Clear Winter Nights is not an ugly book. I’m glad I’ve got that off my chest.
Now, let me explain what I mean by that.
A few years back, the Christian blogosphere went insane when a certain book hit the shelves. It was all anyone could talk about—the book’s message, its author, heaven, hell and the fate of everyone who’s ever lived.
And then the response books started coming out. And while most of these were extremely faithful in defending historic doctrines of the faith… a lot were kind of, well, ugly. They weren’t slinging mud; they just weren’t terribly pleasant to read.
Trevin Wax felt—and, more importantly, voiced—that frustration. So, in the midst of all the ugliness he saw, he wanted to write something sharing the Truth in a way that is not ugly.
So how do you do that? Some opt for cleverness, delighting in wit and wordplay. Others take the harder road: combining theology and story. This is the route Trevin chose with Clear Winter Nights, the story of a young man filled with doubts about his faith who is confronted by the answers to his questions.
Combining theology with good storytelling is tricky. Only a handful of authors do this well: C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis…
(Did I mention C.S. Lewis?)
Trevin’s set himself up for quite the challenge with this book: Telling a good story while staying faithful to the truth of Christianity. Doing this well is is no easy feat. The discount bins overflow with books that have tried and failed. When it’s done well, it’s pretty amazing. When it’s bad, it’s really, really bad.
So how did Trevin do?
Despite being a newcomer to writing fiction, Trevin tells a memorable story, one marked by honesty and a genuine love of the Truth. This is mostly due to his characters (even the ones I didn’t really care for). [Read more...]