Good Catholic Fiction?

Almost every one of her works features a main character who is Catholic and that is woven into the everyday life of the character–there is usually a reference to attending Mass and many times a priest is a secondary or walk-on character (and I’ve yet to see a negative portrayal of one in any of her books.)

Mary Higgins Clark writes “romantic suspense”. Nothing in the books comes out and whacks you over the head with Catholicism, but the “flavor” is there, it’s natural and never forced. Her memoirs, “Kitchen Privileges” is also a great read. She is a life-long devout Catholic.

I guess it would be more appropriate to say that her work is fiction that happens to feature Catholics who are NOT disenchanted, psychological basket cases, or embroiled in some conspiracy with the Vatican!

One author I love is Father Francis Finn. He taught at a Catholic school around 100 years ago and wrote a series called the Tom Playfair series. I have heard him referred to as the Catholic Dickens. His stories are full of action and they are also fascinating because he potrays what kind of spiritual life Catholics led a century ago and he couches and teaches Catholic virtues within the story. I know you can get his stuff at TAN books.

Thanks Bluerose!
I’m on my way to the library! God Bless!:slight_smile:

I’m not familiar with the Joshua series, so I’m unsure which genre you most enjoy, but, if you want light, you could try any of the “Don Camillo” books by Giovanni Guareschi; they’re Catholic, light-hearted and hysterically funny.

Less light but still enjoyable (and not yet mentioned here) are just about anything by Rumer Godden or Evelyn Waugh (I admit to a Brit-Lit tendency… :))

I don’t think Michael O’Brien is light; and while I enjoyed Father Elijah: An Apocolypse, I just couldn’t get into Strangers and Sojourners. I also really disagree with O’Brien’s perspective on morality and aesthetics in literature and I think it sometimes bleeds into his novels (that, or my knowlege of his views colors them for me…)

Finally, it’s not Catholic fiction per se (and also not completely light), but I also really enjoyed Willa Cather’s Death Comes For the Archbishop.

I’ve not had a chance to read Evelyn Waugh yet, but I’ve heard a number of good things.

I think the key to finding good Catholic fiction is to not limit yourself to the current century. I recently started Don Quixote, written by Miguel de Cervantes (who was a Catholic). It’s a riot!

Love those books. :thumbsup: And guys read them too! The young male characters her books just rock.

Dean Koontz anyone?

YES!!! :thumbsup:

I’m currently reading the first book in C.S. Lewis’ Space trilogy. Very good reading!!

It was either Fr. Z or Father Longnecker who was talking about a female Irish Catholic writer… now I will have to go figure out who it is and get back to you.

Flannery O’Conner!

There was a guy on Doug Keck’s literature show, who was talking about his fictional story where an action man saves the Pope. Does this ring a bell? Thanks!

I know there is a book called The Secret Cardinal and said Cardinal becomes Pope. Does that sound right?
It’s by Tom Grace

The name sounds familiar. Thanks!

Whoever recommended O’Brien’s Father Elijah series as light reading had to have been joking. Reading his stuff is the surest way to make yourself a conspiracy theorist. I’ve read Father Elijah and more recently I read Eclipse of the Sun. They are very good, but for me, reading them was like living in real life under a fascist government that wants to kill you. It really sucked me in and made me paranoid. I hate to say it but I have to recommend against it.

MacFarlane’s stuff bothers me in light of his family troubles of the last decade. It bothers me that the character of Buzz loses his wife Mel (who I think I remember was written as sort of dowdy) and then marries his friend’s more attractive widow. When I read House of Gold I really felt like Bud was writing that character as himself (note that his name is very similar) and it made me think that it would probably bother his real life wife if she read it. It also bothered me that he referred to the new wife Ellie as his “house of gold” and I didn’t recall him saying such romantic stuff about Mel.

I own all of MacFarlane’s stuff but I don’t know how I’d feel about reading it now. Divorce is a serious error.

I really REALLY disliked Conceived without Sin and House of Gold. I actually don’t recommend them to people because, IMHO, they are a bit far out there and kinda conspiracy theorist in nature.
I have no read Father Elijah yet, though. I have been wanting to. I shall keep your review in mind.

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