Thursday, March 27, 2008
On the eve of the Depression, four adolescent girls confide their dreams on paper and commit them to posterity by storing them in a blue bottle in an attic. Sixty-five years later, a jaded female television reporter finds their girlhood wishes and determines to track the women down. While the plot may sound predictable, the protagonists are not; Stokes offers some of the strongest, most appealing women characters ever to appear in evangelical fiction (which is not a genre famous for its three-dimensional females). The novel has a happy ending, but not in the traditional sense of many evangelical novels written for a female audience: no godly heroes come riding in on white horses to rescue these women from poverty, abandonment and despair. Their stories involve broken dreams and betrayed hearts, but speak to an ultimate victory that is centered in God's unconditional love and their lifelong friendships with other women.
This book started out really good and had great potential. However, when I got to page 148 the author in her writing takes scripture out of context by having a character say that " When Jesus came, he was born to a poverty - stricken , homeless woman who wasn't even properly married at the time."
RED FLAG!!!!! RED FLAG!!!! Joseph and Mary were betrothed which in Jewish tradition is marriage. If they weren't, then why would Joseph be so torn about a public divorce, and Mary being stoned in the village streets when her condition was realized? Also they weren't HOMELESS!!!! Again in Jewish tradition, the groom would have to build a home for the bride and in this case since Joseph was quite a bit older than Mary, it is suspected that he had been working on a home for quite some time. They were in Bethlehem because Joseph had to go and be counted. Jesus had to be born there according to prophecy. I know, I am ranting! I just have a problem with an author writing Christian fiction and then taking God's word and twisting it to fit the story instead of the other way around.
I did contact Mrs. Stokes and she never got back to me. I wanted her to respond to my questions about this section of the book. When I didn't get a response I contacted West Bow who published the book and spoke with an editor there. I read her what I found in the book, and from what I could tell from my end of the phone she seemed to be looking up the book as well. She apologized, and told me to return the book to her- make sure to mark the section and she'd be happy to replace it with a book of my choice. I giggled and said that I was a member of CFBA and I read and review books for West Bow & Thomas Nelson, and that she didn't have to do that.
She was very pleasant and understanding.
I was really bummed because I was really looking forward to reading this book!
Posted by Andie at 9:45 PM