I know, I know. Most Christian fiction isn’t very good. I won’t disagree with you there. However, some of my all-time favorite books are from the genre, so I don’t think it’s fair to completely write it off! Let me tell you about some of my favorites…
Oh, also. It’s been several years since I’ve read most of these. If they actually turn out to be really poorly written or slow or what-have-you, I apologize for my bad memory.
5. A Thousand Tomorrows by Karen Kingsbury
I am not a Karen Kingsbury fan. I am constantly frustrated by the fact that she dominates the genre– but people seem to love her… Anyway, the one book by her that I just couldn’t put down? A Thousand Tomorrows. It’s the love story of a cowboy and an adrenaline loving cystic fibrosis patient. A little Lurlene McDaniels-esque, it’s short and sweet. I hear tell there’s a sequel, but I haven’t read it (yet).
4. Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke
You may have seen the movies, which I personally think are excellent. I’ve only read the first book, but I really enjoyed it. It’s a sweet pioneer love story and I don’t know about everyone else, but I think Clark is dreamy. Just me? Okay then…
3. This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
I like Frank Peretti. A lot. He’s one of those rare writers that makes you feel like you’re living what you’re reading. In the case of This Present Darkness (and, well, most of his work), that’s a bit terrifying. This book and its sequel deal with the world of demons living among us. It’s an interesting take on spiritual warfare. Also, scary. I love this kind of stuff!
2. The Amethyst Heart by Penelope J. Stokes
I’ve read several of Stokes’s books (our church library is stocked!) and I can easily say that this was my favorite. A lot of people default to The Blue Bottle Club– no way. The Amethyst Heart is where it’s at. The story spans generations of the Noble family, from the Civil War to the present. I can’t recommend this one enough.
1. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Since I’ve already talked about Rivers’s The Mark of the Lion series (and despite the fact that it’s actually my all-time favorite Christian fiction pick), let’s talk about Redeeming Love. Everyone I know who’s read this absolutely loves it. Seriously– they don’t shut up about it. Set in mid-1800′s California gold country, it’s a retelling of the biblical Gomer and Hosea that will make you sob by book’s end.