Lauren Gray on Unsplash.com
I can remember the day I read my first Christian fiction book, or rather the day I discovered people wrote books on faith in fiction form. As a pre-teen I was largely aware of books on prayer and God and the deep knowledge of God. But, fiction books dealing with human examples working through faith, romance, love, and family issues was foreign to me.
I recently hopped back on the Christian fiction train a few weeks ago when I visited my city’s local library. The best part about moving to a new town for me is discovering new libraries. The experience of walking into a library completely unaware of what you will discover gives me such joy.
Let us also not forget the moment in Gilmore Girls where Rory sums up perfectly a bookish experience.
On this particular trip to the library I felt the strong desire for romance. Romance books can be a bit iffy simply because what I view as romance literature can easily slip into something more, so I played it safe and went for Christian fiction and picked up a book called Masterpiece by Francine Rivers
My fellow Chrisian Fic. readers will know this woman as the amazingly talented writer who wrote Redeeming Love. This book was overwhelmingly popular during my time in high school and still remains probably one of the best novels in Christian fiction, however, don’t quote me on that.
With books in hand, I decided to give her another shot thinking maybe it won’t be as good as Redeeming Love, but because it’s Francine Rivers it will be pretty good.
Just to go ahead and throw it out there, this book is not Redeeming Love so the expectation for it to be the same or “as good” doesn’t fit when the setting, the characters, and the past of the characters are completely different. However, Masterpiece is still poignant, gripping, powerful, and so so romantic.
3. Reasons to Read this Book
-If you like Christian fiction, then this book is a great book to read. The interweaving storyline of faith, growth, and even childhood trauma meeting the grace and power of a deeply loving and involved God is written beautifully.
-If you like romance without the subtle notes of erotica, this is a great book for you.
-Francine Rivers. I mean, this kinda speaks for itself.
What I Didn’t Enjoy
Some of us who are readers of Christian fiction or know of anything that is labeled ‘Christian’ in the arts world understand it all can be a bit over the top or super cheesy. There is this phrase called “Christianese” that connotes the jargon of people who identify as Christ-followers. Christianese can often be cheesy, un-relatable to those who don’t follow Christianity, and most times if not quite cringey.
As far as Christianese in this book, it isn’t really seen until the end. The jargon in a few scenes comes off kinda “like what?” and I’m a person who loves Jesus, believes the Bible wholeheartedly, and some of it made me cringe.
However, don’t let the small amount of jargon be a deterrent in reading this book. It got better after that small section.
Overall, I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 starts simply because of some of the diction towards the end. Yet, I found this book to be a pleasant, heartfelt, and even challenging read. The story delves deep into the childhood trauma of its characters and although it is hard, Rivers showcases what can happen when we allow the redemptive beauty of God’s grace and love into our lives.
We’re all His Masterpiece, I just think we forget that sometimes.
So, I recommend this book! Check it out and let me know what you think!
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Sincerely, a lover of Christian fiction,
*Featured Photo by Lauren Gray on Unsplash.com