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Book Review: Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams

When people think about faith, they usually think “Christian fiction” or “Inspirational fiction”.  I happen to both be a Christian and to hate Christian fiction.  I know that seems like a controversial statement, but on the whole it tends to focus so much on being Christian that it loses its focus on good writing, story, and character development.  So I am always excited to read a ya novel that handles faith with depth and grace, which is part of the reason why I love Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams.

Back cover blurb: When the best part of a family dies, everyone falls apart . . .
First lines: After it happened no one in school would talk to me.  No one.

London comes from a family of missionaries.  She has grown up in Africa and Latin America with her parents and brother, Zach.  The two of them were incredibly close.  But now he is gone. And everything is falling apart.

Waiting is a tale of healing.  Of families that fall apart and can’t find a way back to each other.  Of guilt and blame.  Of losing your faith and finding it again.  Although there are some controversial subjects presented here, such as teen pregnancy and abortion, it is told with an eye towards hope and redemption.  Williams realizes that faith isn’t something other in one’s life, but something that weaves through all parts of it – even when we aren’t sure what we believe anymore.  So here we have a haunting, beautiful look at teens trying to incorporate a spiritual life in a real world touched by tragedy.

Waiting is a beautiful story told in haunting and beautiful poetry.  Carol Lynch Williams is the PEN American Foundation Physllis Reynolds Naylor Award for her previous novel Glimpse.  This is one of the few books that have made me cry.  I give it 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it.


  1. Thanks so much for posting this review! I have also been disappointed by Christian fiction, although I have to admit, I have not forayed into YA Christian market fiction; my experience is solely on adult market inspirational fiction. I'm actually curious now what Christian YA is like… but anyway, I really appreciate books that explore faith without being overly preachy. I think that reader exists: those teens who are Christians who want to read about people like them without a heavy-handed agenda. I will check this one out.

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