Deeanne Gist has caused quite a stir in the inspirational romance community with her new novel Tiffany Girl. Some have gone so far as to call the novel porn and those same reviewers are advising Christian readers to avoid it lest it lead them straight to hell.
What exactly has everyone in such a tizzy? Well, it’s not the basic plot which is as follows: Flossie Jayne is an aspiring painter who finds herself in need of money to pay for art school. She does the unthinkable for a middle class girl of her time and accepts a job! She works as a Tiffany Girl, one of the artists who contributed to the mosaic chapel made entirely of stained glass which Louis Tiffany unveiled at the 1893 World Fair. Flossie has loads of adventures as she moves into a boarding house, meets some fascinating characters, and falls in love.
What makes the book controversial is that Flossie’s love interest, Reeve Wilder, expresses sexual interest in her. Not overtly but there is a scene where the two are kissing and he would very much like to take it to the next level. Since he is a fellow boarder at the rooming house she is in, the two happen to be standing in his bedroom while these passionate kisses are exchanged. Reeve pushes Flossie out the door before anything untoward can happen but alas! the damage has been done in some readers’ minds.
Then Ms. Gist goes for the gusto and invites us into the opening sequence of Flossie’s wedding night. The two characters remain more clothed than most 21st century people do walking the streets during the summer but some readers still found it shocking that the author would depict a couple kissing while wearing trousers and an undershirt (him) and underwear that covers more than shorts and a t-shirt (her). Hopefully absolutely no one will listen to these naysayers. Tiffany Girl is a charming, fun book and the author doesn’t deserve the bad publicity.