Of Fish, Boats, Faith and Friendship: A Book Review

crossing” ‘Look at you! So happy! You like fishing, no?’ I laugh and nod. Yes, this makes me happy, but I am here for more than this, of course. I have not tried to explain to him the fuller reason I am here, my own search. I do not tell him that I cannot know this place without being on its waters. I do not tell him that I am here to find the real gospel. And how do I explain that I am here on this lake to find Jesus in my own waters back home? I can hardly explain it to myself.” ~ Leslie Leyland Fields, fisherwoman, author, writer and mentor from her book Crossing the Waters: Following Jesus through the Storms, the Fish, the Doubt, and the Seas.

Lesley Leyland Fields hiked around and sailed upon the Sea of Galilee a few years ago in a quest to know more deeply what it means when Jesus calls us to “Come, follow me.” In her new book “Crossing the Waters”, Leslie carries her readers through her exploration of waters, deep and wide, both on the shores Jesus walked and on the other side of the world in the Gulf of Alaska.

Leslie, her husband and their six children run a commercial fishing operation from their own island off the coast of Kodiak Island in Alaska. She has been a fisherwoman for nearly 40 years. This is her 10th book.

I could heartily recommend “Crossing the Waters” based solely on my reading of it. Written in Leslie’s vivid narrative style, this study of the gospels is filled with Biblical truths, beautiful stories and profound insights. I have enjoyed other titles by this talented, prolific author and I trust her to move and inspire me as a writer, a mother, a woman, a daughter, and a follower of Christ (read about her other books here).

But on a personal level, I urge you to pick up Leslie’s latest book because I recently enjoyed exploring Alaska. And because I know Leslie as a mentor and friend.

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Nearly a year ago, I spent a week learning under Leslie’s tutelage, along with a dozen other writers, on the western shore of Lake Michigan. Each day, we gathered before a stone fireplace in the knotty pine living room of a lakefront cottage. Leslie shared writing tips, prompts and wisdom. She also critiqued our submitted work and made suggestions for ways we could better tell our stories. I came away from the workshop challenged and changed, both as a writer and as a woman.

While Leslie generously gave us her undivided attention during those writing sessions, she also spent every available spare minute throughout our week at the lake making final edits to this book. In fact, our little writing group gave her some encouragement as she faced an important change in her project, resulting in a mention in the acknowledgements.

“Crossing the Waters: Following Jesus through the Storms, the Fish, the Doubt, and the Seas” carries us back and forth across 2000 years, from the seaside of our Savior to the churning shore of Alaska’s gulf coast. At the same time, it plunges us deep into scripture as we examine for ourselves what it means to walk in the footsteps of the early disciples. Whether from the deck of a salmon fishing skiff or the bow of an early sailing boat, we are led to go deeper into our faith.

Share this book with a small group or a Sunday school class by accessing the discussion questions provided for each chapter.

I am giving away a copy of Leslie’s book to one lucky reader who leaves a comment here between now and midnight Friday. Don’t miss the chance to read Leslie’s latest work, which currently has a five-star review on Amazon! Jump below my photos from our recent trip to Alaska to comment.

A glacier off the southern coast of Alaska
A glacier off the southern coast of Alaska
Seals warming themselves on rocks in the fjords
Seals warming themselves on rocks in the fjords
A misty morning view in southern Alaska
A misty morning view in southern Alaska
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Denali
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A beautiful valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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