What I like about the novelists on my list is their use of language. There is an economy that I wish I could duplicate. I may not like what they write, but I like how they write. I am transported, hearing, seeing, smelling the written word. It is thrilling.
The historical fiction is evocative of it’s time. Details are present, but never distracting—only enhancing. Ms. Penman always tells us at the end of her books, where she took license with fact so the story could flow more smoothly. I appreciate that.
The religious writers provoke, but never judge. You are “gentled” along. Concepts and ideas, doctrine and theology, are accessible. Not an easy feat. I could add to this list Fr. Raymond Brown and Fr. Richard McBrien.