Lately I've been discovering more and more Christian fiction writers of a high literary quality. You've probably heard me go on and on about Lisa Samson and Roseanna White already. Now let me add to that list Tosca Lee, Patti Lacy, and Laura Frantz. Allow me to share a few thoughts on some of their new books.
Having read Roseanna's first novel, I knew to expect beautiful writing, heart-stopping romance, amazing characters, exquisite insight into history and human psychology, and even interesting philosophical conversations. However, this book came with an unexpected bonus in the form of a spiritual warfare thread reminiscent of Frank Peretti. And the author tied it in seamlessly with actual historical facts from the Greek accounts of their war with Persia. You may think you've read the Esther story, but never like this. It is told from the perspective of Kasia, one of Xerxes many wives and childhood friend of Esther. The glimpse into the struggle of being one wife of many is unique enough, but Kasia is also Xerxes's true love. She is torn between her very real feelings for the hunky king and her heart-ache over his often capricious actions, allowing the author to weave themes of love, forgiveness, and serving God that you won't soon forget. This book has everything. It's on my favorite list already.
This incredible book will touch your heart. I confess that I struggled with the dense language and shadowy secrets in the beginning. However, due to the lovely musical quality and important themes of racism and legalism, I pressed on. I'm so glad I did. This book gets better and better with each turn of the page. The ending is one of the best I've ever had the pleasure of readng. It weaves an incredible portrait of grace with unexpected twists and turns. Beautifully paced, insightful, deep, and spiritual. You don't want to miss this book.
I'm still processing this book. It affected me on a very deep level. The writing style was simply to die for. Much of the novel reads like a gorgeous prose poem. The juxtaposition of explosive joy and unutterable sadness was almost more than my heart could bear. I never dreamed of reading a CBA book with such earthy sensuality. It ministered to my spirit something radical in the realm of sexual politics and the male/female relationship that my subconscious is still working out. All I know for sure is that this book changed my life.
I'm still reading this one, but I've heard so many great things about Laura Frantz. Here's what I've loved so far. Both the writing craft and the artistry of the book are impeccable. And while it is incredibly romantic, it doesn't follow some of the annoying rules of genre romance. We don't even meet the hero for quite a while. There are no overblown "motives" or "goals" driving the book. It's simply the story of a young woman who longs for love, family, security, and meaning like each one of us. And I adore that Laura has a half-breed Indian in a lead role in the story. This is supposed to be a no no in Christian fiction, yet there it is. I've avoided setting a historical in American because this is exactly the sort of plot that appeals to me: slaves, Indians, injustice, complicated relationships and emotions. And I've been told they wouldn't sell. Thanks, Laura, for proving otherwise.