5 Non-Christian Fiction Books With Great Messages
A great fiction book is one that can’t be consumed too quickly, but rather it takes time and reflection. Even more so, it causes the reader to think about how the principles—good or bad—can help in making right life choices.
#1) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
“Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigor; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be.”
The main protagonist, Jane Eyre, was an orphaned child that grew up in the shadows of her relatives. She was demeaned and treated a little higher than a servant. When she finally was released into the working world as a governess, Jane was still treated as a second rate citizen in the much wealthier environment. Written in the first person, the reader becomes well aware of Jane’s struggles when she had to push back against her desires to do the right thing. This book carries the great message of staying true to our convictions in the place of temptation.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
#2) The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
“Frodo rose to his feet. A great weariness was on him, but his will was firm and his heart lighter. He spoke aloud to himself. ‘I will do what I must,’ he said.”
In this wonderful classic, a hobbit named Frodo was given the charge of taking a ring to be destroyed before evil overtook the Middle Earth. In the journey there were many dangers and betrayals, resulting in Frodo’s resignation of no longer traveling with the whole group (i.e. the Fellowship). The great message in this book (as well as the series) is the desire to complete the calling even in the midst of great difficulty within and without.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9).
#3) A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
“‘Whatever comes,’ she said, ‘cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rages and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I was dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.’”
Sara Crewe was left in an expensive boarding school when unexpectedly her father died and left her penniless. She was immediately dethroned as the most envied girl to a level close to slavery. As she was taunted and abused, Sara never let go of her conviction that all girls were princesses no matter their state in life. Her story carries the great message of how all people were made in the image of God and all have value because of it.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).
#4) The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking stick.”
Biblo Baggins was no hero—he loved being comfortable. However, quite unexpectedly he was included with a group of dwarves who were seeking to take back their kingdom. Bilbo could’ve stayed home but instead there was a spark of adventure within him that couldn’t be denied. The great message in this book is how each of us are awakened in the Spirit to move and do wonderful things in the name of Christ.
“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there” (Acts 20:22).
#5) Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
“We had a quarrel. I wouldn’t forgive him when he asked me to. I meant to, after a while—but I was sulky and angry and I wanted to punish him first. He never came back…but I always felt—rather sorry I’ve always kind of wished I’d forgiven him when I had the chance.”
This delightful book is all about Anne of Green Gables with her quirky sayings and colorful descriptions of her world. As an orphan she was taken in by an older brother and sister of Matthew and Marilla Cuthberts. Marilla was a stoic woman given over to following the moralistic rules of her day while Anne would push her towards an attitude of grace. In the end Marilla admitted losing the love of her life due to the foolishness of not forgiving him. One of the great messages of this book is to forgive others while there’s still breath in our bodies to do so.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
Great Messages for a Lifetime
Many of these books I read as a child and still occasionally pick up to read as an adult. The principles and convictions of these works of fiction help keep my feet more firmly planted in truth and integrity. Try one of the books today!
Article by Crystal McDowell
Crystal McDowell is a writer, speaker, and teacher with a passion to encourage believers to know and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ through practical application of God’s word.
Crystal and her husband, Marshall, raise their five children in the Bloomington, IL. As a freelance writer and editor for over 13 years, Crystal has published numerous Christian curriculums for Sunday School and VBS as well as many articles dealing with marriage, motherhood, and relationships. She’s a weekly staff writer for www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com as well as writing her own blog at http://crystalmcdowellspeaks.blogspot.com.