Where Readers & Writers Connect
Christian romances comprise a challenging balance of sexual tension and purity. Many times, sexual tension never comes into play, resulting in a feel-good romance where the boy gets the girl and they all live happily ever after. It’s a modern revamp of the fairy tales from our youth. Don’t misunderstand. Those are fun to read, but what does a Christian lady do when she wants a little spice between the pages? Something that reads a little closer to life while encouraging her with a realistic happy ending for a lady of faith?
You read The Covering by Dana Pratola.
Tessa, the female protagonist, is a lady after my own heart. More than anything she wants to be the “Jesus Example” to those around her, and to live in a way that He would be proud. Like me, she battles with her temper, of putting her foot in her mouth, and she is tormented by the poor decisions of her life. However, she moves on, determination and faith pressing her onward.
Then Gunnar strides into her life and pushes every hot little button he can get his hands on.
The attraction is heady, physical, and enough to cause Tessa more than a single moment of temptation and confusion. After all, Gunnar isn’t a believer. In fact, he makes it blatantly clear he has no desire to become one. But that doesn’t usher away the attraction. Later, when Gunnar begins to show a more tender side to his nature, it definitely does not alleviate Tessa’s inner turmoil.
This zing and clash of emotions is one of the best aspects of the novel. It injects a powerful feel of realism to the romance. In fact, Dana has used this tension as a poignant reminder of our own personal challenges, regardless of our belief system, and how we should and could face them in victory.
Tessa learns much about her character because of her willingness to look herself in the face and see her failings as God sees them: a work in progress. Thus challenged, she attempts to do better at treating Gunnar with respect and understanding, and admitting when she is out of line. It is this humility which continues to attract Gunnar, and allows God to begin softening his heart until he, too, becomes a believer.
Dana handles the conflicts and romance in The Covering from a common-sense/Christian world view, spinning an edgy and powerful story. I would recommend this novel to my Christian and non-Christian friends alike, and isn’t that the best type of witnessing tool?
Nona King is the author of To Save a Soul (The Soul Cycle).
“Writing is more than a gift, it is a struggle that blesses those who see it through to the end.” www.NonaKing.com – Fiction . Read her blog at www.WordObsession.net.