Book review – Castles in the Sand


Castles in the Sand by Carolyn A. Greene - Amazon imageCastles in the Sand, Carolyn A. Greene’s contemporary Christian novel, is readable and believable.

During its heroine Teresa’s (Tessa’s) freshman year at Bible college, she becomes involved in CSM (Contemporary Spirituality Mysticism) through a required class. As an orphan being fostered by a strong Christian couple, having refused their presentation of the Gospel, and having experienced personal loss, Tessa is particularly vulnerable to CSM’s promise of a direct experience of God.

Tessa’s brush with demonic spirits, and the Adversary’s human agents, reminded me of Frank Peretti’s supernatural novels, but Castles in the Sand isn’t an imitation and is more Biblically sound. Greene based her story on the experiences of young people involved in CSM, which is being preached, taught, published, and promoted everywhere. Young people who are hungry for a relationship with the Lord that is based upon experience rather than Biblical faith are being lured away from the truths of God’s Word in order to obtain what is only a delusion. Greene’s novel has helped those who have been ensnared by CSM and has become a tool for those who want to help them break free through a Biblical understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a true relationship with Him.

One of the characters in the novel is the 16th century Catholic mystic Teresa of Avila, and the novel moves between occasional scenes from her difficult and instructive life and that of the young college student by the same name. Another strong character is Katy, Tessa’s Christian roommate, who helps in her rescue and her understanding of the Gospel, and becomes her closest friend. Tessa becomes “a new creation” in Christ and meets a godly young man worthy of her trust and affection.

Click this link to buy the book from its publisher, Lighthouse Trails.

HT to My Word Like Fire for this book recommendation! Click blog name to read an interview with Carolyn A. Greene.

6 thoughts on “Book review – Castles in the Sand

    • Alec, regarding contemporary Christian novels – nothing much, which is incredible really. And just like best-sellers of any type, Christian or not, they’re often written to make money or in line with a fad. Some of the nineteenth c. British and American authors are wonderful, obviously, and you don’t need me to say this about Austen and Edith Wharton in particular. Austen’s Mansfield Park, which is often disliked, explicitly exalts the Christian life and Biblical morals, and exposes the selfishness and dire consequences of living without the Lord. Wharton’s Age of Innocence is a treat for a thinking, feeling person.

      I’ve enjoyed some of those dealing with life in Amish communities (fad). Peretti’s novel Visitation, about the near destruction of a town through Catholic false wonders, is interesting and thoughtful, and shows that he has an understanding of the Church in general, the various denominations and their strengths and flaws; but like many of his novels it has elements of sensationalism. But life is sensational, isn’t it?

      Some Christian mysteries are excellent, such as those by Dorothy Sayers – her Busman’s Honeymoon has a good story and shows the suffering of the Christian detective who exposes a murderer who will be hanged as a result of the detective’s diligence. In many of her books Christian faith as central to life is assumed and demonstrated.

      Forgive my rambling! Go to Lighthouse Trails for novels that are meant to be helpful for persons suffering from the Church’s lack of discernment, such as, Castles in the Sand does. That’s the only one of theirs I’ve read.

      Oh, Charlotte Bronte – author of Jane Eyre – was a Christian who wandered into Vanity Fair and returned, at last marrying a parson in the CofE. It is probably one of the most beautiful novels I’ve read. Vanity Fair itself is incredible – typical English strength of characterization; and just as Dickens (an Adoptionist!) showed no mercy to the social evils of his day, Thackeray shows no mercy upon personal vice.

      Your question struck a chord. I wrote a fantasy novel that did poorly. At one time I was enthusiastic about Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis, and Tolkien – but no more.

      Thank you for asking this! Perhaps someday I’ll write about the topic but I would need to be widely read in contemporary Christian fiction.


      • Thank you for all these suggestions and observations. I purchased Castles in the sand from Lighthouse Trails and am very much enjoying it so far. Writing fiction is not for the faint of heart! Congratulations on completing your story. Hope you keep going.


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