Monday, March 08, 2004

book of the month: the heartbreaker

Confession. I love Susan Howatch. Her latest novel, The Heartbreaker, continues my affair of the heart. Sure it’s long. Sure it’s not a thriller. But I’d buy it because
1 – It’s fiction. And in the world of my imagination is where God most often sandbags me.
2 – It offers a superb contemporary contextualisation of Luke 15
3 – It offers some very interesting insights on sexuality, particularly the complexities around homosexuality. This book will satisfy neither liberal or fundamentalist, but it might make both more sensitive and less dogmatic.
4 – It offers a pastoral model of the “long haul”, in which God works deeply through sustained listening, committed Christian behaviours and the desire for sustained integrated lives.

If your world includes people or ministry, then reading Howatch will be time well spent.

Posted by steve at 08:35 AM


  1. You might enjoy Catherine Fox’s books as well. I’ve read “Angels and Men” and thought it was wonderful.

    See: Angels and Men

    Also while I’m recommending books you can’t go past Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow.

    Comment by Stephen — March 8, 2004 @ 10:04 am

  2. Ever since I was given Glittering Images I have been totally and wonderfully hooked too. I think a required read for all thinking christians of any tradition. I regularly give her books as gifts…

    Comment by finker — March 9, 2004 @ 3:50 am

  3. Glittering Images was my lifeline during my transition from institutional church to wider life. As horrible as it sounds, it was the first time I had encountered authentic spirituality outside of the rule-laden evangelical arena that I had been in. I feel confident, if a bit strange to say that the set of books (what do you call a five book set – fivology?) helped me believe in God in a way that 15 years of church couldn’t.

    Comment by Lisa — March 9, 2004 @ 6:08 am

  4. Howatch’s writing is gripping.Probably more real than we like to think as we sit in our pews. I would like to read this new book.

    Comment by Allan — March 21, 2004 @ 1:31 pm

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