Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ex-Files by Victoria Christopher Murray

This was a controversial book to the readers of the CFBA. We had a discussion about it on Shelfari. Here's what was said:

M. C. Pearson - 9 days ago
Personally, I started it but was turned off by the blatent sexual references. Bad images were going through my head, so I decided to just put it down.

karlyle - 8 days ago
Mimi, I think you and I have very similar reading tastes! That is exactly what I did, too. I read the first 2 chapters, but I won't be finishing this one. (And I do try to read all the books I request for blog tours...)

I'm not sure what to post for my comments when it's time to put it up on my blog. I hate to only say something negative... maybe it would be best to just post the cover blurb and let it go at that. What *do* you do in a case like this?

M. C. Pearson - 8 days ago
I'm going to be honest...sometimes it just has to be said, ya know? So what if we make others upset, we need to stand up for what we believe in. I'm really surprised that all that stuff was put into a 'Christian' book. We shouldn't have to put up with R rated material. Even if it wasn't 'explicit' I did not enjoy reading about the huffing and puffing of premarital sex, a gay husband, and some chick fantasizing about a banana and her lover. PLEASE!

beatccr - 7 days ago
really? wow all that was in the book???? and this is a Christian fiction book????? ok i'm going to have to go get my copy now and flip through it...

karlyle - 7 days ago
Not only was "all that" in the book... "all that" was in the first two chapters. And, yes, it was supposed to be Christian fiction. I have to assume there was some redeeming message to the story... but I didn't care to drag my mind through "all that" to get to it.

thedeena - 6 days ago
The redemptive message is in there, but it seems very watered down. As the book went along (I skimmed it) I kept waiting for Biblical teaching on homosexuality and never really found it.

The character who was married to the gay man....her daughter gets caught kissing another girl...and it was fairly explicit.

CFBA - 20 hours ago
If you requested a book, whether you like it or not you are obligated to post at least the cover and book link. If you didn't like it tell why. Everyone does not like every book, and to dislike it is a fair option.

I have seen much more explicit encounters in christian books, especially in Steeple Hill. There were a total of 11 an almost 400 page book.

Finding out that your husband is gay, has even happened to christian women, and is a fact of life that we can't sweep under the rug. We already know that homosexuality is a sin. The story wasn't about the husband :-) Homosexuality was not addressed because it was not the protagonist's problem. It was her exhusband's problem. The story thread was HOW she dealt with his infidelity, and the loss of mutiple men in her life.

And as for the two girls kissing, if you read the book you would have found out that the girls were kissing because they wanted to know what kissing a boy was like, but they were both afraid to ask a boy to kiss them, so they tried it on each other. They were NOT gay!

The woman in premarital sex...that was her problem. The man involved was begging her to marry him, and she refused because she was afraid of commitment. It gets resolved in the end with her accepting his marriage proposal.

The redemptive message was by no means watered down, unless you call NOT being hit over the head with a Bible watered down. Three of the women...thru prayer, God, and a very attentive Pastor were redeemed by the end. The fourth, couldn't get past her problem and wouldn't allow God to help her, and she commited suicide.

Bonnie Calhoun - Director- Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

M. C. Pearson - 8 hours ago
Glad you liked it, Bonnie. Don't worry, I always post...and when I feel the need, give my opinions. LOL...I wuv you.

thedeena - 6 days ago
Oh, I'm SO glad I'm not the only one! I wish I hadn't signed up for this one...I don't even want to help promote it.

M. C. Pearson - 6 days ago
I'm going to write up what we've been saying and put it on my blog. You got so much further than I did...I can't believe the homosexuality wasn't even addressed Biblically! Man, I'm glad I put this in my file 13 (trash can)!

thedeena - 6 days ago
I think the pastor said, "Of course, you know he wasn't born that way." But that was all I read concerning it. It was assumed to not be a good thing, but it ended up that he was bi-sexual, and wanted to get back with his wife.

I didn't really "read it". I skimmed the chapters about the gay man's wife to see what she would say about the subject...but there was some yuck about child molestation and I caught the girl's kiss...that just turned my stomach.

I feel bad saying anything about the author's work...but I can't for the life of me figure out why we were asked to review this one...even the cover sent me bad signals. Maybe I'm just a prude, but I like myself that way:-)

karlyle - 5 days ago
Makes me leery of that publisher, for one thing... I often judge books by who the publisher is... for example, if I pick up a book that's published by Bethany House I know it's okay. I may not end up enjoying the story as much as some, but at least I can trust that it will be clean and usually scriptural.

I don't mind that this one came up on our review list. That's what a review list is for, right? To give our opinions of the book. I just hate that I have nothing good to say about it. Obviously, I've enjoyed some of the books we've reveiwed more than others, but I can usually find something worthwhile about each one... even if it's not exactly my "cup of tea"...

Rel - 2 days ago
Due to an overwhelming TBR I haven't got to it yet and I am thinking I might not want to - LOL! Thanks for your honest thoughts!

CFBA - 20 hours ago
I only read action/adventure, suspense, and thrillers. I don't read women's fiction at all, but after some of the comments I read, I was compelled to read this book for myself. I thought it was a heart-rendering account of four women's lives that mirror several of my own friends.

I didn't feel that the eleven lines in the almost 400 page book were "blatant" about sex. I've seen a lot longer...and much more explicit accounts in Steeple Hill romance novels. And those 11 lines were by no means gratuitous. They were necesary to help you understand the depth of the character's emotional commitment.

But there are different strokes for different folks. I personally can't stand Harry Potter for what I consider blatant witchcraft, yet there are many Christians who see nothing wrong with HP and have read all the books!

I loved The Ex Files, and now I'm going to have to buy the other book that this one family is in to see how they began.

Bonnie Calhoun - Director - Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

M. C. Pearson - 20 hours ago
Boy, Bonnie...was that a zing at me about HP? LOL...don't worry. I still love you. ;-)

CFBA - 20 hours ago
LOL...not just you Mimi! There are a ton of Christians who see absolutely nothing wrong with Harry Potter. To me Harry Potter is blatant witchcraft. In the Bible there is no redemptive value in witchcraft..whether it is "white-(good)" witchcraft or "black-(evil) witchcraft...God said it is bad...period.

With sex...God said there is a place where it is the marriage bed. Although we all know many, many christians that take it outside of those boundries. If Christians listened to God there would be no out of wedlock sex does have a 'good' purpose in God's word, although we sometimes use it wrong, but witchcraft does not!

LOL...and i love you too. We don't always have to agree!
Bonnie Calhoun - Director- Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

M. C. Pearson - 8 hours ago
I totally agree that we are entitled to our opinions and people like different things, but for arguments sake I’m going to answer this. The Harry Potter books are not under a Christian label. I believe they have wonderful morals and themes to them. If God can speak out of the mouth of a donkey, then he can speak out of the words of a secular novel. I do agree that any form of witchcraft is evil. But this was a fantasy novel…I wish she had chosen a different way to tell the wonderful stories she told so that many Christians could benefit from them.

I am glad that you liked Ex-Files and found it had some great lessons. I wish she hadn’t illustrated the sexual immorality the way she did. By painting the word pictures of pre-marital sex, homosexuality, promiscuousness, and adultery so well, I couldn’t get the images out of my head. I did not want to subject my mind to it and did not want to give any more time to it to find if it had redemptive qualities. I felt that if the author had all that in the first two chapters, it would just be more of the same throughout. I’m glad to hear that I was not totally right. Yet, I still have no desire to read the book.

Just my opinion. I will still blog about it, but I am going to state how I feel about the book.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Ex Files

(Touchstone June 19, 2007)



Victoria Christopher Murray always knew she would become an author, even as she was taking quite an unlikely path to that destination. A native of Queens, New York, Victoria first left New York to attend Hampton Institute in Virginia where she majored in Communication Disorders. After graduating from Hampton, Victoria attended New York University where she received her MBA.

Victoria spent ten years in Corporate America before she decided to test her entrepreneurial spirit. She opened a Financial Services Agency for Aegon, USA where she managed the number one division for nine consecutive years. However, Victoria never lost the dream to write and when the “bug” hit her again in 1997, she answered the call.

Victoria originally self published Temptation. “I wanted to write a book as entertaining and compelling as any of the books on the market, put God in the middle, and have the book still be a page-turner. I wasn’t writing to any particular genre – I didn’t even know Christian fiction existed. I just wanted to write about people I knew and characters I could relate to.”

In 2000, Time Warner published Temptation. Temptation made numerous best sellers list across the nation and remained on the Essence bestsellers list for nine consecutive months. In 2001, Temptation was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in Outstanding Literature.

Since Temptation, Victoria has written four other novels. All of her novels have continued to be Essence bestsellers; her last three each reaching #1. In addition, Victoria has received numerous awards including the Golden Pen Award for Best Inspirational Fiction and in 2006, she was awarded the Phyllis Wheatley Trailblazer Award for being the pioneer in African American Christian Fiction.


The Ex Files:

A Novel About Four Women and Faith...

There are four ways a woman can handle heartbreak. She can fall apart, seek revenge, turn cold, or move on. The Ex Files is the story of these four women:

When Kendall Stewart finds her husband and her sister in bed together, she vows to never let anyone get that close again. But when she is faced with saving the life of the woman who destroyed hers, will she be able to forgive?

When an NBA superstar tells his mistress, Asia Ingrum, that he's decided to honor his marriage vows, her shock quickly gives way to revenge...but her decision may come back to haunt their five-year-old daughter.

Every night Vanessa Martin wonders why her husband committed suicide. Even worse, she contemplates joining him in eternity. Will Vanessa be able to gather the strength to live again?

Sheridan Hart is finally finding her way after a lie destroyed her seventeen-year marriage. Her new love is ready to get married, but will she commit to this younger man or is her ex-husband taking up too much space in her heart?

When their pastor asks Kendall, Asia, Vanessa, and Sheridan to meet weekly for prayer, they can't imagine they will have anything in common. But then a devastating tragedy strikes and these strangers are forced to reexamine their choices. Will they find true friendship, or will prayer -- and their union -- fail them?


Jean-Luc Picard said...

I can see this caused a lot of controversy on Shelfari. Not a typical 'Christian' book.

M. C. Pearson said...

Yeah...this one is making a lot of people wonder. But many really loved it.