So I think I found another Susan Howatch! For those of you wondering why that is significant... let me explain. Susan Howatch (under writers of distinction to your left) wrote an utterly absorbing series of novels (7 altogether) that take you through the Church of England in the 20th century. I may have lost you already I know, but take it from a not-so-avid fiction reader: they hook you in. It takes a lot to do that to someone like myself who (to my wife's chagrin) won't even read Harry Potter. Everybody loves J.K. Rowling, but Howach is the other woman from England who wrote a long string of compelling books dealing with supernatural themes.
Gail Godwin, who wrote Evensong, which I read over the holiday, is almost as good as Howatch (...almost). If you're one of the unfortunate ones who knows what it means for something to be "churchy," I can assure you neither of these women write "churchy" material... they actually (especially Howatch) can be quite, I dare say, racy. If you don't enjoy trudging through long tracts of academic theology, reading either of these woman's books is a great way to give the spiritual muscles a work-out.