For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while (oh…this is for Val), you know this. Skip to the next section. But all of you newbies (the two people other than Val) need to know this:
I have been repeatedly disappointed by Christian fiction.
First, let me clarify what I mean as Christian fiction: the God element must be a part (preferably the MAIN point) of the story. Other things happen, but the POINT of the story is the main character finding God or growing in God…something like that. [I define it this way because I must. You wouldn’t call The Lord of the Rings a romance because Aragorn and Arwen kiss…it’s a part of the story, but not the POINT. Such should be the case with Christian fiction].
With that in mind, I often find two large faults with “Christian Fiction”:
1. There’s a Christian in the book, so it’s marketed as Christian, but it barely matters to the plot.
2. The Christian theme is strong, but the story is just bad [usually will characters and/or situations I don’t grow to care about].
Hope Lyda truly gives me hope.
I picked up her novel “Life, Libby, and the Pursuit of Happiness” because it was on clearance and has a cool cover (yep – I judge my books by their covers). I finished her book because I couldn’t put it down.
The story moved. With multiple characters interacting and changing, Lyda weaves everything together in a comfortable, easy-to-read way. She doesn’t get bogged down in descriptions and thoughts – she moves the story along, giving you enough detail to help you understand the characters and their lives, without resorting to a page long description of a living room.
Her characters chit-chat normally. They’re flawed. You experience their lives instead of having the author tell you what happened.
And the Christian element…subtly woven into the novel. I admire how the book is really about Libby’s growing faith, but so little is said about it. Lyda makes it clear that Libby is on a journey of faith…then she lives her life. It isn’t an all-consuming presence…it’s just a woman living her life and seeing how faith plays into it. There’s no preaching, but there is God.
I truly enjoyed this novel! I loved reading about Libby’s life and how she operates. I appreciate the intimate way Lyda knitted Libby’s faith into her situations. And I LOVED not being depressed, scared, or saddened by misery and pain as Libby found her faith. How refreshing!!
I salute you, Hope Lyda! I hope you Google yourself, find my blog, and call me for a cup of coffee. You are a writer I would like to learn from…I hope people find my novels as easy, yet poignant, as I found yours.