A few minutes ago, I posted about the issue of idolatry in Christian romance. I believe the idolatry presented in certain Christian romance (namely, that we can be fulfilled by another person), is an idea we borrowed from the world. So, in the process, we are offering “clean” knock-offs of the world’s stories.
However, I wanted to take a moment to post about Christian romance that I do recommend, in which Christ remains center-stage.
Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn
I first encountered the Christy Miller books when I was the same age as the protagonist, fourteen year-old Christy. The Lord used author Robin Jones Gunn as a pioneer in the genre of YA Christian fiction, when she discovered what kind of books were available to the teenage girls in her church’s youth group. The books were published originally in the late 80s (I think) and have been updated since then. Plus, the author is currently releasing a related series called Haven Makers.
Something I really like about Robin’s books is that, although they do provide a wholesome alternative to mainstream titles, the point is not “you can read this book that is just like mainstream books, minus the sex.” Instead, the point is “here is a young lady who has just met Jesus and is learning what it means to walk with Him.”
Is there romance? Sure! Is it “clean”? You betcha! But the romance is not the point. That is, it is not the basis of the characters’ fulfillment.
I have had the pleasure of interviewing Robin, and am happy to note that she is very responsive to readers, on Facebook 🙂
Something that is particularly fun about the series is that the author has written multiple different series incorporating the same characters. I have read almost all of the books by Robin Jones Gunn, and she manages to slip characters even into books that are seemingly unrelated.
WARNING: If you’re intending to read these books, you may wish to skip the series titles because there are some spoilers even in the titles
Christy Miller books
- Christy Miller
- Twelve book/ four volume series about Christy’s high-school years
- Christy and Todd: The College Years
- Three book series spanning Christy’s time as a college student
- Christy and Todd: The Married Years
- Three book series about the early years of Christy’s marriage to Todd
- Christy and Todd: The Baby Years
- Three book series about Christy and Todd as new parents
- Sierra Jensen
- Twelve book series about the high-school years of Sierra, a friend of Christy’s
- Takes place between original Christy books and the beginning of the college series
- Sierra Jensen also has a spin-off novel, A Kiss at Sunset Beach
- Katie Weldon
- Katie is Christy’s best friend, as well as the subject of a four-book series
- The Katie books take place between Christy’s college years and married years
- Haven Makers
- This is one series I haven’t read, but it includes Christy as a side character.
- Books center around one of Christy’s adult friends, who also has young children.