In my experience, Christian fiction ranges from the “we said grace before dinner” to “I met God when I went for a walk this morning”.
Here are three Christian novels that I find to be equally helpful and encouraging, God-focused and educational, and entertaining. All are for adults (rather than being aimed at teenagers).
A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander
This book is technically the sequel to another, though I don’t own nor have I read number one. I think the connection is the setting rather than characters. In any case, you don’t need to read the first to read the second.
Told from alternating point of views, plain Eleanor Braddock and royalty Marcus Gottfried, this book is set in the aftermath of the Civil War. This novel is longer than a Young Adult novel, allowing a deep look into many story lines that come together towards the end. The novel is a romance, but the focus is on widows made so from the war, and the complexity of family relationships. The romance only becomes so towards the end, after an entire novel spent building a firm friendship.
Sensible Shoes by Sharon Garlough Brown
Sensible Shoes is a series of four books, with ‘Sensible Shoes’ being the first. I found the first to be the most impactful, though all four books are a beautiful journey. This series isn’t romantic, but incredibly real. About four women (of varying ages and circumstances) as they journey to knowing God more.
After meeting at a Christian conference, the women keep in touch and help each other in their walks with God. Each woman has different problems to overcome, some internal, some circumstantial. This makes the novel relatable to all readers.
Each chapter also comes with a God-reflection that the reader can follow along with, allowing us to ponder our own relationship with God and where we’re at with Him.
Nothing in this story is resolved neatly, or simply, or easily. Everything that comes up must come down, and felt deeply by our protagonists. Seeing them journey through many different things (fear, grief, perfectionism, control, rest, for a few examples) was an absolute joy, at times tragic, but always meaningful, educational, and relatable.
The Shack by William Paul Young
The Shack is one of those novels that receives quite a reaction; good or bad.
I’m someone who loved this book, and the movie, and found it to be one of the most beautiful, eye-opening books I’ve ever read.
Whilst being fictional, this book holds so many God-truths. There were many, many moments when I put the book down just to think about my own relationship with God, to write something down, or to pray. ‘The Shack’ opened my heart – gently – to numerous truths about God (or about my response to Him) I hadn’t been aware of, had been avoiding, or hadn’t believed.
I loved that the novel was two ways; both encouraging and challenging. The novel is focused on God and us. It provides insight to God’s nature and human tendencies.
I hope you liked these book recommendations – I know I do!