Friday, December 10, 2010

The Best of 2010 - Books That Sing

Drum roll please ...

It's time for the Pièce de résistance ...

... for those novels that leap above others in not only plot and character, but in conveying a deeper message using prose that has a distinct rhythm and melody. I love authors who use symbolism, both obvious and covert. I love flowing narrative descriptions that paint scenes so vivid you can imagine you're living inside the setting.

If you love to read beauty in fiction, then you'll love these stories. When I grow up, these are the kind of books I want to write.

Resurrection in May by Lisa Samson - a spirited college graduate takes a mission trip to Rwanda where she learns to serve others ... until she witnesses the genocide of the people she grew to love. She returns back to Kentucky, her innocence gone, but a sweet elderly farmer takes her under his wings and tries to resurrect her faith. Lisa Samson is well known in Christian circles for providing a unique vision of life and faith and she always makes the reader think beyond their own little world. If you want to be challenged, pick up a Lisa Samson novel.

A Season of Miracles by Rusty Whitener - A little league team asks an autistic phenom to join their team and so begins their season of miracles. I fell in love with this book from the first line and that love never relinquished. Rusty Whitener realistically captures the essence of a group of preteens. One minute I was laughing, and the next I wanted to cry. If you want to read a book that speaks to the heart, read A Season of Miracles.

The Miracle of Mercy Land by River Jordan - A strange book mysteriously appears in a newspaper office, a book that gifts the reader with insights into townspeople's lives, past, present, and future. Reading this book was like reading a work of art. River Jordan has a poetic way with words as she weaves a plot line that digs into our hearts and teaches each of us a little something of ourselves.

Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz - Morrow Little's life is torn apart when a Shawnee raid kills her mother and baby sister, and her brother is presumably kidnapped by the Shawnee. Years later, as a young woman of marrying age, Morrow's father wishes her to marry a young man from the nearby settlement, but Morrow only has eyes for the Shawnee warrior. Is she betraying her family by falling for him? Laura Frantz's stories are more like journeys that whisk the reader along a meandering path. I love that her stories are unpredictable and non-formulaic. She's an artist with the pen, composing symphonic prose that carries the story along, while painting scenes in vivid color.

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