Let me begin by saying that I had entirely TOO much fun writing those fake-book-blurbs. And it was even more delightful to find that so many of you got a kick out of it as well. But how many of you guessed the correct fakes?
I think I missed my calling.
To be fair, I think much of the fault lies in the CBD blurb writer. I don’t know who this person is, but I have a sneaking suspicion they could take any book, quality be damned, and make it sound absurd. It’s a unique gift. Many of you believed number 2, A Widow’s Hope, to be fake. I don’t blame you. The way it is written is borderline perverted. Is the gentle farmer interested in Hannah or her sheep? I think Leviticus has a thing or two to say about that.
Sadly, though, this book is very real. I can only hope that the actual story is not as insipid as its summary. And a question, just out of curiosity: why are the Amish women on these book covers supermodel-flawless?
Then we had #3, Sweet Charity. Will the Lord cause Kent to choose between his daughter and his heart? His affection for his daughter dwells outside of his heart, presumably? His liver, perhaps? Apparently for this poor man there is no room in his heart for more than one sort of love at a time. Again, I will be gracious to the beleaguered author and lay the blame upon the summary-writer. This book is real.
Finally, we had #5, Pasadena Promises. I think I picked this one because the beginning was too delightfully sappy: Love blooms like a rose from the thorns of war. Pardon me while I swoon upon my fainting couch. Oh, and it’s “for three strong-willed women”. Of course they’re strong-willed. They must be. But what, exactly, does that mean? You’ll never know unless you read the book…you do want to, don’t you? Well then, you’re in luck…it’s real too.
So that leaves 1, 4, and 6 as fakes. Spurred by Love was written close to midnight and I was getting a little punchy. I giggled all the way through it. Nevertheless, it is nowhere near absurd, when you compare it to this or this or this.
Blue Skye was a pretty clever play on words if I do say so myself. Given that the current trend is towards psychological thriller-type novels with a twist of the paranormal thrown in, I thought it was pretty believable. I may have overplayed my hand with the name Skye Cerule, though.
Hourglass, though, is my favorite fake. I’m surprised it hasn’t already been written. I would totally read it!
And what does she get, prithee? A $20 gift certificate to Amazon, where she can pick amongst innumerable and morally-upright Christian novels (A Widow’s Hope notwithstanding). Or she could pick a horrid old secular novel like To Kill A Mockingbird or A Tale of Two Cities. God forbid!
While I may have something of a prejudice against Christian fiction as a genre, that does not mean that I never read it or think it is all hopeless piffle. I *did* say, after all, that for every ONE quality Christian author there were 100 who were not, which implies that there are those “ones” out there!
In my opinion, one of the gems is Francine Rivers, whose Mark of the Lion Trilogy I thoroughly enjoyed (well, minus the final installment…the first two are amazing, though). I also loved her series on the women in Jesus’ geneology. I have also been a fan of Frank Peretti in the past, most specifically these three books and The Oath, which I found brilliantly metaphorical.
Mostly, though, I have to give a hearty hear! hear! to Gretchen’s quote from C.S.Lewis who, when asked if the world needed more “Christian writers”, replied “No. The world needs more writers who are Christian.” If you are a Christian who is also a writer, won’t your values and worldview necessarily be woven throughout your novel by default? Is it essential to insert a scene of someone “getting saved” in order to make a book “Christian”? Must the gospel message be spelled out in order to be present?
These questions are rhetorical.
In order to prolong the fun, I’d like to extend an open invitation to any of you who’d like a chance to try your own hand at CBD-style novel summarizations. Leave me a blurb to an imaginary book in the comments, or a link to your own blog where you’ve come up with something absurd. As a token for spreading the joy, feel free to take Mr. You Tickle Me Octopus for your sidebar or whatnot! And thanks, as always, for making me smile.