The Baxters: Karen Kingsbury’s Books Inspired the TV Series

Amazon Prime Video’s ‘The Baxters’ showcases the lives of the devout Christian family headed by Elizabeth and John Baxter, along with their five adult children — Brooke, Kari, Ashley, Erin, and Luke. The narrative focuses on Kari’s journey as her marriage to Professor Tim Jacobs starts to crumble due to his extramarital affair with a student. Despite the betrayal, Kari holds firm to her belief that love is a conscious choice, refusing to give up on her marriage. Drawing strength from her faith, she embarks on a path of forgiveness, seeking solace and redemption within herself and her religious teachings.

Showrunner and executive producer Jessie Rosen pushes the boundaries of storytelling and explores the complexities of family, faith, and forgiveness. By portraying Kari’s struggle to salvage her marriage amidst betrayal, the series explores the enduring power of love and the challenges of upholding one’s beliefs in the face of adversity. Rosen’s storytelling transcends simplistic narratives, presenting flawed yet relatable characters who grapple with moral dilemmas mirroring those encountered in everyday life. As viewers witness the Baxter family’s journey, they are prompted to ponder if the narrative is also based on a true story or not.

The Baxters Builds on Universal Human Experiences

‘The Baxters’ draws inspiration from Karen Kingsbury’s beloved book series, ‘The Baxter Family,’ with this particular narrative originating from the first book, ‘Redemption,’ published in 2002. As a fan favorite, Kingsbury’s novels have captivated readers with their poignant portrayal of faith-infused drama centered around the Baxter family. With numerous books in the series, each focusing on different family members, she skillfully explores themes of personal growth, forgiveness, and resilience throughout their interconnected lives.

In an interview, Kingsbury, who had previously worked as a sports reporter for the Los Angeles Times, revealed a serendipitous moment that led to the creation of the book series. During a cross-country flight in 2002, the words “family” and “series” sparked in her mind. As the journey progressed, she found herself immersed in the formation of characters, their unique backgrounds, and distinct personalities. Kingsbury attributed this creative surge to divine inspiration, expressing her belief that stories are placed in her heart by a higher power, compelling her to bring them to life through her writing.

Roma Downey, who portrays the role of matriarch Elizabeth Baxter and serves as one of the executive producers of the series, was captivated by ‘Redemption’ from the moment she first read it upon its release. Recognizing the scarcity of faith-based series in mainstream television, she harbored a desire to adapt it into a series. Upon reaching out to Kingsbury to initiate the project, Downey discovered that the author’s late father had encouraged her to collaborate with Downey to bring her book to the screen. Both women regarded this serendipitous encounter as a “God moment” and thought of it as a divine intervention that solidified the genesis of the series.

One of the standout qualities of ‘The Baxters’ lies in its unflinching portrayal of real-life challenges that individuals grapple with. While many faith-based TV series often skirt around sensitive topics like infidelity, the series boldly confronts them head-on, presenting them as tangible issues that can be addressed with determination and faith. By getting into the nexus of relationships and the fallout of betrayal, the series offers a nuanced perspective on the human condition, showcasing characters who work through turmoil with steadfastness and confidence in their faith.

The spirit of the series can be caught by the statement made by Kingsbury when she talks about the universe that she has created. She said, “Secular writers can tell a story about the physical, the emotional, and the intellectual parts of a character. But no matter how well they tell the story, they miss a facet that is innately part of all of us – the spiritual. As a Christian fiction writer, I can tell a story about the complete person, the whole character. I think this resonates with readers, and touches them in the deepest parts of their hearts and souls.”

While the family drama series isn’t directly inspired by true events, its story speaks volumes about the trials and tribulations encountered by individuals worldwide. Through its riveting storytelling and relatable characters, it depicts the timeless themes of love and faith that transcend mere fiction. ‘The Baxters’ offers viewers a chance to see their own experiences mirrored in the characters’ journeys, fostering a profound sense of connection and empathy.

Read More: The Baxters: Where is the Family Show Filmed?