This Work of Christian Fiction Falters

The Secret of Jenny’s Portrait

To begin, I could not finish this book. The Secret of Jenny’s Portrait by Kim Teague was published in 2016, and while it starts with a bang, the story quickly fizzles. While I have no qualms reading books with spiritual or religious undertones, I think Christian fiction that weave these themes into the text subtlety are much more effective and moving.

Unfortunately, the random insertions of Christian proclamations during character dialogues remove any nuance from the scenes.

For example, two FBI agents start a brief chat where one of them mentions how he prayed before his first mission hoping that it would go well. The second agent (and love interest in the book) simply replies that he no longer prays because his wife died young, and on the scene rolls on.

There’s no tension, no internal struggle for this agent who is confronted by another man of faith. It leaves the reader feeling bereft.

With conversations of religion— especially if there’s to be some type of dramatic build-up toward a man’s reconciliation with his faith — these moment of dialogue should be treated with care. Let readers feel this man’s rage at the unfairness of the universe, at the higher power he had believed in for so long only to feel abandoned by it. It is with great disappointment that these character discussions are so…perfunctory in the book.

Another disappointing moment was encountering the titular character’s lack of professionalism as a nurse. Jenny is on duty when a patient she is assisting mentions something about having no hope.

Jenny, instead of offering an oblique response that could simultaneously offer comfort while remaining true to her beliefs, begins to evangelize to the patient. These ungainly moments led me to put this work of Christian fiction and close it for good. The Secret of Jenny’s Portrait will remain a secret for this reader, at least.

If you’re looking for fast-paced thrillers by indie authors, I suggest you check out these titles:

Not every book is for every reader. Art is subjective, and if your curious to see if your views align with mine on The Secrets of Jenny’s Portrait, you can purchase a copy of it here:

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