I went looking for an award winning book of Christian fiction and found Charles Martin’s When Crickets Cry. I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of him before. I even went to Powell’s and didn’t find his books in the shelves. I found a voice I didn’t know I was looking for. Poetic, lyrical, funny, honest, and gripping. I’ve only read two out of his five novels, but he is an author you can’t pass up.
It’s an injustice to Martin’s work to call it Christian fiction. It’s literary as well as Christian—one novel is described as suspense, others are described as Southern Lit.—but there’s also romance, and there are elements of Man Lit. (if such a thing existed). It’s a lot of things and the beauty of his novels is that you finish them changed, moved, uplifted. That’s a precious thing.
His novels explore losing loved ones, dealing with the tragic past, looking for hope in the world’s mess. His voice is genuine, vulnerable, sentimental, and Christ centered.
I’ll save any summaries because you can find all that plus the first chapter of his books on his website, so if you do get a chance to read something of his let me know what you think.