A Novel That Gets Conversion Right


To be honest, “Christian fiction” is the last genre I want to spend my summer reading. I don’t want to read another book whose back cover asks, “Will Sarah be able to trust God in the midst of this trial?” I don’t want another stereotypical atheist character who ends up converting in a predictable way. I’m a little tired of how these books use God as Christmas ribbon: He wraps everything up with a neat little bow on top. I’m especially embarrassed for Christian books who do all these things but think they don’t. (You know the type.)

This past semester, I took a modern British novel class, and we read Catholic authors who wrestled with Christian themes and Christianity itself in the most beautiful, realistic way. My favorite novel was The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene. Spoilers: it has atheists, immorality, Jesus, a conversion, and even a character called Sarah. But it’s a conversion story that will resonate with anybody who’s actually struggled with Christianity — no neat little bows, no easy answers, and sometimes, no answers at all. I’ve never read such good literature that’s short, truly Christian, and perfect for a satisfying weekend read. I’m re-reading this one!

Can you recommend any other Christian books that get the Christian life right?

PC: Penguin Classics

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