I have been reading LDS fiction since my teenage years. Many of these books are memorable and touched me in some positive way. There are also many that aren’t so well written. That has been the problem with the LDS market for some time. So many of my friends and family brush off LDS fiction as not worth their time or energy. They say the stories are sappy, the writing poor and they get tired of the preaching. I agree with everything they say, to a point.
As an avid reader of just about anything I can get my hands on, I have seen the improvement over the years and know that LDS fiction is so much more than it used to be. Yes, there is still bad writing out there, and there are still stories that are preachy. But there are also well-written, exciting books that explore the human side of life with an LDS perspective. There are books facing the reality that even though we are LDS we are not perfect and we still struggle with the same issues that plague the rest of the world.
Over the last few years it has become harder and harder to find a book published on the national market that is worth my time. I don’t like to wade through bad language, explicit violence or sex. I am finding this problem even in the books marketed nationally for my teenagers. I am reading more and more YA fiction just to screen it for my children.
This is the beauty of the LDS market. I feel confident that I can buy the books they publish without fear of what I may find inside. They do tackle some tough issues, but they do it with sensitivity and without the need to offend. For those of you who read LDS fiction years ago and haven’t touched it since, give it another try. The writing is always improving, the topics are thought provoking and there is something in every genre.
The best way to see LDS fiction improve is to support the industry. Buy the books you like and recommend them to your friends and family. Let your local LDS bookstore know what kind of books you would like to read. The word will get back to the publishers and authors.