There's nothing more comforting than curling up with a good book, and reading high-quality fiction with a Christian perspective can help you explore new spiritual viewpoints. Fortunately, there are many fantastic Christian authors to enjoy in your assisted living apartment in the Bethesda Gardens Phoenix community. Whether you're looking for light-hearted Christian comedy or want to get sucked into a classic, there should be a novel by the authors below to whet your appetite.
Madeleine L'Engle was born in 1918 and spent her formative years in New York. She was often cared for by the family's housekeeper, Mrs. Mary O'Connell. O'Connell instilled in the young Madeleine a strong sense of the presence of God. After earning her B.A. in English, L'Engle worked as a Broadway actress before marrying in 1946 and starting a family.
L'Engle had already enjoyed some literary success during her Broadway years, and she continued to juggle her work as a novelist alongside full-time motherhood and running the family's store. It was during this time that she began doubting her faith.
However, her belief in the divine was revitalized when she read the works of Albert Einstein and other eminent physicists, reminding her of a memorable moment when she gazed up at the vastness of the universe as a small child. Her abiding belief in the compatibility of faith and science is a recurring theme in many of her books, including her seminal work, A Wrinkle in Time.
Francine Rivers is one of the most prominent writers of Christian romantic fiction. Born in 1947, she studied English and journalism at the University of Nevada in Reno and then became a writer for a local newspaper. She was inspired to start writing historical fiction novels after being gifted several books in the genre by her mother-in-law.
Rivers' first novel was published in 1976, and she became a born-again Christian in 1986. Her growing relationship with God hailed a turning point in her work. Rivers struggled to reconcile her career as a romantic novelist with her faith, and she refocused her attention on studying scripture. This journey inspired her to write Redeeming Love, a faith-themed romantic novel based on the story of Hosea from the Bible.
The story follows the story of a sex worker called Angel who finds God and healing from her traumatic experiences through her relationship with Michael, a devoutly Christian farmer. Rivers' novel serves as a welcome reminder of the redeeming power of God's love, and she has since written numerous faith-based romances, series and children's books.
Penny Culliford is a scriptwriter and comic novelist from Kent in England. She's also a qualified teacher and recently earned her license as a lay reader in the Church of England. Culliford's dry British sense of humor infuses everything she writes, and her books are ideal light reading for a cozy evening on the couch.
Culliford is best known for her Theodora's Diary trilogy, which follows thirty-something Theodora Llewellyn as she navigates dating, marriage and chocolate cravings. Theodora's faith is one of the trilogy's central themes, and reviewers describe Theodora's Diary as akin to a Christian Bridget Jones. The books also offer rich, witty characterization and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Fans of Culliford's entertaining writing style may also enjoy her mystery novel The Art of Standing Still, which combines archetypal British village life with some unexpected plot twists.
Clive Staples Lewis is arguably one of the best-known Christian authors of all time. Lewis was born in Belfast in 1898 and was called to serve in the First World War during his studies at Oxford University in England. After being wounded in battle, he returned to the U.K. and completed his studies, going on to write several renowned novels. Although Lewis was an atheist in his teens, he converted to Christianity as an adult and became a lay theologian.
Lewis is widely acknowledged as a highly influential advocate of Christianity, and he wrote several theological works. These include Mere Christianity, a 1952 text recognized for its importance in addressing religious skepticism by Christianity Today in the year 2000. Lewis's fictional works often deal with religious themes, including redemption and sin. His most acclaimed novels include the Narnia fantasy novels for children and his science-fiction Space Trilogy for adult readers. The Pilgrim's Regress is also an interesting read for anyone wanting to learn more about Lewis's experiences as a converted Christian.
Thomas Dexter Jakes was born in 1957 in Charleston, West Virginia. He is an ordained bishop and ministers at The Potter's House non-denominal megachurch in Dallas, Texas. You may recognize Jakes from his appearances on the popular TV shows Dr. Phil and Good Morning America. Alongside his work as a Christian minister, Jakes has produced numerous films and records through his production company TDJ Enterprises.
Jakes is also a prolific author of non-fiction religious books and several novels. His 2006 novel Not Easily Broken is perhaps the best-known of his fictional works and was turned into a feature film in 2009 starring Morris Chestnut, Taraji P. Henson and Kevin Hart. The novel examines the tests on a married couple's union after the wife becomes injured in a car accident. It expertly deals with the risks of temptation in marriage and the ultimate importance of honoring wedding vows.