Beware of Karen Valentine

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Karen Valentine writes a series of novels that supposedly play a Catholic Riff on the Jan Karon theme. Small town in some cold northern place with a Catholic Church and some wacky characters. Malheureusement I discovered too late that Ms. Valentine is more Episcopalian than Catholic, apparently culturally Catholic but buying in to all of the secular truths some kinds of Catholics hold dear. As I have a wide tolerance for diversity of opinion, I don't know why it bothered so much except that it resulted in the books not feeling particularly Catholic. Her Catholicity was essentially indistinguishable from liberal Episcopalianism at least on the matter of contraception, and perhaps other things as well and so it deprived me of a sense of what a Catholic Mitford might really be like. So I warn all potential buyers--beware--know what you are buying. Caveat emptor; caveat lector.

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Thank you, thank you for the warning! I have just begun the first of that series and now will put it down. I can just reread the Mitford books in the case of the situation you mention. They are sappy but I like Father Tim anyway and he's clearly NOT Catholic so no confusion is begotten.

Dear Julie,

I wouldn't necessarily say put it down, although I did so. And I'm not saying they might not be worth reading--I was just very disappointed that it wasn't Catholic in the way I wanted it to be. But then, if it were, I'm afraid it wouldn't be terribly popular even among Catholics.

But then, Harry Potter is, and thought written by a Presbyterian, there's a great deal more Catholicism there (including the very large, relatively poor, mostly happy Weasley family--the butt of many jokes) than in books written by our own churchmen and women.

Oh well.



You hit the nail on the head for the reason I am putting the book down. I wanted a CATHOLIC version of Mitford (hopefully with a bit less treacle). If that isn't there, I have a big stack of (hopefully) more worthy books waiting to be read. Or even less worthy ... since I'm really into a series of mysteries set in Japan right now. :-)



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 23, 2006 9:18 PM.

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