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Writer of fiction that reflects the light of Jesus. Sometimes the grit mixes with beauty to make up a picture of this life. That's where my fiction lives.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book Review of Lisa Samson's "Embrace Me"

About 2 years ago I'd given up on Christian fiction. It seemed that every time I went to the Christian bookstore and perused the fiction section I found the same book. Over and over. Different covers, different titles, different authors. But the same book. I believed there was a formula that all Christian fiction books were required to follow. And it didn't appeal to me.

Well, apparently, I wasn't looking closely enough.

One day I decided to give the fiction section another look. What I found that day intrigued me.

The cover of "Embrace Me" is gorgeous. Yes, I did judge this book by its cover...and it worked out for me. A circus tent and just a curve of a woman wearing a green dress.

"This doesn't fit the formula," I thought.

I read the back.

"Biting and gentle, hard-edged and hopeful . . . a beautiful fable of love and power, hiding and seeking, woundedness and redemption.When a "lizard woman," a self-mutilating preacher, a tattoed monk, and a sleazy lobbyist find themselves in the same North Carolina town one winter, their lives are edging precariously close to disaster . . . and improbably close to grace."

I bought the book. It was the kind of novel that you read slowly, knowing that far too soon it will be finished. I felt an instant connection to the characters. Lisa Samson writes vivid people into her stories. The kind that feel like friends. 

Lisa also wrote in a couple of twists. It isn't easy to really surprise some readers (especially readers who are also writers). However, I was surprised twice while reading. It was fantastic. And, nope, no spoiler here. You'll have to read the book for yourself.

"Embrace Me" has a magical feel to it. I just recently re-read it, still feeling that surreal, fable-like nature of the novel. And yet, it's also so raw, real and relevant. That's a balance that Lisa Samson does so well.

I love this book. My first copy of the book was borrowed by a friend. She passed it around to others. I have no idea where that book is. So, I bought a second copy. I fully intend to share that one as well.

I highly recommended "Embrace Me". It will surprise you, convict you, make you think. But most of all, it will help you to understand the love and redemption of Jesus a little more. 

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