Saturday, September 29, 2007

Book Review: Winter Birds

September 29, 2007

Jamie Langston Turner is the author who convinced me that not all Christian fiction is insipid and trite. I read her novel Some Wildflower in My Heart several years ago and was hooked. I'd forgotten about her until Sherry over at Semicolon reviewed Winter Birds, her newest novel. Turner's novels are not easy reading. She is a phenomenal writer, but complex. Every page is full of uncanny insight into the human soul. She rejects the stereotypical characters that so often star in Christian novels and instead presents her characters intimately and realistically. And she is never didactic. Her theology is carefully woven into the story without ever coming close to being preachy. Really, she is amazing.

This particular novel centers on Aunt Sophie, a lonely and bitter old woman who has chosen to live with her nephew and his wife, on whom she will bestow her inheritance. The novel rotates between reflections on Aunt Sophie's life, including her brief marriage, and her present circumstances. As always, Turner provides a satisfactory, redemptive ending.

Like all of Turner's novels, this is not light beach reading. You have to be prepared to concentrate and absorb--but it is well worth the effort.

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