I love a good Susan Meissner novel. White Picket Fences is a story about family secrets that go back generations and the ones that the Janvier family are still keeping hidden today. There are many levels to this story. Tally, who is dropped off at her grandmothers house while her dad races around the world looking for buried treasure. Chase, the Janviers teenage son who is seeing things in his dreams and remembering pieces of a puzzle of his past. His parents who are trying to keep this puzzle from him. His mom who is confiding in a co-worker of the opposite sex. The two men in the nursing home with links to a concentration camp. And yet all of this ties together in the end.
Susan has always written an engaging story and this one is no different. What is different however is the inclusion of several curse words that completely took this reader by surprise. Was NOT expecting that from a Christian fiction author.
This is actually the fourth "Christian" fiction book I've read over the past several years that's has curse words in it. One major publishing house, when I emailed them my concerns over this replied with something along the lines of, "this book isn't "Christian fiction," it's mainstream fiction written by a Christian." I was instructed to turn it over and look at the genre that's listed right above the barcode.
This book too, is now listed as "Fiction/contemporary" and not as religious/Christian/inspirational.
So now when we visit the Christian bookstore and look for a good CLEAN read, without any questionable words/scenes in it we have to flip the book over and make sure it's listed as religious/Christian/inspirational?
I know you're probably wondering what the questionable words were. Two times a character says, "What the h***" and two times this same character calls someone an a**.
Yes, I realize these are mild obscenities, but at what point then do we draw the line? Why should we conform to the world or lower our standards to appeal to a larger audience?
Author Angela Hunt has mentioned this subject several times on her blog and I agree with her. Why not just write, "He cursed" or "He swore"?
I was disappointed to say the least.
I do have a copy of this to give away if you're interested. Leave me a comment and let me know you want to win this book.
You can read more about this book or purchase it here.