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Culture Books

Searching for answers


Searching for answers

Four novels from Christian publishers

The Fifth Avenue Story Societyby Rachel Hauck: Five seemingly random people receive an anonymous invitation to a story society in a New York library: a widower yearning to write his love story, a cosmetics heiress who recently broke off her engagement, an executive assistant frustrated by her stalled career, a divorced dad unable to see his children, and a college professor struggling with grief while facing a huge deadline. Who invited them? What are they supposed to do? They agree to meet weekly, and as friendships grow, the regular gatherings provide catharsis for each of them. The author never explains why the five ended up together, but uses sporadic appearances by the mysterious librarian to allude to supernatural forces at work. The character-driven plot weaves their stories together into a happily-ever-after conclusion.

Chasing the White Lion by James R. Hannibal: Chasing the White Lion blends 007 with The Hunger Games. CIA agent Talia Inger again teams with an elite group of masterminds—assembled in Hannibal’s previous novel, The Gryphon Heist—led by a repentant former assassin-turned-Christian. This time they infiltrate “The Jungle,” the first ever crowdsourced crime syndicate. Using their specialized skills, they con their way up the crime chain amid an increasingly unsavory group of criminals, to gain access to a diabolical billionaire known as the White Lion. They believe he is linked to the kidnapping of 32 schoolchildren from Thailand. The high-tech hijinks and high-stakes maneuvering keep tension high, and at times hard to follow. But the humor, genuine affection, and newfound faith among these likable team members provide a welcome balance to this taut thriller. 

More Than We Remember by Christina Suzann Nelson: This story centers on three women whose lives converge after a fatal car accident: the wife of the man charged with DUI, a police officer trying to keep her life together after her firefighter husband’s life-altering accident, and a therapist who quit her job after a young patient commits suicide. Each of them carries weighty burdens. They juggle family matters and cling to threadbare faith, but pride, insecurity, and anger prevent them from fully trusting in God’s provision. The plot realistically portrays some of life’s burdens by dealing with hard subjects like dementia, substance abuse, and death. In the end, though, the heavy drama gives way to a sliver of hope. 

Daughter of Cana by Angela Hunt: Daughter of Cana is inspired by the miracle told in John 2. Hired to oversee a wedding, Tasmin grows concerned when the wine supply runs low. When the water from the cistern-filled jars suddenly becomes high-quality wine, she assumes the guest named Yeshua somehow tricked her. Meanwhile, her twin brother Thomas is drawn to the mysterious Yeshua and decides to follow him when he leaves Cana. Tasmin, determined to bring her brother back home to the family business, teams with Yeshua’s brother Jude to track them down. Everywhere they go, they hear stories about Yeshua’s miracles and his growing group of followers. They begin to wonder: Could Yeshua—a simple carpenter—be the long-awaited King who would rescue them from the Romans? Or would he serve an even greater purpose?