Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Follow-Up on Christian Romance, In Whence I Eat My Words
I realize that in my previous post, http://bookinamonthmom.blogspot.com/2011/09/christian-romance-like-it-or-leave-it.html, I majorly dissed Christian romance. As you may recall, I took issue with the unreality of the convenient widower-seeking-babysitter who meets his feisty yet loving soul-mate scenario...or the girl who's dropped into the ranch at JUST the right moment to meet the perfect guy (emphasis on PERFECT).
While you will probably never catch me reading Amish fiction for fun, I did recently win my own copy of Montana Marriages by Mary Connealy. I have to say, I was planning on giving this to someone in my family who likes Christian romance. But I decided to read the first few pages and see what the big deal was...
Just like that, I was HOOKED.
Yes, it might have something to do with the fact that the male main character had red hair. I will admit that. But it really had more to do with the WAY Mary writes--it's very tight writing with a quick plot. Is there a widow? Why, yes, there is. Does the male MC say things a real guy might not say? I believe he does. Is it possible that the bad guy will turn his life around and become a Christian? Yes, there is.
However, I can tell Mary knows what she's talking about when she describes life on the ranch. I appreciate this. I love the idea that they built their house into a cave. She also uses rich details and words from that time period.
I will have to eat my words on Christian romance. It can be a good read. The characters can have believable psychological depth (this MC in the first part of the book lived with a domineering/abusive husband). I love it when Christian romance takes on the big issues. I also appreciate that the MC in Montana Rose is married.
The marriage is not 100% realistic to me, because I suspect most husbands do NOT always say the right thing at any given moment (WHAT?!!). Nor do they always act as protective as we might want, or as deeply spiritual. And we wives don't always look gorgeous, cook beautifully or welcome romantic overtures (WHAT!??).
But I think that if we, as readers, recognize that in a romance the MC would by necessity know the right things to say, just like Jacob or Edward (hee, you Meyer fans know who I'm talking about), we can overlook that. As long as we don't expect OUR SPOUSES to perpetually say the right things or innately divine the secrets of our female minds, we can read without repercussions on our own marriages. Although I will add that I will always find MC guys with major flaws (like Mr. Darcy, Mr. Rochester and ESPECIALLY Gabriel Oak in Far from the Madding Crowd) more intrinsically interesting than extremely verbal and emotive guys. However, maybe that's just me.
BUT I'll apologize for throwing the baby out with the bath-water (what a horrid visual picture, sorry!). And thank you, Mary Connealy, for repairing my views of Christian romance.
please CHIME in with comments below:
*Do you enjoy Christian romance? Why or why not?
*If you're a writer, what kinds of male MCs do you write?