Monday, May 19, 2008

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Presents: Embrace Me by Lisa Samson

MY REVIEW:

“We need forgiveness so badly. Maybe it’s selfish to even ask, but in the receiving we are made free.” (p304)


This is the first of Lisa Samson’s adult novels I’ve ever read. Even as I write these words, my eyes are filled with tears and my heart aches with both joy and sorrow. How do you review a book like this? How do you sum up God’s grace, His mercy, His unending love for His children? For you see, that’s what this story is all about. Lisa Samson shares a story unlike anyone I’ve ever read, and Embrace Me has left my heart changed.


As I began reading this story, it took me a while to fall into the rhythm of Lisa Samson’s style. She alternated between two of the main characters, Valentine and Drew, and it took me a while to understand how these two stories were remotely related. Valentine is a burn victim displaying herself in a “freak” show, and Drew is a charismatic, mega-church pastor doling out empty promises for folks who will give him money to keep his conglomeration going. Both characters are hard-hearted, bitter, wounded people who are beginning to subtly feel God’s tug on their hearts. Neither of them recognizes God as having anything to do with anything, but are they ever in for a resurrection experience!!


I don’t want to give away any of the phenomenal surprises in this book. But I must tell you this…be prepared to meet brutally honest, questioning, hurting people amid the pages of this story. Lisa Samson doesn’t cover up any of the ugliness of human depravity! These characters must learn what their hearts and souls need most of all – God’s forgiveness. Then they must go about learning how to share this most difficult and holy gift with others who have hurt them along life’s way.


I want to share some thought from a couple of characters in the story that I feel sum up a lot about this book and its very poignant message. Valentine finds herself assisting someone who has just been brutally stabbed; “You know,” I say in my mind, “sometimes acid is thrown in your face. And sometimes it’s grace. Both leave you changed somehow. Don’t ask me how it works. If I analyze it, it might go away.” (p95) Later on, a struggling pastor sums up the journey; “I guess this thing called faith is a climb. I always wanted to think of it as a big slide straight into the arms of God who waits at the bottom to catch us. But instead, He’s a God who’s on top of things – and like any mountain you climb, the closer we get to Him, the steeper the terrain.” (p254)


This is a story that reaches deep into the human heart. This is a story that beautifully displays God’s mercy and grace in the lives of His children. DON’T MISS THIS BOOK! Lisa Samson, your story, Embrace Me, is a gift from God. Thank you for sharing it with me!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lisa Samson is the author of nineteen novels, including the Christy Award winning Songbird. She has been called, "one of the best inspirational novelists in the market today" by Publishers Weekly Magazine. Lisa broke ground in CBA fiction with her novel The Church Ladies, a novel that portrayed honest characters who struggle with their faith. She has continued to offer her readers an edgier experience with books such as Tiger Lillie, The Living End and Women's Intuition. Quaker Summer, set to release in March of 2007, deals with social justice and mercy themes and will be Women of Faith's Novel of the Year. Lisa lives in Kentucky with her husband Will and three children.

You can find out more about Lisa at LisaSamson.com

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE

If you want to purchase your own copy, go HERE


1 comment:

Kelly Klepfer said...

Great review and fab interview, Ladies.

I'm pretty sure you'd like Church Ladies, Kim.