Thursday, January 31, 2013

Archetypes in Christian Romance

I read Christian Romance( mostly historical ) that's what I do. I have done this since I was a child and I read probably about 100 of these books a year.

Like any other genre or sub-genre, it comes with its own archetypes.

I am currently reading the pitch-perfect and deliciously edgy Bees in the Butterfly Garden which pairs our Christian heroine with a thief and a rather illustrious skill-set for deceit

Well-known author ( and one of my favourite bloggers), Kaye Dacus, posted about some of the Romance archetypes we find in the classic Damsel and the Warrio Hero metrics of the fiction; but also about some of the archetypes we find in Christian Historical Romance. It put me in mind of the book I am currently reading....

"In inspirational romance, we have our own set of stereotypes to deal with: the pioneer widow who must marry a stranger to survive; the nineteenth century teacher who’s gone west to teach and bring God’s word to the heathens; missionaries and preachers; secretaries; characters with jobs so vague as to be nonexistent; ranch owners who take in wayward boys; the good Christian girl who must “save” the backslidden or non-Christian hero; and so on."

I always find Kaye's blog posts interesting; but this post was particularly thought-provoking-- Especially as I was having a similar conversation with Joanne Bischof on facebook yesterday---particularly her collective decision with her editor to make her hero, Gideon, more of a rake than would be anticipated in the genre.

What archetypes do you notice most in Christian Historical Romance? Are there some that drive you batty?

Who are you favourite Christian heroes?  my TOP 5
---though I might have to re-do the list because I have read so many books since then >

I look forward to publishing my review of Kaye's new book Follow the Heart ( a sumptuous Victorian romance set during the Great Exhibition) shortly 

1 comment:

birdienl said...

I have been thinking about this quite a lot lately, so was pleasantly surprised to see your post about this!

One archetype which you seem to find quite a lot in Christian fiction and which (sometimes) annoys me is the woman-who-wants-to-be-tough-and-independent-but-still-seems-to-need-a-man. They often have to be rescued by the hero out of some disaster and then marvel about his broad chest and strong arms.... Yeah, that can tire me a bit.

But what really tires me lately is how quick the romances seem to develop in the 'newer' Christan historic novels and how much more emphasis is placed on the physical compared to the books I read maybe 10 years ago.