Fiction with a Heart

This page list some of my favorite fiction works that comfort the heart, stretch our understanding, or challenge our faith.

No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Series by Alexander McCall Smith

This wonderful series of books features a lovely “traditionally built” African woman in Gaborene, Botwswanna who, with a small inheritence from her fater, opens a detective agency. The eengaging aspect of these stories is not the mysteries to be solved, but the developement of the characters. The author spent a childhood in Africa, and the descriptions of scenery and people is drawn with genuine love. Each book in this series builds on the others, so it is best to read them in order. After reading a few, these characters will become part of your family.

Mitford Series and Father Tim Series by Jan Karon

These two series of books follow the life of a sixty-something single Episcopal priest who cares for a small flock of quirky villagers in Mittford, a small village in the Blue Ridge Mountains where the small events in the lives of every-day people become the central focus of the story. The quiet rythmn of Father Tim’s life is challenged again and again in unexpected ways that force his faith and love to grow. This gentle series gets better in book after book. When Father Tim finally retires and leaves Mitford, the new series picks up with even deeper challenges to spiritual growth. The series is imbued with a sense of God’s holy hand as the driver of the plot. Truly a blessing to read.

Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

This allegory is a classic description of the soul seeking after intimacy with God. Beautifully told with lyrical and poetic insight. The sequal Mountain of Spices is equally full of poetic truth. Allegory is not everyone’s genre of choice, but these are truly profound examples.

The Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis

The three books in this series capture the heights and depths of C.S. Lewis’s imagination, as well as his profound grasp of the condition of modern man apart from God. They are not “science fiction” in the normal sense of the word, but really almost define their own category of writing, one that C.S. Lewis may be the only author capable of contributing to.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

I cannot count the number of times I have read this series, watched the movies, and listened to the audiobooks. I never fail to discover some deeper revelation of holiness hidden in these stories, another reason to pause and worship the true Lion of Judah. Read these books, read them to your children, read them for yourself. The audio versions of these are particularly wonderful.

Home, Lila and Gilead by Marilyn Robinson

These books are about closely related families and share some characters. The novels are wonderfully rich and compassionate, drawing out in the inner life of individuals and families, rooted in the grace and wonder of faith.