I have had the honor and privilege to read Books 1, 2 & 3 of Julie Lessman's Daughters of Boston series. To quote the Romantic Times, "This isn't your mother's inspirational fiction!"
And boy howdy is it not! As a romantic, I fell in love with the O'Connor women. Julie wrote about historical scenarios each and every one of us can relate to. We've all struggled with how much is "too much" when your dating. I have a friend who experienced Faith's story of loving a man who didn't love her and wasn't a Christian, either. I myself experienced Lizzie's story of falling in love with a "big brother" type who couldn't see past his nose. Charity's story of redemption is easily recognizable by women who have troubled backgrounds or less-than-savory reputations.
Julie deals with HARD issues in her books, putting them in the "edge inspirational fiction" category. And as a therapist, I loved them all! Familial betrayal and backstabbing. Rape. Incest. Alcoholism. War. Assault and battery. Sibling death. Domestic violence. Lying. Cheating. Deception. Suicide. Caught between two loves. All of these and more are touched in in these three books, some more than others. Some are mentioned through backstory development. Some take front and center stage. Characters in each of her books could have really benefitted from some therapy...no joke. One actually gets some minisiterial counseling, which was nice to read. I might have to do some character therapy for these guys and gals down the road...if I ever run out of people writing in, I just might. :-)
Of course, she also dealt with passion - between married couples and dating couples. I believe Julie has hit upon a huge market of women in the Christian fiction world who hunger and thirst for their toes to curl and their own hearts to beat fast at the anticipation of yet another romantic scene. I confess, I often flipped through pages just to see how long I had to read until I got to another kissing scene. :-) Women love to get caught up in a good love story. And I do mean LOVE story. Why do you think I read all my mom's old Harlequins under the sink in the guest bathroom when she wasn't looking? Now, I get all the emotional rush of reading one of those more classically defined "smut" novels incorporated into a book that has Jesus (or the very real need for Jesus) on every page.
I think what I loved the most about her books was the true depth of feeling she brought to the emotions her characters experienced. I got emotional several times (of course, I'm a huge sucker for a long-awaited wedding) and I believe it was in large part to how Julie depicted the scenes. Her description is wonderful. Plain and simple. She draws the reader in with incredibly original metaphors, action-packed verbs and an enviable deep POV.
I highly recommend these books (duh!) and suggest you start with your moms after you've read them. Were my grandmother living, I might give them to her to read. She just might not be as scandalized as I thought she would be. Real women aren't prudish, so the books we read shouldn't have to be. Praise the Lord!
Thanks, Julie, for sharing your God-given talent. I can't wait to be an influencer for you!
I hope you want to pick up these wonderful books and support Julie. I'm afraid my own copies are on my keeper shelf. :-)