Ok, here’s my plan for the week: Today review A Flame in the Darkness, tomorrow comment on the surprising insight the romance aspect gave me (like I did here about Lutheran settings), Wednesday I’ll review When Someone Dies Find Comfort in Jesus, Thursday is probably thoughts for writers about Getting it Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, and Friday I’ll link an article, “How to Choose the Best Beta Readers for Your Book (and avoid the worst). Okie dokie?
The Flame in the Darkness Review
This book is more than historical fiction: it’s storytelling done right. The story certainly breathes life and fresh perspective into a period of history, but it isn’t clunky. It isn’t overly-academic in its details, which is sometimes my problem with historical fiction. It’s just good and satisfying.
Yes, Martin Luther is a character, but there is a really nice balance between a) how Luther’s history-making events shape characters and scenes and b) how Luther comes across as an actual human being/character, who happens to be the excited preacher and beloved professor of the main character(s).
Overall, this is a great Lutheran novel. There’s realistic conversations that talk about God, vocation, theology of the cross, and clear, sweet Gospel rightly divided from Law. Woo hoo!
There’s romance and intrigue. There’s inner tension and real struggle. There are problems we still face and pulled heartstrings as we consider the characters in the hard times before us. But more than that there is so much hope and Gospel as God works in the lives of these individuals.
Plus—and this is a very big plus—it’s a story that didn’t make me roll my eyes. I didn’t roll my eyes at the scenarios, characters, developments, romance . . . it’s a work that isn’t pigeon-holed into being merely historical fiction or romance or however else you’d like to classify it. It’s just good, ol’ satisfying Lutheran fiction, a real Reformation novel. I am exceedingly pleased that CPH has published this!
Keep writing, Sarah Baughman, and I’ll keep reading!
PS. GoodReads Giveaway here!!!!