Most of the reviews for The Note have been gracious–obviously, the story touches a strong chord in people who are longing to reconcile with someone, particularly with their fathers. This Amazon review is typical of what I’ve heard:
“Angela Hunt has written an excellent book. It will make you really think about what you are reading. To see how Peyton MacGruder grows in her writing, her outlook on life and her relationships with other people is remarkable and very emotional. If this book doesn’t draw you closer to Jesus, there isn’t much that will. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend it to other people.”
On the other hand, I have also received a couple of letters saying that the book doesn’t deserve to be called “Christian fiction.” No, not because it’s an allegory, but because the antagonist is a bit of a hussy. One woman told me she allowed her fourteen-year-old daughter to read it without previewing it; afterward she was horrified by the book.
I wrote her back and said that she had every right to guard what her daughter read, however, THE NOTE is not a children’s book. (Yet the notion that a Christian novel must be appropriate for a child disturbs me somewhat. What does that imply about a mature Christian’s intellectual level? Are we not allowed to tackle topics beyond a typical ten-year-old’s experience? Even more shudder-inducing is the supposition that Christian fiction could not possibly contain subjects designed to challenge the reader.)
Second, Julie St. Clair is not a Christian character, therefore she doesn’t act like one. And in no way does the story glorify Julie’s actions. (I’ve noticed that Julie’s character has morphed into a male in the movie version. This is a good thing, as it eliminates the “tart factor.” The author who plays the TV reporter is also cute. 🙂
I would keep Julie as she is, though, because in the novel she’s a foil to Peyton’s character and it helps that she’s female.
Shortly after the book’s release, I was approached by Journey Productions, a small film company that optioned the novel. Five years later, here we are with a finished film. I had little to do with the struggle (and wouldn’t know how to begin to make a movie), but my hat’s off to the folks who made it happen. I’m grateful to them and to God, and I pray that the story’s message will come through loud and clear.
Tomorrow: questions and answers, so be sure to leave your questions in the comments box.
Update: The St. Pete Times has published an article on the upcoming movie. You can read it here!