It’s funny how widely opinions about books vary.
T.L. Higley has at least four dozen reviews of her novel Pompeii: City on Fire on Amazon (Lucky her!), ranging from one-star to five. Most people gushed over how well-written, how realistic, how interesting the book was.However, one historian was in a twist because she got a detail about Pompeii wrong. And a couple of readers were annoyed to find that they had unknowingly picked up a dreaded Christian novel, and shouldn’t they be labeled with a fish or cross so people would know before buying or reading them?
I wondered when writing the back cover blurbs for my books if I should indicate their Christian nature more, but there didn’t seem to be any easy, non-cheesy way of saying this. I did worry about reader expectations. After all, the best murder mystery in the world will still be disappointing if you bought the book thinking it was a sweet romance (and vice versa). On the other hand, why should I have to label it Christian? The stories are about the adventures and mysteries solved of characters whose Christianity is as intrinsic as their personalities and looks. After all, no one writes blurs like this:
Abby and John, white, middle class Christians with brown hair and green eyes, while home on summer break from college have adventures in Miles Station, a little town settled by Col. Jonathan Miles, a Christian man.
I can see it now. Books and movies will be labeled G, PG, R, X or Christian so people can protect their families from danger. (Separation of Church and State, you know.) But if it gets to that, what about labels that let me know there’s going to be political statements I disagree with or blasphemous language that assaults my ears. Oh, but wait, that would be a form of censorship, wouldn’t it?
Aren’t we capable of sorting through opposing ideas when we read? Doesn’t it benefit us to read the ideas of others, even if (especially if) we disagree with them? The reviewer seemed most annoyed that he got sucked into the exciting plot of a well-written story that turned out to be Christian. I say, you go, Ms. Higley!