in this book were some of the most fun conversations we’ve had in a while. Ultimately, Drawn by the Current is an excellent story — one I won’t soon forget.
This story brings up a lot of difficult life issues such as trauma, PTSD (before it was named), life and death, madness, abuse, identity, and life purpose. There is also a compelling discussion about doing whatever it takes to survive. What I like about this survival conversation is how Green illustrates this topic through multiple perspectives. One of the main characters, Claire, finds herself in an abusive relationship. She enlists the help of the heroine, Olive, to escape this awful relationship because Claire is getting to the point where she won’t survive another round of beatings. Olive agrees to help Claire, but really struggles with what they agree to do. I found that as I was reading, I was more and more frustrated with Olive and her issues with Claire’s plan. Are there sketchy elements to Claire’s plan? Yes. If you look at things from a purely black or white perspective, yes, there are some sketchy aspects to Claire’s plan. And I really LOVE that Green points this out and forces the reader to wrestle with these things as much as Olive does. Because you know what?! Life is messy and it isn’t simply black and white. Life is A LOT of grey.
Man, did I wrestle! Perhaps I wrestled with Olive because Olive comes from a really stable, loving family. She has never experienced a single moment of physical abuse from anyone in her family circle so physical abuse in a marriage is a completely abstract notion to her. Yes, she knows abuse is wrong, and yes, she feels badly for Claire, but Olive is not OK with perpetrating a lie in order to save one life. To Olive, the math doesn’t add up and this pricks at her conscience. To save Claire according to Claire’s plan means that Olive would have to lie to family, friends, and employers, and this makes Olive feel guilty. I do not believe it is ever OK to trade one bad act for another. We should not fight evil with evil. BUT I do think that sometimes the human-made rules we are forced to live within should be bent a little to protect life. Could Claire have come up with a better plan? Sure, if she was in her right mind. But when you are being beaten to the point where you suffer from multiple head wounds, miscarriages, broken ribs, and other broken bones, you stop thinking clearly. You get desperate and you do whatever it takes to not die. If this means a lie looks like the best option, you take it because other solutions don’t seem possible. My issue with Olive is that she never seems to recognize the rock and hard place her best friend finds herself in. She doesn’t acknowledge that Claire doesn’t really have safe options available to her considering the depth of Claire’s husband’s brutality. And she never sees just how desperate Claire is to survive. People who don’t experience certain things will not be able to understand those who are forced to make difficult choices.
Drawn by the Current is a fantastic story that I cannot recommend enough. This story is seriously good and should not be missed. If you are a fan of exquisitely written Historical Romances, or you just want to read a compelling, gripping story, then I highly recommend purchasing a copy of Drawn by the Current today. You will love this book!
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Bethany House Publishers, via NetGalley in order to read and review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.