At her blog, Amy Julia Becker looks at why Christians ought to read non-Christian novels:
In spending time with these fictional people, Lamb succeeded in humanizing individuals who might otherwise have remained a “type” –whether the lesbian artist, the sexual predator, the liberal social activist, or the evangelical from Texas. And in feeling some degree of empathy and understanding with each of them, this novel succeeded in humanizing me a little bit, reminding me of the humanity I share with everyone else, in our common brokenness and our common beauty.
There are all sorts of reasons to read good novels—these stories teach us about historical events through a narrative frame, they create art out of language, they identify social woes that need attention. But the best novels do even more than that.