KD Williams's Reviews > Divine

Divine by Karen Kingsbury
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's review
Apr 23, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction, christian, own-e-book
Recommended to KD by: Free NOOKbook
Recommended for: Faith-fiction fans
Read from April 23 to 27, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 1

This book starts off with some really strong radical Christian propaganda. The author invents a number of statistics that are completely unrealistic about Abstinence only education at a senate hearing and rambles on for an extended period concerning the politics surrounding it. While it is just a scene, it is enough to sicken someone who keeps their feet on the ground concerning the education and mental state of the youth today. I personally found this scene unnecessary and nearly deleted the book from my Nook before continuing on.

The book does continue on to tell a very detailed and graphic story about a couple girls and how they came to and overcame a plethora of abusive situations ranging from Child Prostitution, Sexual slavery, and severe domestic violence. If you cannot handle a number of graphic situations, this book is not for you.

I also did not agree with how the author puts words into God's mouth by having him speak directly to a number of characters and appearing to a few others. While I am often an advocate for artistic licence, I do not find it agreeable to take liberties with what God it saying/thinking/doing. We are merely human and cannot know these things.

All-in-all, if you like intense books and you enjoy "faith-fiction" you may enjoy this book, just be forwarned about the liberties the author takes.
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Reading Progress

04/23/2011 page 20
6.0% "So far this book is horrible and so full of radical christian propaganda (of which I am not a fan) that I am strongly debating deleting it..."

Comments (showing 1-17)

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Sandra I totally agree on all points!

message 16: by KD (new) - rated it 2 stars

KD Williams Sandra wrote: "I totally agree on all points!"

Yaaay I am not alone!

Robin Sad for you. You missed the whole point of Christ's redeeming love for us.

message 14: by KD (new) - rated it 2 stars

KD Williams I know damn well about Christs redeeming love, after the life I have lived so far, I have to. But Christ also said we must be honest, and so that's what I did in my review.

Sandra I know the point was Christs redeeming love but it was just too over the top in this novel.

message 12: by KD (new) - rated it 2 stars

KD Williams Thank you sandra. :)

Robin Over the top? If the God of the Universe could send his ONLY Son to earth to become fully man & die for your sins & mine just so that we might LIVE... how can this one little act of fiction be over the top?! Over the top is that HE did all that for US, even while we were still sinners! We are not even worthy to touch the hem of His robes & yet He did all that for us! That's over the top redeeming love & I think that this book barely scratched the surface... though no fault of Karen Kingsbury's. It's just that magnificent!

Sandra Wow, well you can't argue with that, so, while I stand by my opinion that this book was pretty much terrible and definitely over the top, I am bowing out of this conversation for my own sanity.

message 9: by KD (new) - rated it 2 stars

KD Williams I stand by my opinion that the author should not have put words into god's mouth. What Jesus did for us was over the top and there is no way any one if us deserves it. Thankfully we are able to be forfiven nonetheless.

But while you (Robin) argue that this book is magnuficent, I stand by my opinion that it takes liberties that are not ours to take.

I would however like to point out to you that the tone you are presenting in this thread is that of someone who is being judgemental for us not seeing things your way. Judge not lest ye be judged.

Already by being a zelot you have squelched The voice of one person by driving them to duck out of the conversation. This is one of the things that push so many people away from Christ's love in the World today - much like the characters in the book. I do not say this to attack you, although I am sure it can be read this way; but rather to show you how many others can see your words.

The reason I believe this book is over the top is directly related to the liberties

message 8: by KD (new) - rated it 2 stars

KD Williams that the author took in the book (as described in my review). No one in fact can speak on the behalf of God, so to put words into God's mouth in my opinion is bordering on blasphemy.

The reason I did not say that earlier is because I believe the author had the very best intentions of showing the reader exactly what you pointed out as the premise of this book - Christ's love. I also believe that it is not my job to run around pointing fingers as to who is doing what to blaspheme.

The truth is that it is not my place to judge. While my human nature may form the opinions in my mind, it is my choice as to whether or not I announce them to the world. And so in general I do not, but as the conversation has escalated to this point, I will air it now with a genuine apology to the author as I do not wish to point fingers and lay blame - as I believe that is a sin as well. Fortunately for all of us, God saves his judgment until the end and has given us his only so so that we may be forgiven of all our sins.

I just wish that people would have warned me of what I wrote in my review before I read the book so that I would have been at least aware. Consequently, I decided I would do that service to another.

Robin KD & Sandra...
I was in no way attempting to sound judgmental or condescending with my remarks, nor was I referring to the book when I expressed the "magnificence." That was purely directed at my thoughts of Christ's sacrifice for us.
And while I enjoyed the book, & didn't see any instance where the author was taking liberties with God's thoughts or expressions (perhaps you can show me where?), I did try to bear in mind the ultimate message intended.
The only place I took any issue with your review was the terminology with regards to Christian propaganda. It's such a negative connotation for an industry that has come so far. Christian literature is leaps & bounds over what it was only a decade ago. The only propaganda I see is the artistic license that Satan takes at trying to cut down evidence of God's perfect love through whatever means necessary. I genuinely appreciate authors with such integrity as Karen Kingsbury because through her stories & what I know about her real life (she's a very present 'personality' in Christian circles), I believe her message is sincere. And for that, I am grateful.

Sandra Robin,

I know I said I was done, but I'm going try to better explain my point of view. I think the author did take liberties. There are several instances and I can't scroll through my Nook as easily as I could flip through a book, so I'll just point out a few. I don't know if my page numbers match yours, but on page 60-61 Grace thinks, " 'Now my heart's bare for everyone to see. Right God?' She emptied the can into a glass bowl. 'Right?'" Then God responds, 'I am here daughter... Your ways are not My ways.' The Grace responds to God saying, "Stop!...If You're here, then where are Emma and the girls?' " So the author is showing God responding seemingly out loud to a character and the character responding. The author is giving God dialogue, when I think in reality we cannot know for sure what God might say about anything. Thus, liberties were taken that I don't think should have been taken.

It happens again on page 76 when Mary thinks "God, give me the strength. You know how hard this is for me..." then God responds saying "I am with you, daughter. My Spirit is in you, leading you even now."

On page 118 the author writes, "But every time fear gathered like storm clouds in her mind, she felt God talk to her. 'Be still, daughter. Be still and know that I am God... a strong tower, a refuge for Emma.' The words breathed peace into her..."

Instead of the author saying something like, "Mary felt strength in her soul from God," or, "Mary knew God could be a refuge for Emma," the author puts words into God's mouth.

I'm sure there are further examples in the second half of the novel, but you get my point.

The problem I had with Christian propaganda in this novel was the main character's involvement with Congress, fighting for abstinence-only sex ed in schools. We see this both in the first and last chapters. In the first chapter Mary is on Capitol Hill claiming abstinence only education works and that's where Congress' funding should go. The problem I have are the statistics the author presents are false. "Teen pregnancy down 40 percent... 8 out of 10 students presented with abstinence training were making the decision to wait until marriage." (p.13) This aren't real facts, in fact abstinence only education has repeatedly been shown not to work and high school students are definitely having sex, way more than the 2 out of 10 the book claims are not waiting until marriage. I don't want to start a whole debate about this here, but the issue is that the authors facts are incorrect. Also, in the beginning of the last chapter the Senate Majority Leader contacts Mary to tell her her measures passed. There weren't any incorrect stats here, but the whole situation just seemed fake. I don't know of any Senate Majority Leader who would have had this conversation. That part isn't very realistic.

I haven't read Christian literature from a decade ago, so I'll take your word that it had improved. I'm actually a fan of some Christian fiction, contrary to what you might think from my review of this book. I'm a huge fan of Beverly Lewis and other Amish fiction and I also really enjoy the Love Inspired series from Harlequin. When I was reviewing this book, I reviewed it independently, not as the Christian fiction genre as a whole. I'm not doubting that Kingsbury's message was sincere in this novel, it's obvious through her writing that she is passionate about what she believes.

*whew* It took me forty minutes to work this out! Anyway, I hope that helps you see my point of view better.

Robin I'm glad you didn't bow out, Sandra! I never intended to chase anyone off... :)
While I agree that the statistics & representation of congress in the book are probably more hopeful than realistic, I disagree with your thoughts on the author giving God a voice. I don't believe that we can KNOW God's thoughts or words, but I also don't believe that anything written was out of what we know as the character of our Holy & loving Father. I also don't believe the author portrayed these scenes as spoken words but more as words heard within their hearts, which is distinctly anyway that God does speak to us when we're in tune with his Spirit. Plus, it is a work of fiction.
I do appreciate each point of view, though, & encourage you to try Francine Rivers... an extraordinary Christian author. Her books, Redeeming Love, & her 2 book series beginning with Her Mother's Hope, were some if the best books I've ever read, let alone Christian books. And I've heard simply amazing things about her Mark of the Lion series, which I'm starting when I finish with The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.
Blessings to you both!

Sandra Ok, I'll gladly look into Francine Rivers. Enjoy Hunger Games, that was a great trilogy and I'm excited for the movie.

message 3: by KD (new) - rated it 2 stars

KD Williams thanks sandra! Those were the points I was trying to make. I also don't doubt that the intent was good in those examples, but rather that they could have been presented better. And as for the abstinence inly commentary, I found it completely unneccesary.

Brittany I agree that I found the statistics unrealistic (and in fact the whole Capitol Hill part was unnecessary for me), but IMO- this is a work of fiction. I read it with that in mind, and I don't take any information presented in it for fact. Perhaps it's my education- as a psych major one of the basic points of education I've been taught is to never automatically assume the truth of a statement. I understand your point about not putting words into God's mouth, but I did feel as though most of the things coming from "God" were built upon recognizable scriptures. I also think that it was done to illustrate the personal relationship we can develop with Him, which is an important point in my mind and worth demonstrating. Again, I respect the points made here but wanted to explain another point of view.

Sandra Problem is a lot of readers are going to take those facts as truth and we don't need those kinds of fake facts floating around an already heated debate.

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