As I mentioned in an earlier post, sometimes I get “friendly-fire” book reviews from disgruntled Christian readers. One woman positively hated How Sweet the Sound and gave it a one-star rating because it was “different from the other books” in the series and
What she is objecting to is my portrayal of the evil river pirates who used to infest the Ohio and the modern day horde of lawless people who invade Cave In Rock, a little Southern Illinois town on the Ohio River, every year for the combination rock music festival and motorcycle club rendezvous. (At least as far as I know they still do.) They rent a campground for the weekend and all “heck” breaks out. There’s total nudity, drunkenness, and profanity, and couples “go at it” in plain view of the crowds. Drug dealers set up shop and sell their wares openly. One year a man died of a heroin overdose and no one noticed for eight hours days.
As Trevor explains to Merrideth, “They were busy punishing some guy who had hacked them off. Everyone went completely feral and destroyed his Grand Am. Total lawlessness. The cops don’t even go in there. Well, except when someone finally got around to reporting the dead guy.”
I was truly sad that the reader was offended by How Sweet the Sound and hurt that she thought my carefully constructed scenes meant I was sinking to the level of secular. The very point I was trying to make was that sin is disgusting to God (and to my heroes).
So if you’re looking for light, fluffy Christian fiction you might want to give my books a pass. But if you appreciate realistic characters facing realistic challenges with grace and faith, please give them a try.