Sunday, November 15, 2009

Faith n Fiction Saturday

I haven't participated in this meme lately, but I liked this week's question, so...

Amy asked:
Do you recommend or lend your Christian fiction books to people who don't share your faith? If you do, do you tell them in advance that the book is Christian fiction? Why do you or don't you tell them?

I don't lend very many books--I just give them away. If someone asks about it, I do generally say, and I do mention the religious content when I review books, rather than just saying something is "Christian". I just read Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana and it was the epitome of what people hate about Christian fiction. It is a love story set in Montana in the 1800's. The heroine is an orphan from New York City who accompanies the residents of an orphanage on an orphan train out west. When she gets to the end of the line she discovers that she herself was sent out as a mail order bride. Her "intended" is Horace, an older man, and a prospector. She doesn't want to marry him, but finds herself attracted to the local circuit riding preacher. He however, has vowed never to marry because of a sad incident in his past. He has never been tempted to go back on that vow, until now. He just loves discussing scripture with her. The characters (except one bad guy) are all so very good and seeking to do God's will. There are a couple of small swipes at Catholicism (it is made clear that remaining celibate is not God's will for men, even circuit riding preachers, and in one scene a nun is shown in a less than flattering role). The main conflicts are internal as the characters seek to do God's will. In the end, all live happily ever after except the bad guy (even Horace).

Now, if you are Christian and you want a story that strongly affirms Christian beliefs and encourages you to seek God's will in your life, you'll probably like this book, but there is nothing about this book that would make me recommend it to someone who didn't fit that profile. It would be like recommending a trashy romance novel to someone who didn't like vivid sex scenes. Some very good books have vivid sex scenes, and I'd recommend them even to people who didn't really like sex scenes in books, with a warning that the sex scenes were there; however trashy romances, fun as they may be for some folks, aren't in that category.

So, in short, I usually try to describe the level of religious content in a book in my reviews and I try to indicate whether I think someone who doesn't care for religion could enjoy the book.


  1. Sounds like you have a good and fair system. I liked your analogy of the steamy sex scenes being recommended to somebody who isn't into trashy novels. Exactly so.

    I haven't had time in recent months to read or loan novels, but I sure wouldn't give someone who isn't Christian a recommendation to read a seriously Christian novel. Also, I really hate books that trash Catholics so I wouldn't buy or recommend that kind to others. We already have a lot of trouble with people misunderstanding our faith and deliberately twisting what the Church really teaches without giving a promotion to written error in novels.

  2. Thanks for commenting on my review. You know that I totally agree about this book. I usually like Tricia Goyer's, if another comes up, keep in mind that her books are not always this preachy and lovey dovey. ;-)


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