There were some great Christian fiction books published in 2015. As always it is hard to choose which are the best, and as a result I have expanded my list from the normal Top 10 books to 20. (Please note these rankings are based on my personal preferences) If you are looking for some good books to read in 2016 I highly recommend purchasing some of these. Happy New Year and here’s to another great year of Christian fiction.
#20: Once Upon a Christmas: A collection of 55 short stories set during the Christmas season, by Sharon Bernash Smith, Roseanne Croft, and Linda Reinhardt. Travel through time with stories set from the 1800’s to present day as well as traveling the world.
I appreciated that each of the stories was unique and focused on a different element of the season. There are stories in here for everyone.
#19: Huckleberry Spring by Jennifer Beckstrand: When Ben Helmuth abruptly broke off his engagement to Emma Nelson he broke her heart. Now he has returned to take care of his grandparents’ farm. There is more to Ben’s leaving than he wants to reveal and is afraid of what will happen if the truth comes out.
There is a lot of humor mixed into this serious story which kept me reading. I wanted things to work out of Ben and Emma but at times I wondered whether or not they would, especially when Ben’s secret was revealed.
#18: The Creole Princess by Beth White: Lyse Lanier comes from a mostly French heritage in the British held port of Mobile, where news of the rebellion in the Eastern colonies is beginning to cause stirrings in the people. Her best friend Daisy is the daughter of the British commander and both are forming opinions of their own about the fight.
I have never heard about what was going on in the Southern United States outside of the Thirteen Colonies during the American Revolution and found it absolutely fascinating. White does an excellent job of weaving fact and fiction together to make an incredible story.
#17: Beautiful Star of Bethlehem by Lori Copeland: Arlene Santana is a happy wife, successful business owner, and young grandmother. How then did she end up here with her memory foggy surrounded by strangers? All Arlene wants to do is go home, but they will not let her.
I appreciated the fact that Copeland wrote the entire book in first person from Arlene’s perspective. As a result, I truly felt Arlene’s confusion and frustration in her new setting as she tries to figure things out.
#16: Chasing Sunsets by Karen Kingsbury: Mary Catherine grew up in a wealthy family, but she wants to do something for the needy people around her. She volunteers at a local youth center started by World Series MVP Marcus Dillinger. Behind the scenes angels are working to keep them together and alive in this dangerous part of LA.
It’s neat to get a peak into how angels work in the world around us and how different events, can affect the world. Mary Catherine and Marcus’ story kept me reading to see what would happen next.
#15: The Photograph by Beverly Lewis: Life has changed dramatically for the three unmarried Esch sisters since their mother’s death. When youngest sister Lily runs away Frona and Eva worry about what will become of her.
There are a lot of moving pieces in this story that could be confusing to some readers but not me. I was able to follow the story and wanted to know how it would turn out. I appreciated that we were kept in the dark as a reader about where Lily was so we could feel Eva’s anxiety over what happened.
#14: All is Calm All is Bright: Contains two novellas by Colleen Coble set during the Christmas season. Lauren Everman first visited the Bluebird Ranch as a foster kid and now it is her sanctuary again. For Delilah Carter everything seems to be going well, then she starts receiving mysterious phone calls and someone runs her off the road.
Both stories were intriguing and full of mystery with some romance thrown in. I felt like I was thrown into the middle of the action and could feel the characters’ tension and worry as events unfolded.
#13: The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert: Jakob Kolwaski never imagined trying to blow up a German troop transport would change his life forever. When the wrong train blows up he meets six year-old Gretl the only survivor and the two are linked forever. Even when he sends her to South Africa their bond cannot be broken.
I had never heard of this part of history before and found it fascinating. The story stopped and started a bit, but during the action parts I could not put it down.
#12: Undercover Bride by Margaret Brownley: Pinkerton Detective Maggie Cartwright is trying to catch a train robber and murderer. Posing as a mail order bride for the prime suspect Garrett Thomas she hopes to gather the information she needs and leave without walking down the aisle. But he is not at all what she imagined.
It was so interesting to read a historical detective story and see how crimes were solved over one hundred years ago. They did not have the technology we do today and I liked learning about other ways to gather evidence.
#11: The Lopsided Christmas Cake by Wanda E Brunstetter and Jean Brunstetter: Twin sisters Elma and Thelma Hochstetler have always done everything together including remaining unmarried. When they hear about a charity baking auction they decide to bake their grandmother’s famous Christmas cake for it.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the twins’ antics and adventures as they try to make a new life on their own for the first time and try to find love. There is a lot of humor in this book that kept me smiling.