Warning: A very serious blog on a frightening, shocking revelation

Sharon Lathan

Sharon Lathan is the best-selling author of The Darcy Saga, a ten-volume sequel series to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

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[…] on THIS BLOG two days ago – that one a result of the startling revelations I talked about in THIS SERIOUS BLOG – here are a few more comments from readers of my novels, and kudos for romance novels in […]


[…] In that same month, I attempted to teach a group of homeschool student using Miss Darcy Falls in Love as the “text” for a combo history and literature class. Alas, that did not go so well. […]

Brigid Keely

” Mr. Collins readily assented, and a book was produced; but on beholding it (for every thing announced it to be from a circulating library), he started back, and begging pardon, protested that he never read novels. — Kitty stared at him, and Lydia exclaimed. — Other books were produced, and after some deliberation he chose ‘Fordyce’s Sermons’. ”

Seems kind of fitting, actually.

Sorry you had to deal with that.


Thanks Sharon. This is absoliutely terrible. The most scary thought for me is, what would happen if the husband, a father chose for his innocent daughter abused her ? Would she be expected to just stay and endure it ?

In my first marriage I was subjected to emotional abuse for two years. Luckily my family were firmly on my side when I found the strength to leave. I can’t imagine how terrible it would have been, if I’d been forced to stay.


This does not surprise me at all. Ten years ago, I was just like those girls, treating even the mildest hint of sexuality as something scary and sinful. It was all based on one verse (1 Tim 5:2), in which Paul told Timothy, “Treat….younger women as sisters, with all purity.” According to the view of courtship that my family’s homeschooling church promoted, this verse meant that all men had to treat all women like sisters. But the church apparently didn’t trust that the singles were capable of this, since the church took the additional step of preventing inter-gender mingling by disallowing a church youth group.

The result was that as a teen I was afraid to make eye contact with a boy, talk to a boy, or even mention a boy in my private journal. To me, having a crush on a boy was the mental equivalent of pre-marital sex, but despite my best efforts, I seemed to develop a crush on nearly every boy I saw. It was an extremely unhealthy and debilitating approach to life and relationships–thank God I got out on my own and found my own spouse!

If anyone is interested, I wrote more about my experiences here: http://pasttensepresentprogressive.blogspot.com/2012/03/sexuality-elephant-in-room.html


One of my favorite Christian authors has experienced the same difficulties and criticisms for her sex scenes in a couple of her books. They are between married people, biblically sound, and honestly, less explicit than the Song of Solomon! I’m hoping to one day be a published author myself, and on the one hand, seeing these conversations and explications do prepare me for what’s ahead. But on the other hand, they do cause me to second guess and wonder “How much is too much?”. But I don’t believe it’s productive or necessary to limit our words for the sake of a few extremists. As a mother myself, and a student of midwifery, I hope to present sexuality, reproductive health, and godly sex, to my children. I would hate for them to enter a relationship without that knowledge, setting them up for either a sex life that is lacking for fear of being “dirty” or “sinful”, or for abuse, catering to their husbands with no regard for their own comfort levels and understanding of what is right, good, and healthy.

In all honesty, I only stumbled upon this page after it was shared by a friend on Facebook, and I’ve not read anything by you before. But having read your stance here, I believe I’d be delighted to read your works, and I look forward to exploring what you’ve written.


As someone who has become very familiar with the patriarchy/courtship movement, I can definitely confirm that the problem with the passage you quoted had everything to do with the way it undermines patriarchy and courtship. It implies three things that are never to be even hinted in this movement: that a father can be wrong, particularly in his choice of a mate for his grown child, that the grown child can be right where the father is wrong; and that the wife can and should voice her own opinion if it is different from her husband’s, rather than being “submissive” as they define it. In making these three implications, it characterizes the father (who should be portrayed as the all-wise authority) in a bad light, even making him look foolish. More than anything else, it is this which cannot be tolerated in the patriarchy/courtship movement. Though they would never come out and say so to someone not in the group, these are the reasons this passage was so upsetting to them– more upsetting than anything else in the entire novel, no matter what else they objected to. It’s no wonder you ended up with an empty class.


Welcome to the big bad world of Quiverfull and Patriarchal courtship. I am not surprised at all you had that experience with the home schooling Quiverfull crowd. I used to teach art to that type of student and had to stop because of the insanity of dealing with those type parents. Don’t let them get to you.

More info on courtship, bounded choice, patriarchy and quiverfull at No Longer Quivering


Just wanted to say thanks for including the link to my “Bondage of Betrothal” article. I’m so glad you found it helpful!

I should add that it was originally written for a website that will definitely be of interest to those who have encountered this doctrine, especially young women: http://www.quiveringdaughters.com. There’s also a spinoff book from that blog, both sensitively written by a very insightful woman who grew up in the Patriarchy / Quiverfull movement (oldest of I think 10 or 12 homeschooled kids). It’s pretty much essential reading for those who want to understand this worldview from the inside– and those who want to get out!



Hi Sharon!

After knowing you for years, I know you to be kind, sweet and wonderful Christian woman, and a successful novelist who has inspired many worldwide with your tenacity to bring your Austen-themed novels and writings to fruition for all to enjoy! Above that, you have woven a very obvious and God-centered theme of honor and love in marriage into your writings. But with these extreme and harsh isolationist views and red flags abound, I wish you would’v consulted me before you embarked on such an endeavor…LOL!

The Good News? You grow from an otherwise dark and disturbing experience tell about it and you use it as a light for good and weave into your life and novels! Moreover, perhaps your friend’s eyes have been open and her daughter spared from a life of detriment and isolation. Yes, it is true that some who have been home-schooled get a better basic education and great experiences, but many kids unfortunately who were home schooled because of extreme religious views as adults experience isolationism (there are plenty of documented cases), have a hard time getting jobs, have impossible relationships and are distrustful of people most of their adult lives.

More simply, what I find interesting is how one mother invokes the “Oprah Show” from her own viewing, saying she “heard it” for herself. Poor thing doesn’t see the obvious contradictions if she is truly trying to teach her daughter another way of life than she obviously lives. The others just sounds akin to the book-banning crowds of bygone days (Nazi & KKK to name a few, and some modern day extremists). Jesus was angered by these types–the legalistic, half-scholar-ed finger pointers–He said “YOU HYPOCRITES!! (Matt 23:15)

But these simple minded and very carnal parents, obviously, want to be the ONLY authority in their daughter’s lives and keeping them away from society they think will “train them up”. Conversely, Jesus never backed down from society, in fact, he changed lives and lived and died for all by living and commiserating AMONG all types of people, especially downtrodden, not ducking from it!

You said the right thing about praying for those unfortunate girls as they will need all our prayers. God will deal with the parents in HIS time.

After living in the Bay Area over 20 years, I have found that one never wins an argument with someone so extreme and simple minded as these. ( In fact the juxtaposition of the very ultra conservative and the very ultra liberal is a fine line to me.)

So Sharon, you have novels to write (and they don’t), themes to pursue and people that will and are, enjoying them as a result, so ponder that!

Be calm and carry on!


Kimberly (Reflections of a Book Addict)

I’m at a complete loss for words. This is insane. To cut your children off from literature is honestly one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard. Keep writing amazing books, Sharon. You rock!


Hi Sharon! As you may or may not know, I’m a homeschool mom. I know many families like the ones you describe above. They are all very good families and all seem to be very happy. They do some amazing activities and projects with their kids. So, what you have written about and experienced is not a surprise to me.

I don’t ascribe to these beliefs, at least not to all of them, I live in the real world. There are many things we cannot protect our children from, but we can teach them to know the difference between right and wrong, to be smart, to respect their bodies and to hopefully make good choices in life. I homeschool because the schools here in Tucson are terrible!!

Someone mentioned, what do these homeschool kids do when they go to college?….they take online classes! The girls are brought up to be wives and mothers, they aren’t on the college plan.

One of my friends on goodreads is one of these homeschool kids. She is in her 20s now. Because of her I now try to remember to put a warning in my reviews if there are any sexual scenes!

On a closing, I want to say that I am a Christian and I believe Jesus died on the cross for me! 🙂


I found this blog article through a community of people, some of whom came out of such a background. I myself grew up on the fringes, so I am well-aware of the beliefs and dynamics of people such as the families you encountered in teaching this class.

If I could add to your analysis, your presentation of historical facts and representation of the Regency era itself was a challenge to their beliefs. These groups often glorify the past, particularly the Victorian era, but also the Regency era and before as well. These are represented as ideal, moral times in which people courted properly without sexual impropriety, families were strong, and roles of men and women heavily defined. These girls are well-familiar with images from these time periods used to promote books and lectures on family life, housekeeping, etc. So imagine the blow to discover that history is so different from the image they have been sold- the courtships of the past not necessarily leading to happy marriages and that affairs were a matter of course.

Additionally, the novels of Jane Austen are very popular among this group. Among a group in which romance novels are equated as porn for women, Pride and Prejudice is the closest thing to a romance that most of these girls will ever read. Pride and Prejudice- without romantic scenes and kisses! I’m sorry to say that there was bound to be a huge clash as your books are actual romance. I am sorry that you did not have a more open audience. Personally, I think the lessons you had planned out sound fun and interesting.

And yes, they probably really are that innocent of real romance and have no real idea of the mechanics of sex. The love stories they read in their literature focus on young men noticing young women across the church and talking to their fathers.


Wow Sharon, I am so sorry for you and your girls. I remember you posting about your class way back and being jealous. However, as a teacher in a public school, teaching World History and world religions I know exactly what you are up against. I walk a tight rope everyday worried about what could set a parent off. Many parents have questioned my content and I have to point them in the direction of the state standards that I teach to. I am constantly checking myself, the content I present, and the way in which I do so. I have 120 parents watching my every move, waiting to find fault and pounce. I love teaching and my students so much and I know you do too. From all these comments I know it must be awesome to see the support you have from all your fans. Some days when I get off the phone with a parent or finish reading an email, all I need is a hug and someone to tell me I am good at what I do, am making a difference and to just hang in there and keep going.

*hugs* I love your novels from beginning to end. Some of their covers are taped on. Never ever stop writing.
<3 Erlynn


P.S. This kinda sounds like this awesome young adult dystopia novel I read called Delirium by Lauren Oliver. The main character Lena, falls in love while living in a society that believes love is a disease that must be eradicated. At the age of 18 teenagers undergo a mental procedure to disable their brains from being harmed by or being further capable of love. Unfortunately Lena contracts the disease before her planned surgery and her eyes are opened to world around her. She has been sheltered from interacting with any boys up until her “rebellion”. Great novel…. not so much when it is reality.


Sorry should have said The Bishop of Colchester, bless him!


I have come late to this, so sad for you Sharon. I read a newspaper article this morning and one paragraph made me think of your situation. It was written by Sir Christopher Meyer a former US Ambassador and he writes “America is a country suffused with religiousity emanating from all kinds of weird and wonderful churches and sects” I think as someone has said above you have stumbled into one of those. It is heartening that you appear to be unbowed by these parents’ slanted view on life.

I love practising Tai Chi, it is connected to Budhism, a gentle kind worldwide belief but more importantly they pass on their skill to people who have had heart attacks, strokes, arthritis etc which helps these people no end. Yet in the UK some Church Halls won’t let classes take place. Yet all it is is a group of people wanting to learn it and get some health benefit and exercise, the most innocent of reasons. I hasten to add that the Catholic Church has no objections, nor most of the churches, but The Free Church of Scotland says we “contaminate” their community. What! Just a bunch of people doing a bit of exercise. At no time has any Budhist instructor EVER insisted on us becoming budhists, they don’t think like that. It is exercise plain and simple. So you can see how bigoted people are.

The Bishop of Salisbury opened a Taoist Centre and he had absolutely no problem with the centre. He is not a narrowminded bigot like these people.

Sorry for going on about my hobby! But I somehow relate it with what you are going through.

Lots of love
May xx


I have had some interaction with people of this ultra conservative background. It is nearly impossible to reason with them.

We had some young women who worked with us as RNs and LPNs. Being nurses, they had a more modern exposure to society, yet they still followed their family’s and their religion’s points of view when it came to courtship and marriage. Much like the Duggars, they were only allowed to associate with other youth in groups. When it came to selecting a mate, they got a proposal from a young man in another church, maybe even from another state, the consideration prospect was almost too strange to consider.

These educated and somewhat more worldly young women considered the proposal because it was what was expected of them by their family and church. As much as I wanted to say, “You have got to be kidding!?!?” We watched them consider these proposals from young men they’d never met.

The girls locked themselves in their bedrooms and prayed for as long as it took until they got an answer from God. One of our RNs felt God did not want her to marry any of these young men presented to her. Later, she married a widower from their church who had three children already, and needed a mother for them. God told her this was to be her fate.

One of the RNs locked herself in her bedroom and prayed for three days, not leaving her room except to go to the bathroom, and God told her to accept a particular young man. Wonderfully, this has proven to be a very happy marriage for her. They have 6 children and are all being raised just as they had been.

It’s very contrary to what we consider to be a normal courting and marriage. The decisions have been made, but only within the confines of what the church and the family want. If the family didn’t first approve of the young man’s family, he would never have been allowed to present himself as a prospective spouse.

The LPN who worked for us, left that same conservative branch of that religion and married a man who had been left a widower after his wife (whom she had cared for in her hospice needs) had died, because the widower was a Catholic. They “compromised” their religions when they wed. She left that sect that allowed her to wear only long skirts, hair in buns, lace covering their heads, and embraced an Evangelical church. She cut her hair very short, she wears short skirts, tank tops, blue jeans, shorts, etc. She wears makeup. Her parents did not disown her, thankfully, though it took until they were having their own children (besides his two) before the family was onboard with her decision. It was heart breaking, yet it has ended well.

One of the RNs who had also worked for us, prayed over many petitions for her marriage, and God apparently told her no each time. She’s in her late 40s and has no dreams of being married and having children of her own.

It is so different from the way we’ve been raised, and the way that we have raised our family. No amount of exposure to “our world” is allowed to penetrate the cocoon that has been put up around their youth. They remain socially awkward and unable to relate to people in a variety of situations. They feel their lives are complete. They pray over the rest of us. There is just no way to present an opinion that is different in a way that can be acceptable.

I had no idea that you would have been having to teach to such a conservative group. I can see how this would not go well. I feel that your friend is fighting an uphill battle. I hope she can find another group to get her daughter involved in for group home schooling. That would be an easier solution than trying to change their minds.

Don’t take it personally at all. That must seem silly to hear, but it is true. It is not you that they object to, but to a society that they don’t believe in.

Be true to yourself first. Be happy. Be confident that God has a great love for you, as you for Him.


Pamela Garrett

Well, Sharon, I am simply flabbergasted! As someone who likes to know what’s going on in the world around her, I thought I was fairly aware when it comes to extreme attitudes like this. I am not a religious person, though I like to think I’m a spiritual one. I respect the faith and beliefs of others, which is one of the most important tenets on which this country was founded. But I don’t see how anyone can call this kind of behavior “Christian.” Would Jesus Christ share such an attitude? I think not. I agree with you and others who’ve responded that this feels decidedly like cult behavior. The attitudes of the parents you’ve described are truly beyond my comprehension and what you have written here leaves me at a complete loss. How I pity the children of such parents. To never know the joys of literature… I, for one, would rather be dead than inhabit such a world. You response to the “I-avoid-all-novels” Mom hit the mark perfectly and was very moving. I’m sorry that this happened to you and I’m sorry that your lovely prose and depiction of romantic love were attacked in such a despicable way as to liken them to pornography. As you know, I have read all your novels with great appreciation. I have also had the good fortune to spend time in your company and know you to be a kind, compassionate, intelligent woman with a loving and, yes, Christian heart. You seem to have handled a difficult, rather ugly situation with grace and it’s a great pity that these girls on the brink of womanhood were deprived of what should have been an enjoyable and enriching experience.

Sheri Humphreys

Sharon, it seems you stumbled into a cult. This isn’t about home schooling or Christianity. These are extremists who meet the definition of a cult: a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.

I’d expect such individuals to home school their kids. I’d expect them to vigorously object to most any literature other than the Bible. I’d expect them to be close-minded and adamant that their views are sacrosanct.

I’m confident all your preparation will not be in vain. You’ll be able to use it for another class someday and everything will be done. We don’t know what the future holds. Perhaps you encountered these individuals and had this bizarre and upsetting experience for an as yet unknown reason. For everyone reading your blog, it was an education. It’s one thing to occasionally hear about such groups on the national news, another entirely to discover such a cult alive and flourishing in my own county.

Dawn Reed

Cult? I would agree! Unfortunately the homeschool world has a much higher percentage of these extreme unhealthy families than the general Christian world. (I am a homeschooling Christian mother and have recovered from 10 years in a cult just as you described!).

Things I have noticed:
1. This extreme sect is less than 15% of the entire homeschooling movement. As homeschooling continues to grow the numbers continue to decrease. Twenty years ago about 85% of homeschooling families could be categorized in this way.

2. Although shocking and I’m sure hurtful — This situation has planted seeds in the minds of these young girls and, by God’s grace, they will return to think more about in the coming years. This we can be thankful for!

3. Did you know statistically less than 20% of these type of homeschooled children will ever grace the doors of a church in their adulthood. It’s an abusive system and few return (at least once they get out — for girls it tends to be in their late 20’s to early 30’s — remember girls are not allowed or prepared to live on their own) It’s all very sad.

4. We need to be praying for the girls especially. The parents are often too far gone. Scariest part is how closely the views of these parents line up with the extreme Muslim faith more than the Christian faith.

5. Although 15% of the homeschooling movement, I often compare them to the gay/lesbian movement — small percentage but loudest voice and the most threatening! The majority of state leaders in the homeschooling movement (mostly because they have been around for so many years) tend to be of this extreme religion.

6. This is NOT Christianity. It’s the one thing in the gospel that Jesus hated and rejected — it’s the modern day Pharisees! Plain and Simple.


My son, 10 at the time, was watching a youtube video of a minecraft walkthrough, and the language was pretty strong. I said, ‘Howie,’ stop watching that – lots of bad words.’ He says, ‘But Mom, I’m not SAYING those words. You don’t hear me talk like that.’ In one sentence, he gave me a clear, concise argument for his freedom to consume content. I couldn’t argue with him. My response, ‘Good reasoning – carry on.’

But, I am the freaky liberal of the bunch…just my two cents!

Cherri T.

What a shame that some parents still think ignorance is bliss. Unfortunately ignorance usually has the opposite effect of what these parents would like. Try your best to not let this hurt you too much.

Bronwyn Scott

Wow, I am so sorry that happened to you. It is unbelievable, especially when the regency courtship process is in actuality so much like the process they are currently subscribing to–with a family focused management of who is an appropriate spouse. If they dislike it so much perhaps they should look at their own process. Regency families often thought or felt they were making good matches for their children for practical reasons, sensuality and romance completely aside; financial stability, status compatibilty (which would equate to values, and beliefs compatibility)etc., much like these folk attest to.

I am also reminded of an article I read not long ago about the positive values of romance novels, particularly regency historicals. The main point was that these novels placed a heavy value on the importance of family–how many regencies have you read where the hero or heroine is trying to their duty or their best for their family? Lots of them is the answer. This includes selflessly putting the needs of the family (ailing aging elders or younger siblings) ahead of oneself, giving up personal dreams and goals for the betterment of the family, taking responsibilities above and beyond the call of duty. Secondly, there is an emphasis on honor and doing what is right. Thirdly, there is a strong thread of the importance of wanting one’s own family and loving relationship with a spouse after having looked around society and seen the lack of it in other relationships and realizing how important that component is for them to have. Many novels end in marriage and the promise of a child–two very beautiful and sacred things in God’s creation.
BTW, I am Bronwyn Scott for those who don’t know me. I have written twenty titles for Harlequin and lead Bible study at church on Sunday mornings at a nice conservative Presbyterian church in a small town.


Dear Sharon!

I really don´t know what to say; this sounds strange and weird. These girls from 16-20 are old enough to know about romance and love. Your books are full of faith, true love and believing in the one person meant to be your soulmate. How can this be wrong? I am really speechless, this can´t be true! These mothers are very wrong!
I really don´t know what is better: to get really angry about these mothers or laugh about them. But it is a serious topic and I think here in Europe hardly anybody cares about this topic.
Please remain true to yourself! You are the best!
Lots of love,

Amanda T

Wow, I’m sorry you were faced with all this! I’ve known some very strict families in my life, but I can’t say I’ve ever faced one that actually disapproved of ALL novels! Wow.

I have actually been introduced to the concept of courtship/betrothal before, and found it just as sad then as I do now. When I was in college, I was a part of a student ministry choir. Through that, I met a girl who told me that she would never consider dating anyone, and that she would only follow the courtship/betrothal process, where the decision of who she would court/marry was left up to her church elders (her parents being absent from her life). During one of our spring tours, a group of us (including this girl) stayed up late one night, and had a very extensive (but respectful!) discussion about the whole idea of courtship/betrothal. Most of us, like me, knew very little about it. And that’s when I learned this girl’s whole story. She had grown up getting moved around from foster home to foster home, and had experienced more than one abusive situation (in one case, sexually abusive) in her childhood. So naturally, the thought of being sheltered and, in her mind, protected by the authority of someone else was a pretty appealing one to her.

So while the rest of us still maintained that taking all choice and self-control out of the equation in relationships generally does more harm than good, we all really felt for her and could almost understand why she would choose to go that route. But that being said, she CHOSE for herself to follow that path, unlike these poor girls whose families made this decision FOR them and their lives. It makes me so sad to think that so much of their lives are being restricted by fear and control, and how many blessings they are missing out on because of that!

Will be praying for these dear girls. And I’ll keep reading your lovely books, being grateful for the fact that I can =)

Monica P

Wow. Firstly, I’m sorry that the class you were so excited about and put much effort into took such a nosedive. But it’s about so much more than that. Of course people have the right to do what they see fit, and I am typically a “live and let live” type of person. I just feel like these girls may be getting a disservice by being forced to keep their heads in the sand. Human beings have romantic and sexual feelings about other human beings. It’s a fact; it’s the way we were made. Reading about it is not the same as doing it. If you read a murder mystery and analyze all the various elements involved, does that make you a murderer in your heart? Of course not. If these mothers had sons in this same class, would they be equally concerned? This just reminds me of some of my group of girlfriends from school whose parents wouldn’t let them take sex-ed of any kind and were very strict with them about everything. They were all pregnant by their second semester of college. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Kids have to know what’s out there to know how to deal. Yes, Regency spouses often had other lovers. Not particularly something I like, either, but it happened. It’s no different than any other period in history. Or today, for that matter.

Don’t let it get you down too much. (Easy for me to say, I know).


Kimberly M

Dear Sharon,

I have always loved P&P. I have grown to appreciate and love it even more when I began to read each and every book you have written. Please do not let this dissuade you from writing more novels!! I myself grew up in a very strict religious upbringing and was pretty much like Cinderella where I was kept at home all the time. Luckily, for myself I chose not to live in bubble wrap and enjoy life. I rebelled hard and against everything my parents tried to enforce. Now, as a parent myself, instead of following the path my parents had shown me along with my own experiences, I would rather have my children know love and enjoy life than to shelter them!

When I began reading your books, especially when Lizzy and Darcy started their family, it reminded me of my own parenting style and how I wish my children will be able to enjoy life and their experiences on their own as well. Thank you for the beautiful stories!

Maggie Schimelpfening

Oh, my dear friend!!!! I am so sorry to hear of you having this experience. The beautiful thing about your books is that they portray healthy romantic relationships and sexual relations within the bonds of marriage. I believe that we were created by a loving Heavenly Father that intended for us to have these relationships with our spouse. I am so sorry that you were hurt by this. Sending much love!!!

Aly k

Sharon, I’m soo sorry to hear this. I too am a born again christian, and I adore your books. I look foward to reading them, everytime a new one gets released. Although I did have the first three, they were stolen from our boxes from the moving company. I love the relationships in the books and how they interact. Please continue to write amazing books 🙂

Stephanie L

Oh for crying out loud. I am a preacher’s kid, I was homeschooled, I am still a Christian and I LOVE your books (which you know). Homeschooling has its good points, but it severely shelters kids to the point of social exclusion at times. There has GOT to be a happy medium. I agree that our world needs fixing in some areas. There is a lot of bad stuff out there, but locking your kid in a bubble and not letting them read current or past media or allowing them to learn what love is, is shortchanging them and not changing the world at all! I’m stepping off my soapbox…LOL
I’m so sorry you had to experience that! I would love love love to be able to sit in on that class and would have when I was homeschooling.

Stephanie L

I just had a discussion with someone I grew up with today regarding their daughter being homeschooled because of the evil in the world. I think I would have been more shocked from the conversation if I hadn’t seen all this first. She wasn’t as hardline as some of what you discussed, but I was seeing a trend. That’s frightening to me. What good can these kids do if they are taught nothing but how to live in a bubble? Dear God…and I mean that in prayer…just hurts my heart for them.

Carla Hoffmann

I am so sorry Sharon. I have read all your books and I would never, EVER compare your novels to porn.

I have been teaching for the past 23 years of my life and I have found both ends of the spectrum: young women with no criteria at all, manipulated by their “spiritual elders” (call them parents, counselors, pastors, etc) and young girls that think they are mature 30 year olds and consider appropriate to read “Fifty shades…”

I believe in the right of every parent to educate their children in the way they see fit, but there is nothing more damaging – in my point of view – to tag everything as sinful and bad when human love, presented in a healthy, loving manner, is a great source of education to the younger generation, as opposed to sex as violence and possession and an animal act.

My two cents.

Grace Burrowes

Everybody handles fear differently, and you hope these folks are operating from a fear of what you call our fallen world, and not some far less worthy motive. YOU DID NOTHING WRONG. YOU DID NOT DESERVE THIS RESPONSE. There are people in my family who think my books are disgusting, who will not allow one to physically touch their hands. They love me and pray for me, and hope someday I’ll use my writing talents to write “good” books. I love my family, so we pray for each other, and keep trying to find common ground.

This has to hurt, Sharon, but you write wonderful books. Don’t doubt yourself, and don’t give in to destructive temptations. Just keep writing the books you love to write, and so many people love to read.


What a shame!? I looked forward to hearing about the discussions from your class (which I would gladly attend). I am a Christian and take my faith seriously and I do believe that God has a plan for my life and the man I will one day meet and marry, but to allow your daughter no choice in the matter – when did we go back in time?

I understand their concerns about morality and everything but like you said Sharon, it’s about having the self control to behave properly. If these girls attempt to go off to college, what then? They are going to be so ill-equipped to handle the real-world. I was friends in college – through an on-campus Christian fellowship – with two guys, brothers actually, that were home schooled. They were two of the most polite guys I’ve ever met, but at the same time they also were some of the most socially awkward people I’ve ever met. Never letting your kids interact with the rest of the world (i.e. live in a bubble) does them a great disservice. They don’t learn how to interact with others their own age which can affect friendships and self-esteem levels in the kid (it’s very hard to be an outsider – spent my 8th grade year that way when my best friends dropped me out of the group, and you couldn’t pay me enough money to relive how lonely I was that year!) I pray for the girls that they continue to follow the Lord, but that they might learn to be like Lizzy and have an independent thought in their head!

Nicola Green

I can’t comprehend on what teaching that class must have been like for you and then receiving those emails after. I first stumbled across your novels at the age of 16 and do not find them at all offensive. I have been Christened but would not call myself a Christian I do have many religious friends who’s views I do not necessarily understand or agree with however I think that debate is healthy. Being narrow minded and refusing to see historical fact is not. I think you should be very proud of yourself for conducting yourself the way you did in the situation and your emailed response was brilliantly written. Which is not unexpected but I thought I would let you know anyway.

Kelli Crowe

First, I am so sorry that you experienced this. You have brought hours of joy to my reading experience and made me appreciate the Keira Knightly version of P&P (which I didn’t think it was possible to do.) There as many books written by you on my shelf as Austen.

Second, it would have been far better for someone to simply tell you they misunderstood the class instead of going foward and putting condemnation on your class, process and profession.

Third, as a home schooler and someone who is very a over protective parent and a Christian, I am unfamiliar with most of the terms you posted. While respect other people’s view points, I cringed when I read it was for a home school group because people often believe we judge everyone else’s choice not to home school. Gee, I wonder why?

Fourth, I want to know if there is a way for you to put your class on line or have some sort of interactive portion of it. I would LOVE to take your class!! I would absolutely pay for a chance at that.

Kelli Crowe

Kelli Crowe

Ok, clearly I did not proof read that before I posted it! Nice.


i lead a church small group of 8th grade girls. it’s rocky ground. homeschoolers have such different and often skewed ideas on rearing/teaching their daughters! i honestly feel sorry for the 2 girls in my group that are home-schooled. they are not allowed to take part in any kind of church activity outside of the worship service and small group time. how do they handle life when they eventually are old enough to try and fit into an adult world?? i’m so very sorry you have had this horrible experience. it’s all so sad.


this is ridiculous I feel sorry for the children of these parents as they will be niave to the world and what happens in it. I think your books are amazing. im 18 years old and a rape victim. I think the best part of your books are the feelings they inspire they promote love and encourage people to look for a partner for love not lust.


Thank you for including my article about this. You know…when we read books and see films that are set in the years of old, we tend to think “Oh how romantic”, but we have come so far for freedom’s sake that it is absurd to attempt to rewind the clock and go back to the oppression they had to live under. The scriptures say we are to “renew” our minds…new means growing. Growing is upward and forward. It doesn’t mean we should lead our children back to the days of oppression. Blessings to you in your journey.


How sad :/ I’d love to take your class.
And I get so sad when that mum equeal novels for girls to what porn does to boys!

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