If you know me at all, you'll know that I love to read more than I love to eat. And that's a lot of love. Lately, though, I've been getting frustrated with Christian fiction as a whole. You see, when I go to the library, I don't really have time to dig for a good book. My system is to randomly pick an aisle, scan the labels for one marked "Christian Fiction", make sure I haven't read it before, then repeat. Other than having read the book already, the only thing that will make me put it down is if it looks like it's about Amish people. I have nothing against the Amish, it's just that I'm pretty sick of that storyline. It's more than a little overdone.
Anyway, like I was saying, I've been getting frustrated with Christian fiction. It seems like most (almost all) of these books are written very poorly. The storyline is usually pretty good, but the prose lacks any imagination or style. It's seems like the author sold the publisher on a storyline, then was given a too short deadline to produce the book. Not that I believe corporate greed would ever choose to strangle creativity like that (okay, yes I do).
Sometimes, even the storyline is unimaginative. I was really excited a month or so ago when I read The Negotiator by Dee Henderson. The story was compelling, and the writing was a little better than I'm used to (admittedly, not saying a lot). It turned out that it was the first in a series of six books. I eagerly ordered the next five books, only to find out that each sequel was a recycled version of the first book. New characters, new source of danger/tension, same basic plot. It got old pretty quickly.
That's why I'm so thrilled with the book I'm reading right now. For starters, it's not about the Amish, pioneers, or mail-order brides. It's actually about a man being forced by a hilarious series of events into becoming a stay-at-home dad. I never know what the next turn of a page will bring, and I have found myself laughing aloud a few times already. I even spit out a little of my cereal this morning after one of his (the dad's) quick quips.
By W. Dale Cramer, it's called Summer of Light. And I'm loving it.