Monday, April 13, 2015

God Love

Ah, Christian romance novels. There really is nothing like them. When your Baptist school library carries Rebecca’s
Christians LOVE the Amish.
instead of Moby Dick, you develop a taste for stories about redeemed whores and pioneer widowers whose log cabins are just crying out for a woman’s touch. Friends, it is time to for us to revisit those PG beach reads.

Who: We are two sisters who grew up attending the same K-12 evangelical school, swapping copies of Christian romance novels and Sweet Valley Twins books before some blessed soul slipped us a copy of East of Eden. Elise, an (almost) psychologist, and Angie, an (almost) writer and English lecturer, will guide you through the wonderful world of romance—Jesus-style.

Put those pecs away!
What: How can you take a genre known for bodice-ripping and extramarital boning and rework the tropes for a staunchly religious, conservative audience? Oh, child, you are about to find out. We’ll recap a book for you in each post and share our instant message conversations about said title. There will be wit. There will be sarcasm. There will be tales from our Christian school days. And there will be blood. Too much?

Why: Because Elise stole a copy of one of Angie’s Robin Jones Gunn books, and now they’re both trying to make meaning out of the betrayal. We’re starting with Robin Jones Gunn, or the Notorious RJG, mostly because she authored the stolen book—Sunsets—part of the Glenbrook series. There are millions, MILLIONS! of Christian romance novels, and this blog is going to last forever, so we’ll get to all of them. All. Of. Them. These books make us very nostalgic, but we also think it’ll be interesting to see how they hold up after we’ve exited the evangelical bubble and have learned about things such as feminism, differing viewpoints, and accessory alternatives to WWJD bracelets. And to be completely honest, we have a desire to ignore more pressing professional tasks, so why not.

And so it begins:

Elise: Hey did I tell you I'm really excited about the blog idea and really think we should do it?!

Angie:  I'm 100% on board. Unfortunately one of my Glenbrook novels has been you!

Elise:  Umm more like two. So I will have to return them and also purchase Whispers [She means Secrets #1] I have Echoes and Waterfalls.

Angie:  Whispers is first, right?

Elise:  Yeees! [No, no it was not. Again, it’s Secrets] and it has the classic Christian lady archetype "The woman with the flaw of not accepting help." And I want you to read them again, because there is specifically a scene where they talk about "being saved," and it's much more theologically conservative than I am, but it was a nice example of how not to be an asshat when talking about what you believe. BUT I'm getting off track, because that is waaaay down the line. Whispers [NO! IT’S SECRETS!] is the first one I read. I stole it from you in middle school and began a lifelong pattern.

Angie:  How does it feel to steal Christian books? Is that complicated for you?

Elise:  It isn't! It feels like balance, but the things I steal from you never count because of our blood bond.
Blood bond!



  1. oh my goodness, this is sure to be a riot.

  2. For serious, thanks for the nice comments, Amy and sabo-meenyo! :)

    1. They are both my friends, Elise, so step the hell off!