First off, let me start by saying I really liked this book.
Arms of Deliverance by Tricia Goyer is set in Europe in World War II. What I liked about it is that the history was simply a rich background which provided depth to some of the characters, and not an obtrusive additional element that the reader keeps having to navigate around. The book started pretty quickly, which was refreshing, because it seems like it has taken me a while to get into the last few novels I've picked up. I liked these characters. There were several story lines, loosely woven together, which weren't at all hard to separate. One thing that was a little difficult for me is that within the first 26 pages six or eight main characters were introduced. After I started feeling lost, I actually wrote down the characters as they were introduced and then it was fine (and to be fair, I did read the first couple of chapters before bed and I probably wasn't as mentally sharp as I could have been).
There's been a lot of talk about "Christian fiction"--if you read it and why or why not, what the problems are with it, what should be done about it etc etc. I have to say that as a semi-literary type (I was an English major and I do like a good literary novel on occasion), I don't read a lot of Christian fiction. There are a few reasons for that. One is that I don't generally enjoy historical fiction or historical romance specifically, and it seems like much of the Christian fiction published until recently fell into this category. There's a great market for it, and I'm not looking down my nose at it, but it's just not my preference. Another reason that I don't read a lot of Christian fiction is that it's not readily available in my library, and I generally spend my book dollars on nonfiction and get my fiction from the library.
That said, I look forward to reading some of Tricia Goyer's other fiction. There are three other books in this "series" (which from what I can gather is tied together by the fact that they are all set in World War II, but with different characters and different settings). In 2007 a new series set in the Spanish American War will be released.
I was sent this novel to read and review by Tricia Goyer, so I am going to pass it along to a reader here, both to promote Tricia Goyer specifically and new Christian fiction in general. If you're interested, leave me a comment telling me you'd like to be entered. Be sure that I have a way to reach you--either my email or I can leave a comment on your blog if you have one. I will draw sometime next week.
Incidentally, I've noticed lately that while amazon.com tends to have great prices in general, that christianbook does seem to have better prices on Christian fiction (and CDs for that matter).
This review is linked to Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books.
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