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Culture Books

Four novels from Christian publishers


Four novels from Christian publishers

Brunch at Bittersweet Café

Carla Laureano

This romantic drama portrays realistically flawed characters in messy situations. Despite her lousy track record with men, pastry chef Melody Johansson feels immediate attraction to the handsome man stranded at her job one snowy night. Justin—a pilot—feels the spark too, but shuns a relationship because the timing couldn’t be worse. He’s planning to move to Florida for a career change while Melody, firmly planted in Denver, opens her own café. Faced with impossible choices, Melody trusts God while Justin accuses God of indifference. How can they be together without sacrificing their individual goals?

How the Light Gets In

Jolina Petersheim

A subtle parallel to Ruth’s story found in Scripture, How the Light Gets In tells the modern story of Ruth Neufeld. After a bomb blast in Afghanistan kills Ruth’s husband and father-in-law, she decides to remain on a Wisconsin cranberry farm with her Mennonite mother-in-law. Here she reluctantly falls in love with her late husband’s first cousin. But what would happen if her husband came back from the dead? Beautifully written, this novel explores the covenant relationship of marriage and the importance of perseverance amid day-to-day living. However, the shocking ending will disappoint some readers.


Ginny L. Yttrup

Psychology professor Denilyn Rossi survived a stalker’s attack. Seven years later, he’s back—or so it seems. How can he be following her when he’s supposed to be in prison? Feelings of helplessness return as Deni’s life spirals out of control again. Deni begins to fight back against the menace threatening her only when she remembers she has the power of the Holy Spirit living inside her. To avoid confusion, readers should pay close attention to the alternating timelines. When past and present converge, the stalker’s identity becomes clear. An evenly paced thriller to the end.

As The Tide Comes In 

Cindy Woodsmall & Erin Woodsmall

Tara Abbott spent her childhood in one foster home after another. But at age 30, just as she settles into a happy routine, tragedy upends Tara’s life once again. Still addled from a head injury, she travels to Georgia’s St. Simons Island, seeking answers to her past. There she encounters a quirky group of older women called the Glynn Girls—who annoyingly act older and sillier than 50-somethings should—and a handsome firefighter. This novel includes a sweet love story and a fun plot twist and highlights God’s patience and kindness toward His children.  


Mesu Andrews (Handout)


Of Fire and Lions (WaterBrook, 2019) by Mesu Andrews tells the fictionalized story of the Biblical prophet Daniel through the eyes of Abigail, his childhood friend and eventual wife. Daniel and his friends meet fellow captive Abigail after the Babylonians invade Jerusalem. The book’s title alludes to the accounts of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego surviving fiery deaths in a furnace after refusing to bow to a false god and of Daniel being thrown into the lions’ den for his refusal to worship King Darius. Andrews expertly details their lives in exile, but the most compelling character is Abigail: The young Hebrew girl abandons faith in Yahweh as she struggles to survive among idol worshippers. When her faith is later restored, she grapples with guilt from her past and fears losing everything she holds dear. —S.B.