Foreword Reviews

Bus to Corinth

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Bus to Corinth is Christian fiction that is related with an enjoyable mix of travel and Bible.

Bus to Corinth by Ladine Housholder is sweet, old-fashioned, and Greek-inspired Christian fiction.

Housholder’s returning cast of characters, all Bible-study friends, are a familiar bunch. Beth is looking to decide on a guy in her life. Alicia struggles with her self-esteem. Vicky has a heart of gold, and Najila needs to change. The women gather to putter around Greece in an old Volkswagen bus.

The story begins with the friends reuniting in the wake of the tragic event that spurs their vacation. Housholder describes the various steps and considerations involved in taking a trip outside the United States, including checking calendars, plotting out the trip, and finding a travel agent. A lot is packed into the the group’s travels, including more than a little prayer. The ladies involved all share a common faith background and use their travels to further their faith development, a trope that works well.

With a nod to their group’s Bible-study roots, the ladies also decide to study Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, since they plan on visiting many of the places described in the letter. Their reflections on Paul are followed in the novel through the incorporation of their study material, from commentaries to religious nonfiction works and beyond. This study material reads as such, but not to a point where it feels distracting from the overall narrative flow, and is all sourced from reputable scholarship. All of the background material serves to offer a clear picture of how the women work well together, and also punctuates the struggles they face in their lives.

Characters are the book’s best feature. They are distinct and interesting, and their lives and loves are authentically shown. Their struggles with faith are sweetly rendered, and the modest ambitions of their trip fit Christian-fiction themes of finding hope, valuing family, and facing adversity. The way their prayer life evolves and is explored holds interest, particularly questions around how their prayers are answered or not answered. Dialogue is wooden, though, and clichés sometimes give the prose a forced feeling.

Study-guide questions are helpfully included for those who wish to read Bus to Corinth in a book-club setting, though they tend to be along the lines of what happened when, rather than opening up room for richer exchanges.

Bus to Corinth is Christian fiction that is related with an enjoyable mix of travel and Bible.

Reviewed by Jeremiah Rood

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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