Monday, February 18, 2013

Christian Novels Worth Reading

Confession: I enjoy fluffy romances, the books so generic that libraries don't even shelve them with other fiction novels. I like knowing from the beginning that He and She will fall in love and live happily ever after. (In related news, I also read all the spoilers I can find before watching a new movie.) What I don't like are books that provide me with explicit descriptions of every act of love.

Predicting which romances will be explicit can be difficult, so at the library I stick to Harlequin Heartwarmers or Love Inspired. The former are usually pretty good (again, keeping in mind the genre), but the latter often lack... plot. I think what sells many of the Love Inspired titles is simply that they are Christian. There are some gems out there, but many of the books leave me, well, uninspired.

What do you think? Could I be on the cover of an Inspirational Romance? :-)
Photo credit: Eric Brophy, photobloke.smugmug.com

The other problem I have with many titles in the Love Inspired series (and much of Christian fiction in general) is that the Christian content seems contrived. It's as if the author wrote a decent short story, then went back and filled it in with prayers for guidance and true love, the obligatory church picnic, and a couple sermons. The narrative is stilted and the Christian references are sometimes jarring.

I have discovered a few Christian novels I truly enjoy. First, any book by  Kristen Heitzmann, who writes suspense/romance novels with Christian messages are woven into an actual story. I have read five or six of her novels and enjoyed every one. I like The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen, which I picked up as a free ebook from Barnes&Noble during a sale. I haven't read any of her other novels yet, but I plan on it! I recently read Fallen Angels by Patricia Hickman. This is historical fiction (set in the Great Depression), so a departure from romance, but it was so well-written that I intend to seek out more of her work as well. Finally, a few weeks ago I reread Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, a novel I enjoyed as a child and hadn't read since. I was pleasantly surprised to find strong Christian messages in this novel, too.

What Christian novels can you recommend? I would love to expand my library!

6 comments:

  1. Not a romance novel, but have you read "The Shack"? I'd be interested in your take on it.

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    1. I haven't. If it's at the library, maybe I'll check it out next time we go to play trains - uh, I mean look for educational books. :-)

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  2. Try Francine Rivers, "Redeeming Love" powerful love story. I also really liked her 2 book set "Her Mother's Hope" and " Her Daughter's Dream". This tells the story of generations of women in a family.



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    1. You're the second person to recommend that title! I'll have to find a copy. Thanks!

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  3. A parishioner in my parish wrote a Christian Novel, it's called David and Goliath (The Guardian Angel Chronicles) by Bryan Hathaway. It's on Amazon, or if you want, I can pick up a copy from him this week and bring it to you. I think they are $10-15.

    -Working To Beat Hell

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    1. It looks good, but I'm cheap... I'll keep it in mind and let you know if I decide to buy it. Thanks!

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