The Surface of Water: A Novel

Pastor Matthew Goodman has it all: a ten-thousand member megachurch, a flourishing broadcast ministry, international influence. His charisma fills the seats at Chicago’s Calvary Community Church. But when outside his office window flashes the white wings of a gull, he looks around his suite. What is this about? Behind him sits Trish Card, whom he will hire as his assistant. He turns. Her somber eyes—beautiful and lake-clear—watch him. What he doesn’t know about Trish and her true reason for appearing will alter his world irrevocably.

(Soul Seasons, 2020; InterVarsity, 2023)


“The Surface of Water is a complex, richly-interwoven story exploring the subtle—and not so subtle—allures of power and wealth.” Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor, Okay for Now, The Wednesday Wars

“Trust Cynthia Beach to weave a good story, create authentic characters and challenge the reader to greater wisdom and compassion. I hope to see more stories as honest as this one.” Vinita Hampton Wright, The Soul Tells a Story

“An intelligent and worthy novel!” Hugh Cook, literary fiction writer

“Pastor Goodman presents readers with a new archetype for a pastor. The ending is one that I will think about for some time.” Bruce Holland Rogers, Pushcart Award winner