What's Grace Got To Do With Fiction?

I've just started reading Madeleine L'Engle's Walking on Water and I'm hooked. As a Christian author, I love her comment that "if it's bad art, it's bad religion." And I'm really enjoying her insistance that Christian art makes no more sense than Christian oranges. If art is creation, and if Christians believe in a creator, then that creator should have a hand in all art ... even in books where the protagonist despises religion ... even in mysteries where a graceless protagonist objectifies every woman he meets ... and even in a fictional world where the clone might ask the computer which one has a soul. I'm definitely hooked, and with two book titles containing the word grace among those for which I'm posting reviews, I'm wondering if I picked up the book by accident or if it picked me.

Anyway, create some well-flavored coffee, sit down, and see if any of the books in this list will attract you to read:

Grace by Howard Owen is fifth in the author's Willie Black series, and it's the smoothest, strongest yet. The flawed protagonist is as flawed as ever, but the touch of grace in the background is key to healing many broken lives, even after the death of a child. Truly haunting. Vividly real. Enjoy with some dark strong five-star coffee.

Graceful Immortality by Robert Downs is another amateur detective mystery, this time with a private eye who's ability to escape certain death proclaims a fictional immortality. Whether or not it's graceful is left to the reader as the womanizing, irreverant protagonist investigates the death of a graceful dancer. You'll probably want some more dark five-star coffee with this dark tale.

Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare by Pat Bertram isn't available yet, but will be a mustread when it comes out. A group of dancers of retirement age plot how one of their number might write a murder mystery. When the victim dies. suspicions and rumors fly, and many different sorts of relationship losses come to the fore. It's a cool literary mystery with a great narrator, fascinating plot, and a wealth of very genuine, well-defined characters and places. One to enjoy with a nicely complex four-star coffee.

Steena Holmes' The Word Game delves into relationship losses as well, through the lenses of guilt and abuse. If you guessed, would you tell? Would you risk friends and family for a child? And what would happen next? It's a cool tale where words hide more than they tell, and love shows many faces and histories. Enjoy this one with a well-balanced three-star coffee.

And finally, a novel that has to be included in a list compiled with grace and soul: Multitude by Peter Joseph Swanson is a science fiction novel, set in the far future, on a farflung asteroid, among people who may be clones, interacting with computers who may have souls, and seeking a heaven which may be something way way darker than they dream. Add union bosses, scary monsters, hippie destroyers and more. And dialog that sings, makes you think, and makes you laugh out loud! Enjoy with some perfectly balanced and curiously flavored three-star coffee.


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