Lisa Samson is a Christian author who rocks Christian fiction. No two of them are alike, but all are thought-provoking. Samson’s books give readers the opportunity to explore whether their faith impacts how they live,all the while delivering a cast of people and grace-filled stories the reader will not easily forget. Samson also creates visual art.
Embrace Me: believing is seeing
Embrace Me was the first of Samson’s books that I read. I did not immediately like it, or understand what what going on. What can you make of a story where the first character you meet is a former evangelical pastor who walks into a Catholic church to confess his sins? Two of the other main characters include a “lizard woman,” a woman with no arms or legs who are part of a traveling circus’s freak show. In fact, each person in this story is one of the “outsiders,” odd inside or out, or both. All desperately need grace.
The characters grew on me, though, and before I realized it, I had come to care about all of these apparent misfits. When I was done, I read it again, and found that I belonged with those odd folks, and was deeply in need of God’s grace as well.
I envy Samson’s gift of turning her life experiences into a great fiction story. This one caught my heart in two ways: 1. The title. I had a great aunt who was a Quaker, and she was the bomb. 2. The theme. It was about a woman who absolutely could not stop filling her home with more stuff even though she was a woman who had almost everything.
With humor and grace, Samson challenges her readers to find the joy in simple living. She invites us to discover knock down the status quo, and find contentment, and to live purposeful lives following Christ’s example of giving of Himself. Definitely one of my favorites!
Samson is not shy about tackling what would, for some Christian writers, be tabu subjects. In Straight Up, she tackles two at once. In this book she tells the tale of Georgia, who had great potential as a jazz pianist. Georgia does not reach her potential because her alcoholism gets in the way.
One night she drinks too much, and ends up in a coma. In many stories, this would be the end, but not this time. The conversation of life continues for those waiting for Georgia to wake up, and those that Georgia experiences in her coma.
God’s mercy and grace are abundant in this book. The tough topics are well written.
Resurrection in May
This book is the latest one (so far) that Samson has published. It is also the longest one I have read. It is filled with current topics, and challenges to the Christian community.
May Seymour who is the main the protagonist, is a new college graduate. Claudius, and elderly farmer and nurturer of the earth, and the animals finds her staggering drunk on the road one day, and takes her home to take care of her.
After a time of healing, May takes a trip to Rwanda, and lands there in the middle of the civil war. The situation over-tasks her strength, and leaves her physically wounded depressed, and broken. Eventually, she was rescued and sent home. She went back to Claudius’ farm to recover. She no longer knew who she was, or what she was to do.
There are some heavy subjects covered in this book such as rape, capital punishment, and genocide, so let the reader be aware. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.