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June 2023

I rarely read “inspirational fiction” anymore.  Most of it is formulaic, poorly written, and gives readers a false view of God, Christians and the Christian life.  So had I known that The Healer’s Apprentice fell into this genre, I might not have picked it up.  And, to compliment Dickerson, I didn’t realize that I was reading “Christian fiction” until I was well into the book.

The things that I enjoyed about this book: it was a subtle retelling of Sleeping Beauty, it was set in medieval times (and not, thank goodness, in Amish country!) and the characters prayed to and referenced God without being over the top.  Kudos to Dickerson for a fresh perspective in a genre that desperately needs one.

The Carlson sisters leave their homeland of Sweden to come to America.  But once they arrive in Chicago, the land of opportunity is so much different than they expected.  Did they make a mistake?  This is a sweet, somewhat predictable story.  It’s much better than Austin’s last book, A Proper Pursuit, which I didn’t even finish because it was so horrible.  My biggest complaint about this book is my complaint about most Christian fiction: Even though authors try to write about female characters finding strength in God, they almost always find a handsome husband too.  Is it possible to find God without finding a man?

The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

07th March 2009

When Mackenzie’s daughter Missy disappears on a family camping trip, Mack has some serious questions for God.  Where was God when this tragedy took place?  Why didn’t God stop it from happening?  When will Missy’s abductor be brought to justice?  How can a loving God allow these things to happen?  But Mack never expected God to actually answer his questions.  God’s answers changed Mack’s life forever.

This is a book that Christians should read together.  It would be great for small group study or a book group.  Young’s portrayal of God is thought provoking, to say the least.  He blows away all stereotypes we may hold of an old, grey-bearded “Gandalf-type” God.  I’m not sure I agree with everything that Young says about God.  Certainly, I don’t think he gives the whole picture.  What Young does do well, is illustrate in a vivid way, God’s love for each precious human that He created.

For more info and some book excerpts, visit

While Alexa recovers from surgery, she searches for her missing sister, uncovers old family secrets, reunites with her twin and falls in love.  A sweet story about forgiveness and living life with hope.

Widows & Orphans (Rachael Flynn Mystery Series #1)Attorney Rachael Flynn must find out the truth behind a murder that her brother says he committed.  I enjoyed this Christian mystery for several reasons:

  • Christian fiction that doesn’t “preach” at you is hard to come by.  Meissner doesn’t preach.
  • Christian romance without nauseatingly handsome and perfect men is hard to come by.  Meissner’s men are nice and normal.
  • Christian fiction usually has the same tired cast of characters.  Meissner’s characters are more unique.

And an aside, the main character had a 2 month old baby, which is the age of my daughter.  So I enjoyed the mother-baby sub story, although Meissner should have spent a little more time with a real 2 month old before writing the book.  Rachael’s fictional baby sleeps til 7 every morning, sleeps all night long, takes 3 hour afternoon naps, and can be bathed, nursed and sleeping in 40 minutes.  I’d love to meet that baby!

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