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It’s 2006, and Pastor Matthew Goodman is arduously navigating the complex megachurch machinery that is Calvary Community Church in Chicago. In a church culture where image is everything, Pastor Goodman, in his mid-50s, feels the sinister effects of aging, the burden of his congregants’ unabating expectations and predictable praise, and the haunting shadow of his charismatic father, a former pastor at the church, looming over his past and present.

When Goodman needs to hire a new assistant, 25-year-old Trish Card applies for the job and is accepted. Stunningly beautiful—and broken-hearted—Trish carries the ache of a fatherless childhood and the emptiness of losing her mother to cancer when she was 10 years old. Trained as a paralegal and a journalist, Trish approaches her job and Pastor Goodman with the skills of a detective and the heart of a fatherless child. Hers is a mission Pastor Goodman is unaware of, one that will have irrevocable repercussions for a man who seeks success at any cost.

Riveting, reflective, and relevant for today, this novel for adults is the first in an upcoming series. Author Cynthia Beach takes an unflinching look at the hard realities of sexual abuse within the church and the generational trauma, destruction, and sorrow it inflicts on individuals and the fellowship of Christ. Well-drawn characters, suspenseful storytelling, and subtle, refreshing hints of gospel truth and liberation make The Surface of Water an enthralling and engaging reading experience. (Soul Seasons)

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