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The Dark Divine (The Dark Divine, #1)
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The Dark Divine Discussions > Religion (spoilers)

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message 1: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 1 star

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
What do you think of the religious topics in this book?

Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) I thought they were interesting but I was also disappointed because I had expected the book to be far more religious.
The whole hounds of heaven/hell mytholgy (it's not really religion, is it?) was cool but I really would've liked to explore Grace' family and what it's like to come from such a religious family more.

message 3: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 1 star

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
I hated the religion in the book. I just felt it was over done. Though I suppose some people out there grow up like that.

Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) Which parts made you think it was overdone?
The only thing I thought was ridiculous is that Daniel wasn't allowed to go to school with dyed hair.

Michele | 10 comments In my experience as a teen librarian, I see an interest from some teens for books with religious elements. Unfortunately it's slim pickins' for good Christian fiction and I struggle to find decent CF to buy for the collection (please, no more Amish love stories!). So I was pleased to find a book that combines paranormal characters with Christian themes.

That said, I was very disappointed with the cliched pastors' family. (They named their children Grace Divine and Charity Divine - really?).

In my mind, the question of whether Grace has an authentic faith of her own or has settled into the surface trappings of being a pastor's daughter was not answered.

Marija (helengraham) | 16 comments Infinite Playlist wrote: "Which parts made you think it was overdone?
The only thing I thought was ridiculous is that Daniel wasn't allowed to go to school with dyed hair."

That part made me laugh... When I was in eighth grade, one of my classmates got detention for dying her hair black. What caught my eye, was that the principal (who was a nun) had dyed her hair a similar color, only it suited the girl; on the nun, it looked like she had used shoe polish. Oh, vanity. ;)

Yes the naming in the book is rather clichéd. And it's also improbable that a small town parson would have connections with an Orthodox priest who would lend him those rare documents. But I didn't mind the paranormal take on the prodigal son story. I thought it interesting, along with the idea—Who's really the bad son? The one that ran away, or the one who stayed home.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I keep seeing this book everywhere I turn, I'd really like to read it but I'm worried it's just going to be one of those anti-Christianity books, is it one them? Should I just not bother?

message 8: by Annalisa (last edited Jun 28, 2010 08:25AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Annalisa (goodreadsannalisa) Victoria,
Not at all. The protagonist is a pastor's daughter so her struggle to be the perfect daughter is part of the setting and her religious background helps her uncover some of the religious themes in the book.

Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) I agree Annalisa, the book never really questions the Christian beliefs, that's not really what it's about anyway. Correct me if I'm wrong but in my memory not even Daniel himself says anything bad about religion or questions why certain things are happening to him, does he?

message 10: by Annalisa (last edited Jun 28, 2010 08:27AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Annalisa (goodreadsannalisa) It's been several months since I've read it, but I don't think so. The tone was more that it was their fault for rebelling than that God did anything to them. It uses the religious themes to explain the paranormal, not to question Christianity.
Did you think the pastor family was authentic? I thought it had too much of a Mormon flavor to it, but maybe nobody else would notice that.

Angie, if the religion had been preachy, I would have thought it overdone, but as you said, someone who grows up in a strong religious family, it would become part of everything in her life. If it had not been, I wouldn't have thought it as realistic.

Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) I thought the pastor family was authentic but then again I don't think I can really judge this because I only know 2 pastor families and neither of them very well. I thought some things might be a bit clichéd but maybe they just really are that way.

Annalisa (goodreadsannalisa) Okay, good to know.

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks, I'll definitely get on to reading it then. =)

message 14: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 1 star

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
I don't think it is anti-christian at all. In fact... I would go as far as to say it is pro-christian.

Megan Mweemba (meganlovesbooks) I'm a Christan and I was a bit disappointed in the religious aspects of this book. Sure, they were plenty realistic for some cases, but I thought overall it kind of misrepresented Christians. But then again, I'm pretty sure they were Catholic...maybe that's the difference. ;)

Annalisa (goodreadsannalisa) Megan, they weren't Catholic. It was a pastor's family. What did you think was misrepresented?

Megan Mweemba (meganlovesbooks) Annalisa wrote: "Megan, they weren't Catholic. It was a pastor's family. What did you think was misrepresented?"

Well, just the things the family did, for instance: swearing, drinking (sometimes), just things like those...sure, Christians do those things, but they're not right. I just don't like seeing a pastor's family portrayed like that, because really, we're not supposed to be like that. And also a lot of the things seemed, I don't know, more old fashioned religion and stuff...but maybe just because I'm a Baptist. I mean, beliefs vary a lot, of course. But I do think that some things were done very well. But do you know if the author is Christian?

Annalisa (goodreadsannalisa) The author is Mormon. I thought the pastor family seemed very Mormon, but Infinite Playlist thought they were authentic (above). I don't remember swearing and drinking. Were Grace and Jude doing that? From what I remembered they were very conservative and Grace very conscious of her image as the pastor's daughter. What did you think was old fashioned?

message 19: by Megan (last edited Jul 01, 2010 07:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Megan Mweemba (meganlovesbooks) Yeah, I think it makes sense that there were Mormon influences.
Now that I keep thinking about it, for the most part, the only things I remember that bothered me were the swearing that Grace did (she said what the h--- several times, and maybe d--n...but it seemed like she didn't even think it was swearing, because when Daniel started to say s--t, she stopped him and told him not to swear in school! Although she herself even said the s-word later, and her little brother heard her and started repeating it. =P but to me, what she said IS swearing.) and the drinking wasn't much, Jude just did it once I'm pretty sure.
I don't remember a lot of the other stuff since I don't have a copy with me right now, I just remember thinking/feeling that some aspects were a bit...maybe not exactly old fashioned, just a bit different perhaps.

Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) But just because Grace and the rest of her family swear sometimes and/or drink doesn't mean the pastor's family isn't portrayed authentically, is it? I mean, that's one of the points of a book: to introduce characters to us and to also tell us that these characters have their strenghts and flaws, in this case Grace' flaw might be that she sometimes is not a perfect pastor's daugther. It would be boring if Christian families would always be portrayed as perfect just because they should be in real life.

Megan Mweemba (meganlovesbooks) Infinite Playlist wrote: "But just because Grace and the rest of her family swear sometimes and/or drink doesn't mean the pastor's family isn't portrayed authentically, is it? I mean, that's one of the points of a book: to ..."

I do agree with that. I just feel sad sometimes about how Christianity is portrayed to the secular world (or whatever you want to call it) because often times that's what they'll base their whole view of Christianity off of. But I guess that's not entirely too relevant in this case.

Annalisa (goodreadsannalisa) I thought it was good portrayal. It showed Grace struggling to be good and maintain a good image and worried about people without being preachy or self-righteous. And like Infinite Playlist said, she was trying but still made mistakes. I'm surprised I don't remember Jude drinking. I think I would have remembered that.

Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) He got really drunk when he was mad at basically everyone, at the night of the prom, near the end. Memroy's coming back? :)

message 24: by Annalisa (last edited Jul 03, 2010 09:22AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Annalisa (goodreadsannalisa) Oh, that's right. For some reason I kept thinking it must have been around Thanksgiving. I just remembered his friend, that Grace went to the dance with, drinking, at least I think he was. It's been several months since I read it. I guess I didn't love it if I didn't remember all the details :).

Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) Don't worry, I'll probably forget about it in a few months as well (or maybe not because we talked about it here ;). And her friend Pete drank as well, I think, at least he acted pretty drunk.

message 26: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 1 star

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
I wonder why for some people you have to not drink, not swear, not have sex, not not not in order to be religious. I have a friend who is like that.. because I don't read my bible everyday, and I drink and what now I am not a good enough religious person.

message 27: by Miss Bookiverse (last edited Jul 09, 2010 05:07AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) I'm not religious myself, but I agree with Angie. Religion shouldn't be about being called a good Christian/Moslem/Jew/whatever but about your connection with the God/spirit you believe in.
In the book however it seems to be rather important that you don't do drugs etc. to be considered a proper religious person.

Michele | 10 comments Exactly. If you didn't know that Grace was a pastor's daughter, you would not consider her a "Christian" character. Her actions stem from her desire to keep up her family's role in the community rather than her faith.

I would have really liked to see Grace wrestle with issues of her faith in a meaningful way rather than just focus on keeping up appearances.

message 29: by Annalisa (last edited Jul 12, 2010 08:38AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Annalisa (goodreadsannalisa) I didn't mind that Grace didn't wrestle with her faith. She accepted it and that wasn't what the story was about. I can understand where her dad is a pastor and his livelihood depends on his righteousness, and that of his family, that she would feel pressure to be seen as good. I thought that was realistic. I don't think it made her an insincere religious person to feel that pressure, nor that she doesn't question what she's already accepted, or maybe has yet to question.

While I agree with Infinite Playlist that religion is about your relationship with God and not that people perceive you as a good religious person, for people who are religious following commandments is a way of drawing closer to God and building that relationship with him. There is no way for an outsider to know if a person's decision to "be good" is for public approval or as part of their commitment to God. And I'm not talking about literature where we get in a protagonist's head, but in real life where we can't possibly know someone's motives.

Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) I'm with you Michele, I would've liked to see such a wrestle in Grace, too, I kind of expected this book to be more about this topic but as Annalisa just pointed out that's not what the story was about (sadly :P)

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