There’s nothing I like better than to curl up on a comfy chair (or the end of a dock) with a good book. I’ve been an avid reader since I was seven years old. I remember the first time my father took me to the library to get a library card. “You mean I can take any book I want?”
“Sure,” he said, “you can take up to four, but we’re just borrowing them. You have to bring them back in three weeks.”
I remember the joy I felt upon returning home to spend hours reading those four books.
By the time I was a teen, before my re-version, I devoured trashy, explicit romance novels (all available at the public library) like they were candy.
The 50 Shades books are quite popular and the movie is coming out just in time for Valentine’s Day. Women and men of all ages are devouring these books that promote illicit lifestyles, domination and abuse of women. It’s sad, really, but not surprising given our current culture of death and “anything goes” secular society.
Like anyone, I love a good story, but I especially enjoy a compelling romance or suspense novel. As I grew in my faith, I no longer wanted to read fiction with explicit sex scenes or novels that promoted abuse of women. So I began seeking out Christian fiction. However, I yearned to read good, compelling fiction with Catholic themes.
In response to this desire, I started writing my first novel, Emily’s Hope, in 2001. Not only did I want to write a compelling story, I also wanted to include information on the Theology of the Body and Natural Family Planning. If I was going to write a novel, I wanted to write one that had the potential of evangelizing. Admittedly, this book’s target audience is small (NFP teachers love it), so I decided to widen my audience, improve my writing and include the Catholic/Theology of the Body themes in a less overt way.
Since then, I’ve written four more books and each one has been on various Amazon bestseller lists. My newest novel, A Subtle Grace, just hit #1 in Christian Historical Fiction, Christian Historical Romance and Christian Romance. And my publishing company now publishes other authors’ novels.
St. John Paul II said we can “overcome evil with good.” Here is a list of contemporary Catholic novels with Theology of the Body themes that can uplift, inspire and serve as an antidote to ALL the secular, trashy novels that promote illicit lifestyles. These novels encourage virtue rather than vice, respect rather than domination and love rather than lust.
Emily’s Hope (Ellen Gable, 2005, FQP)
Passport (Christopher Blunt, 2008, Pelican Crossing Press)
Midnight Dancers (Regina Doman, 2008, Chesterton Press)
In Name Only (Ellen Gable, 2009, FQP)
Stealing Jenny (Ellen Gable, 2011, FQP)
Finding Grace (Laura Pearl, 2012, Bezalel Books)
Angela’s Song (AnnMarie Creedon, 2012, FQP)
Rapunzel Let Down (Regina Doman, 2013, Chesterton Press)
Vingede (Friar Tobe #2) (Krisi Keley, 2013, S & H Publishing)
Don’t You Forget About Me (Erin McCole Cupp, 2013, FQP)
A Subtle Grace (Ellen Gable, 2014, FQP)
The Lion’s Heart (Dena Hunt, 2014, FQP)
A World Such as Heaven Intended (Amanda Lauer, 2014, FQP)
Working Mother (Erin McCole Cupp, 2014, FQ Publishing)
Do you have a favorite Catholic novel that is uplifting and edifying? Please feel free to comment below.
Copyright 2015 Ellen Gable Hrkach
Image: Tim Baklinski (Two Trees Photography)
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Barb S says
Awesome article! I’ve read all but 4 of these. Must fix that…
Ellen Gable Hrkach says
Thank you, Barb!
There are wonderful titles here–some of which I’ve read and enjoyed immensely, and others I’d already added to my “to read” list (and I must get to them!). I feel strongly about the importance of good Catholic fiction in this crazy world of ours. (And I appreciate seeing Finding Grace included on your list. :))
Ellen Gable Hrkach says
Amen, Laura! Thanks so much for commenting!!
Quintus N. Sachs says
Oops… Male here! Is this topic some kinda “girly thing”? Like; I’m interested in catholic literature, been reading and writing about it, here in Germany and the Netherlands. And I really like reading Graham Greene, Gerard Reve, Willem Jan Otten, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, Ron Hansen etc. But… this list is completely new to me. Are these all catholic books by catholic writers? Is it possible, you put the authors with the titles? That would really help a lot.
Lisa Mladinich says
These are all contemporary Catholic authors writing on themes consistent with Catholic teaching on the Theology of the Body, St. John Paul II’s teachings on human sexuality.