Well, I finally jumped in and read one of the books on my list. When Joy Came to Stay by Karen Kingsbury. I read it in 2 days.
I have never read any of Karen Kingsbury's works, but I know people at work who read all of her series books and seem to enjoy them and I had heard glowing reviews about her online. I really didn't know what to expect when I picked up the book.
According to the back of the book, it is: "the heart-wrenching story of one woman's descent into the shadows of depression, her husband's search for understanding, and a precious child's unwavering faith."
I have to say, it delivered on it's promise to be heart-wrenching. By the end of the first evening, when I was half-way through the book, I was depressed myself. The next morning, I felt like I had to get to the happy ending which was apparently going to happen due to the title of the book. I literally could not put the book down, but at the same time, I didn't want to keep reading. Part of me wanted to skip to the end, but I persisted.
The fact that it is a christian book was also appealing to me as I have never read one before. I like the way she interjects the (presumed) voices of the holy spirit into the dialog of the character's thoughts. She uses scripture to pull out thematic elements.
Overall, the story is about the consequences of sin and trusting God with child-like faith throughout every trial.
So, if you want an easy, engaging, somewhat predictable read that is quite depressing for the first 3/4 of the book, pick up a copy from your library.