Reading Matter: April 2005 Archives

April 5, 2005

Sue's Way

Sometimes you send out a book for review, and the reviewer doesn't like it. A decent reviewer will explain what it was they didn't like the about a book. An honourable silence is considered to be the best way an author or publisher can deal with a poor review. Unless you are a small Christian press specialising in evangelical fiction, of course.

Steph, of Steph's Book Reviews, didn't like Leah's Way by Richard Borthelo. Helpfully, she lists some of the things she didn't like about the book:

There are many ways in which a book can be bad, you see: it can be poorly written, with clunky prose and bad pacing; it can be dragged down by uninteresting or badly rendered characters; it can be heavy-handed proselytizing dressed up as fiction. Sometimes, it can be all of these, and more. That's when you get a book like Leah's Way...

...As is common in Christian fiction, the dialogue is painfully awkward, the characters breaking the fourth wall to directly address the reader with long, tearfully earnest soliloquies about their struggles as Christians and their attempts to love God. The pacing is poor, skipping huge chunks of time and devoting too many pages to unimportant scenes in its rush to tell the story of Leah's entire life. And, because this is ultimately religious propaganda, the climactic ending is an absurdly saccharine chat between Leah and her God, affirming their undying love for one another even as she coughs chunks of lung upon a park bench.

Sue Eccleston of publisher Windstream Press was not amused, and chose not the path of honour. She mailed Steph, to demonstrate her Christian values of tolerance, peace, and forgiveness, and eventually lost it completely:

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Reading Matter category from April 2005.

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