What is Edgy Christian Fiction?

Using the term edgy in relation to Christian fiction may seem laughable to some of you.  "How can a Christian book ever be considered edgy?"  However, this category has definite merit to people who regularly read Christian fiction.  I would like to take a moment to explain what I mean by edgy, in this context.

This sub-genre, which is sometimes also called Edgy Inspirational Fiction, is likely to have varying amounts of religious content, or at least an uplifting message of some sort. However, it does not shy away from delicate topics like fornication and adultery, or gritty or violent ones such as rape. Often, these stories will include more impassioned romance scenes, or address the reality of physical attraction, without pushing the envelope too far. Readers may also encounter characters who battle alcohol abuse or some other addiction.  Some traditional Christian publishers may frown upon reference to bodily functions, such as vomiting or going to the bathroom, whereas this sub-genre allows it, which can lead to some rather humorous scenes.  There may also be occasional mild cussing in some of these books.

Basically, I consider novels within the Edgy sub-genre to dig deeper, be more emotional and gritty, or address situations that might normally be avoided in the general Christian Fiction genre.  Yet they should still maintain an uplifting element or include characters who learn from their mistakes.  

I certainly don't mean to downplay the role of traditional Christian fiction.  There are some very talented authors and truly beautiful stories within that genre.  However, this new Edgy division is growing in popularity among Christian readers because it fills the need that some of us feel for there to be a genre which spans some of the aspects of both Christian and Mainstream fiction.  

If you love romance novels that don't whitewash natural human emotions, that are accepting of the fact that people make mistakes, that dig a little deeper and allow for a greater degree of sensuality than some of the more conservative books out there, without making you blush too deeply or feel uncomfortable, this genre might be just what you've been searching for.

Over the past few months, I have enjoyed analyzing some of my favorite books, and why I feel that they fit into the Edgy Christian Fiction category.  These are listed and discussed on my Edgy Christian Fiction Favorites blog, and are organized by era and story type.