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.
#10: Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason: James O’Leary wants to save his horse farm Irish Meadows from ruin, and believes the best way for that to happen is for his children to marry well. Eldest daughter Colleen has no desire to marry yet and spends her time flirting with men. Second daughter Brianna wants to attend college before marriage.
There are a lot of interesting characters and twists in the story that kept me reading. But, I wanted a bit more from the story. I felt like problems were fully resolved and then something unnecessary would happen to reopen them.
#9: Huckleberry Hearts by Jennifer Beckstrand: Six years ago Cassie Coblenz left her Amish community behind to go to college. Now she has returned home while her grandmother undergoes surgery and to study for her GRE. Her grandparents understand her and since she is no longer Amish she believes she will be exempt from their famous matchmaking endeavors.
I fell in love with Cassie and Zach, and wanted to see things work out for both of them. At times however, I wondered if they would with their histories.
#8: Spy of Richmond by Jocelyn Green: Unionist Sophie Kent wants to see the American Civil War end as quickly as possible. Living in the Confederate capital she is the perfect place to gather information to help the Union army but also the most dangerous. Despite all she works hard to gather information that can aid the Union troops.
I was somewhat familiar with what happened in Richmond during the war, but this gave me a deeper perspective. There are a lot of different characters on both sides of the political spectrum of Richmond at the time doing different things.
#7: The Friends of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury: Fictionalized versions of the lives of six of Jesus’ closest friends during his ministry. In reading each of their stories you will see how Jesus changed each of their lives by his friendship.
I know each of these people from the Bible, but I now see each of them in a new light. Jesus truly changed each of them through what he did for them and being their friend. He gave each of them what they needed; I never would have realized that if it were not for the way their stories are told.
#6: Huckleberry Harvest by Jennifer Beckstrand: Mandy Helmuth is visiting her grandparents and wants nothing to do with her grandmother’s schemes to find her a husband. The one man her grandmother has not tried to set her up with is Noah Mischler, and she is glad because he broke her best friend’s heart. Still she cannot help feeling drawn to him.
Beckstrand perfectly combines humor with seriousness for a powerful story. I could not put it down.
#5: The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson: Odette Menkels knows what it is like to be hungry and uneducated, now she does her best to help the poor around her. By day she teaches the orphans of the community and by night she poaches in Thornbeck forest. Jorgen Hartman is the new forester and when he discovers signs of a poacher he is determined to catch him.
I loved how Dickerson took the story of Swan Lake and made it plausible by adding elements of Robin Hood. I had no idea where the story would go from one chapter to the next.
#4: Taken by Dee Henderson: At age 16 Shannon Bliss was abducted, and forced to help the Jacoby crime family. Now she has finally managed to escape, and wants to come home at last, but she also wants to see justice done for the victims of the family. She approaches Private Investigator Matthew Dane to help her work with the police.
Henderson weaves so many elements together to make a story that draws you in from the very beginning. On the surface there may not seem to be many questions that need to be answered but as the book goes on she reveals more and more. These questions will keep you guessing till the very end.
#3: Lady Maybe by Julie Klassen: Sir John Mayfield wishes to take his wife Marianna away, so with her companion Hannah Rogers they leave Bath for Devonshire. Before arriving at their destination they are involved in a terrible carriage crash killing the coachman and one of the women. Sir John fights for his life while the women tries to piece together her identity.
I could not put this book down! There are so many twists and turn along the way. Every time I thought I had everything figured out a new secret that I never saw coming would be revealed.
It was impossible for me to choose between the next two books which one was the best of the year because they were both excellent. So here are the two number one books of 2015.
#1: Not By Sight by Kate Breslin: Grace Mabry is determined to do all she can to help Britain’s war effort and bring her brother home safely. To all appearances Jack Benningham is a rouge who refuses to fight after his brother’s death. But, that is just a ruse.
I was drawn into this story from the very beginning and not released until the very end. I found Breslin’s descriptions of life on the homefront during World War 1 fascinating. Grace goes to work for the war effort like many of the women era.
#1: War Room by Chris Fabry: Tony and Elizabeth Jordan seem to have it all: great jobs, a beautiful daughter, and a dream home. But on the inside of their lives their perfect life is crumbling, and there seems to be nothing they can do to stop it. Then Elizabeth meets Clara Williams who challenges her to fight for her husband instead of against him with the power of prayer.
I could not put the book down! Even though I knew exactly what was going to happen after seeing the movie reading it ingrained it more deeply. Both the book and the movie have given me a new perspective on prayer and how powerful and important it is.