Dee Gist writes some of the best "inspirational" fiction out there today. Her themes are thoughtful, her characters snappy, and her backgrounds well-researched. Each book of Dee's gets better than the last. The struggles in Measure are pretty deep, like the issue of attitude toward others, which Christians don't always want to consider. Rachel and Johnny are different characters at the end of the book, noticeably matured after the events of the story. I appreciate how Dee deals with serious subjects without losing her sense of humor.
All I can say is that this book is wonderful! There are so many things about the characters that I enjoy, especially the fact that they are FAR from perfect. I also love that Ms. Gist gives us female characters with fun interests like "insects" or math. It makes for an interesting twist and entertaining dialog.
I too read a BRIDE MOST BEGRUDING. What a wonderful book! I love it. I didn't even think it was the same author until I read some of the posts. I'm liking the beginning of this one as well. I love the period of the late 1800's. I think I should have been born during that time.
I'm not usually a historical romance fan, but Deeanne Gist's novels are the exception. I laugh. I cry. I learn more about the histrory of this country than I did in my high school AP class. And I fall in love with my own husband again. It's a great feeling--better than chocolate.
I guess, after reading A Bride Most Begrudging, I am a bit disappointed in The Measure of a Lady. It just seems so judgemental of Rachel for having standards. Not to say that her being judgmental wasn't wrong, that she should have showed more grace, especially since her sister was one of the fallen women, but I think this book went too far in the other direction. And I'm glad that I didn't assume, since the first book was appropriate, that it would be appropriate to recommend this book, especially to the young ladies. I found that this book was way too tittilating for Christian reading. I wont be recommending this author.
I really respect your stand on this, Kiki. This seems to be quite a (pardon the pun) hot topic in Christian circles: how much sex is too much for Christian fiction? I have really thought this one over, and here's why I think "Measure" is appropriate. Rachel truly desires to please God & do what's right. When she does something that goes against her conscience (i.e., Johnny kisses her after she goes after her sister, the scene in the redwood forest), Rachel hits her knees & begs God for forgiveness and the strength to do what's right. Even Johnny's conscience bothers him to the point that he rededicates himself to Christ. The difference in his life is seen when he's on the beach with Rachel and he is content to wait till they are married to even kiss her again. The author shows a continual struggle to do what's right, and that is such a HUGE part of the Christian life.
The other reason I think "Measure" is appropriate has to do with a phone call a friend heard on Dr. Laura's radio show. A woman called saying her husband was always complaining that she was never "in the mood". Dr. Laura asked her why she was never in the mood, and the woman said, "oh, I don't know...I just never think about it." Dr. Laura said, "FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, WOMAN, READ A ROMANCE NOVEL!" :-) Great advice, I thought. But so much of the romance genre is so trashy...I didn't want to read about bed-hoppers or people whose values didn't match up with mine. The Christian romance genre is so wonderful and really meets this need for me. Not all the novels I have read are as "steamy" as others, but the "steamy" ones I have read are so tastefully written...nothing, in my opinion, inappropriate. I have even recommended Francine Rivers' "Redeeming Love" to a friend's teenage daughters. Both girls and the mother, all non-Christians, have now seen an easily understood picture of the Gospel and God's unconditional love for us while reading a great story.
Thank you Katy, I have heard the same sentiment that Kiki expressed a few times, but haven't had the right words to respectfully counter-point.
I'd say more, but you've already said it all - and you put it perfectly, Katy!
Wonderfully put!!! There needs to be Christian fiction out there that tells it like it is. I work in a place where there are several single Christian women of all ages and they are on their knees daily with the struggles that being single brings. I say keep it up. My daughter (27 and single) and I (51 and married) can hardly wait until her next book comes out.
I absolutely love both of Deeanne Gist's books, and I am waiting on pins and needles for her next one. As for "The Measure of a Lady", I love the depth of her characters, the fact that they're not perfect, and that Deeanne adds a lot of humor to the story to make it a fun read. I even liked the fact that the end of the story isn't tied up in a perfect happy package, that there were still issues to deal with. This is a WONDERFUL story, very well written and well worth the read.
Being a young woman living in this day and age I truly apreciated Ms. Gist's realistic portrayal of situations that I see everyday in college. You may think that the book went too far in the other direction but I think it so encouraging to see voiced questions that I have all the time. How am I to respond to the sin which I am emersed in every day? I know what Christ has outlined for me and I know his standards but I have also seen, just as Rach learned in "Lady," how experiences with judgemental Chrsitians have hardened some people's hearts against Jesus forever. It is a fine line and I felt that Ms. Gist explored it very well, helping me too see my own judgemental attitude and reminding me that right after loveing our Lord, the second greatest commandment is to love each other. As far as the book being too titilating, I was encouraged to see a situation like that protrayed in such a way that gave me hope. There are very real temptations in life but we were able to see the way Rach and her sister handled them differently. Without the scene in the forest I don't think Rach would have seemed as human.
Hi highly recommend this book for young women and here is why:
1. When I was young, my mom got me some Focus on The Family novel (or something) to teach my abstinence. The girl and the boy were kissing and the boy held up a condom and said, "Is it time for this?" The girl said no and broke up with him. Duh. Easy answer. But in life it is not so easy. Tempatation seems like the natural and right thing to do. And young women have no idea how hard it is going to be to make the right choice. Youth group leaders are having premarital sex and pastors are having affairs. It is hard to say no, but it can be done with God's help. The Measure of a Lady doesn't just teach this lesson, it lets the reader feel it.
2. God created sex to be beautiful and young women need to know this. If they see how wonderful it can be, they will set their expectations higher. Measure of a Lady does an exceptional job of differentiating between what God designed sex to be and was man has used it for.
Deanne Gist's book the Measure of a Lady is so wonderfully written, I loved it! I have read lots and lots of Christian fiction and I keep coming back to these books. I have read both Gist's -The Measure of a Lady- and - A Bride Most Begrudging- many times over. She tells a great story and she actually has characters that have a sense of humor. Yeah!! Her characters are real people. I have given each book several times over as gifts. I am waiting and waiting for her new release in June of 2007! Enjoy it again and again! Crystal