Sunday, July 12, 2009

At the Scent of Water

In general, I am not a fan of Christian fiction because it's very poorly written. Just because I might agree with someone's world view or theology does not mean that I'm going to automatically love their writing style. I am a Christian and I would LOVE to be able to fully support Christian writers. However, I also expect them to write well. In fact, I'd say that they should write better than their counterparts because they should want to do all things (very) well. Sadly, that's frequently not the case. (The flip side of these arguments are that you don't have to be a Christian to be thought a poor writer. Many people - more non-Christians than Christians - are published today that just shouldn't be.)

That all said, I have yet to meet up with a Linda Nichols book I haven't liked. When I heard about At the Scent of Water I knew I had to read it.

I was mad (in a good way) about In Search of Eden. Loved it. I went on to read If I Gained the World and enjoyed that as well.

Now, if you know me (at all) you know that I also have a bone to pick with modern romance novels, Christian or otherwise. They are just so cheesy and hard to believe. Real life is so much more interesting. I don't really care to have my emotions swayed improperly. Romantic jaunts in book land are questionable and, again, unrealistic which bothers me when I think of young women picking up books and thinking that good men only exist in books. (Pet peeve.) So imagine my husband's surprise when we were in a bookstore the other day and I picked up At the Scent of Water and declared that I "HAD TO HAVE" this book! My husband took the book from my hands and began to read the back cover:

"Life was rewarding for Samuel Truelove."

Jonathan didn't even bother reading any further. He was aghast with disbelief.

His reaction did not sway me for I DID "HAVE TO HAVE" this book. He bought it (lovely real-life good man that he is) and I devoured it.

Once again I'm here to declare how much I love and appreciate Linda Nichols for telling a fantastic story. She weaves her stories well and frequently catches me off guard with how she connects dots between characters in an unsuspecting way. Furthermore, she writes excellent conversations between her characters. Her conversations do not feel forced or contrived and so it's easy to just get lost in the story. Never am I jarred out of the book except for when meals have to be cooked and served. I really can't indulge my Nichols passion too frequently or else I really wouldn't get anything done around the house!

In this particular story we DO meet a heart surgeon by the name of Truelove. His marriage is on the rocks due to a tragic event and . . . only God can bring the grieving couple back together again!!! (I'm laughing at how melodramatic this all sounds. No wonder Jonathan was concerned about me!)

I really don't want to explain the story because 1.) I want you to read it for yourself and 2.) I can't. I cannot do justice to Ms. Nichols' ability to weave a story together. She's a marvelous writer and I'll read anything by her that I find. Anytime and anyplace! Lovely women and I'm grateful for writers like her who pursue excellence and graciously manage to achieve it in a way that is entertaining and uplifting at the same time.

I do realize that this is rather a "nothing" review of this book. I'm not telling you very much about it other than, "I really (really, really) liked this book." But that's about all I feel I can say, reasonably.

Thank you once again, Ms. Nichols, for a few hours of reading pleasure. I'm positively delighted!


Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

This sounds "wonderful," Carrie! ;-) I'll definitely have to check this author out since I feel much like you do about Christian fiction (a few authors excluded).

Barbara H. said...

I've never read anything by her. I'll have to check her out!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through "A Library is a Hospital for the Mind." Will have to check this author out. Haven't read any "Christian" fiction in recent years except Jan Karon. Although, I used to love Bodie Thoene and Judith Pella. My local library has "At the Scent of Water" though, so I'll check it out!

Ronnica said...

I think we're on the same page as far as Christian and romantic fiction goes, so I'll trust you and try out one of her books. Which one? (please email me!)

Lisa Spence said...

I read this novel years ago and I echo your raving! It's good; really good! I too have enjoyed every Linda Nichols novel I've read!

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