Flinchbaugh, C. Hope
Flinchbaugh, C. Hope
Writer, journalist, and novelist.
Catherine Marshall Christy Award of Excellence, 2003, for Daughter of China.
Daughter of China (novel), Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.
Spiritually Parenting Your Preschooler, Charisma House (Lake Mary, FL), 2003.
Across the China Sky (novel), Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.
Contributor to books, including the Soul Matters series. Contributor to periodicals, including Clubhouse Jr., Clubhouse, Brio, Breakaway, and Focus on the Family magazine. Contributor to Web sites, including ChristianityToday.com.
A novelist and freelance writer, C. Hope Flinchbaugh contributes frequently to adult, children, and teen magazines published by the Christian group Focus on the Family, covering revivals, the international persecuted church, and family issues. In her first novel, Daughter of China, Flinchbaugh tells the story of nineteen-year-old Kwan Mei Lin, a Chinese Christian who experiences firsthand the oppression visited upon Christians by the Chinese government. As the novel opens, Mei Lin seeks a way to escape the oppression of her village by pursuing university-level education. She is a ceaseless evangelist, and her efforts to convert the locals draw the attention of the local authorities and land her in a bleak prison. There, even though her circumstances are dire, she continues to share her faith and seek converts among the other prisoners. A seemingly miraculous escape from prison brings Mei Lin into contact with a young girl who has fled from a brutal orphanage in Shanghai, and the two seek freedom, both physically and spiritually. In addition to the religious discrimination described by Flinchbaugh, she also details the terrible conditions of Chinese orphanages and illustrates the depth of discrimination that women endure in that country. "The novel offers some nice details of Chinese culture and several poignant scenes of abandoned and neglected children," commented a writer in Publishers Weekly.
Flinchbaugh's second novel, Across the China Sky, is based on actual events. It resumes Mei Lin's story as she assumes a teaching position at a Chinese orphanage. In a scene that highlights the unfeeling disregard that children sometimes experience in China, Mei Lin finds a newborn baby discarded in a trash can. Unable to have children herself, Mei Lin bonds with the infant and grows to love it as though it was her own offspring. Complicating matters are Mei Lin's fiance and father, who communicate with her via cryptic letters after coming under the influence of a mysterious cult that teaches Christ has already returned to China as a woman. In telling her story, Flinchbaugh "relies heavily on dialogue," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer, who also noted that "some omniscient narration would have helped set the scene."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Publishers Weekly, July 1, 2002, review of Daughter of China, p. 52; July 31, 2006, review of Across the China Sky, p. 52.
C. Hope Flichbaugh Home Page, http://www.seehope.com (November 12, 2006).