When I first became a Christian I had read some books by author Melody Carlson that I really liked. So I was excited at the opportunity to read Melody’s newest novel Love Gently Falling (available January 6, 2015). But that excitement was short lived.
Let me start with what’s good about the book. When the story’s main character Rita gets the news that her mother has suffered a stroke she quickly makes arrangements to travel home to be there with her mom, dad and brother. I appreciated how Rita made amends with an old friend with whom she had a falling out and their friendship was restored. I appreciated the character examining herself to see if she was a snob when she found herself liking a man who was a janitor. I appreciated that the book did not include sexually immorality or filthy language.
One of the main things I struggled with is that there was really nothing in this book that would lead me to conclusion that it was from a Christian author. I came back to a question I ask when reading books published by Christian authors. If a Christian writes a fiction book does that make it “Christian fiction”? I would say no.
In the book, Love Gently Falling, prayer was mentioned several times, but the author didn’t show Rita or the other characters dealing with issues of their faith. There were some plot developments that would have made good platforms to share the gospel message and what God’s word says. It would have been good to see characters work through the challenges they are facing through the grid of their Christian faith. But Melody Carlson didn’t take the opportunity to weave Christian faith into her newest book Love Gently Falling. Something else that bothered me was the way the main character Rita “came to the rescue” to help save her mother’s outdated and failing beauty salon. It smacked of the world’s view often seen in movies with children being wiser and smarter than their parents.
Apart from my criticism about this not being “Christian fiction”, the book is not overly deep. It was on the anemic side, but could have gone deeper with the storyline. I think that Melody Carlson missed the boat with Love Gently Falling and I was disappointed.
I would like to thank the publisher FaithWords and Net Galley for the opportunity to read Love Gently Falling in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to write a favorable review.