Paperback (also available as an e-book), 979-0-8664-9745-9, 476 pgs., $12.99
July 19, 2020
“It’s not about low water—it’s a low place, a low crossing, might take you through swift-running water if there’s a lot of rain. You have to be careful. The rushing water could push you off the road. That’s why there’s always warning signs.”
Love, loss, and love again provide hope for a man who wants only to be loved in return. Wayne Cheadham is a central citizen in Sulfur Gap, Texas, with his own ranch; a large, quirky lawn ornament; a penchant for collecting stray animals in need of a stable home and befriending a couple of children in need of a positive role model. Wayne’s sexy cowboy good looks and easy manner also attract plenty of women, and Low Water Crossing traces Wayne’s marital journey from the late 1980s to 2013, encompassing three women and a son named Luck.
Low Water Crossing by Dana Glossbrenner is book two in the Sulfur Gap series, which began with The Lark, published in 2016. While both books can stand alone, Low Water Crossing does hark back to The Lark, especially toward the end. Both books are a delight, with Low Water Crossing starting with a bang when a skeleton is unearthed on Wayne’s ranch.
What follows is the past succession of three women in Wayne’s life throughout the years. Lucy is troubled and damaged from abuse and a vengeful mother; Cynthia harbors a secret and often rubs people the wrong way with her religious zeal; Lou captures everyone’s heart with her strong character and down-to-earth attitude. By the end, Wayne finds contentment and happiness and finally learns the identity of both the dead body found on his ranch and the killer.
Glossbrenner successfully presents several love stories and a mystery all in one tale, with a hefty dose of Texas small town gossip, charm, and spunky characters. The light mood of romance is often tempered with the more serious themes of post-traumatic stress disorder, the effects on children of divorce or abandonment, guilty consciences, repercussions from bad choices, and the struggle to cope with the uncertainty and loss that often come with loving someone deeply and unconditionally.
An overarching theme in Low Water Crossing is relationships that are hurtful, loving, and healing. Wayne’s relationships with others are easy, open, honest, and peaceful, but he is not perfect and carries his own baggage into adulthood, such as dealing with a mean father and harboring an antagonistic attitude toward Sulfur Gap’s sheriff. In every other aspect, Wayne is a fantastic, almost too perfect main character.
Most of the story is told from the points of view of the three women, with an occasional interlude providing a brief look into Wayne’s thoughts. This construction is unusual for a main character but works well because the women see different qualities as Wayne matures and navigates the pitfalls, ambiguities, and levels of trust in each relationship.
Glossbrenner’s writing and pacing keep the reader fully engaged and reluctant to reach the end of the story because “settin’ a spell” in Sulfur Gap among friends and family is such a pleasure. Low Water Crossing is the perfect story for the reader who wants a lot of drama and a little mystery mixed with the romance, as well as a whole lot of a Texas cowboy who is a true gentleman, loves with his whole heart, and hurts deeply when betrayed or left behind to pick up the pieces and move on.
With so many great books published in such a big state, we'll reach only a fraction of them in our editorial reviews. While we don't accept solicitations for Lone Star Reviews, if you need a professionally written review to reach Texas readers and booksellers—timed with your launch—consider our Lone Star Sponsored Reviews service.