ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lisa Samson is a Christy Award-winning author of 19 books, including the Women of the Faith Novel of the Year, Quaker Summer. Lisa has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as “a talented novelist who isn’t afraid to take risks.”
In Embrace Me, the latest novel by acclaimed author Lisa Samson, readers are privy to the realization that regardless of outward appearances…hideous, attractive, or even ordinary…persons are all looking for the same things: love, forgiveness, and redemption.
This story explores a world that is neither comfortable nor safe, a world that people like Valentine know all too well. Masterfully crafted by Samson and populated by her most compelling cast of characters yet. It is a tale of forgiveness that extends into all spheres of life: forgiving others, forgiving oneself, forgiving the past.
She lives in Lexinton, Kentucky, with her husband and three kids.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When a “lizard woman,” a self-mutilating preacher, a tattooed 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.
Valentine, due to her own drastic self-disfigurement, has very few friends in this world and, it appears as if she may be destined to spend the rest of her life practically alone. But life gives her one good friend, Lella, whose own handicap puts her in the same freakish category as Valentine. As part of Roland’s Wayfaring Marvel and Oddities Show, a traveling band of misfits, they seem to have found their niches in an often curiously cruel world.
Residing in a world where masks are mandatory, Valentine has a hard time removing hers, because of her disfigured face but more so because of her damaged soul. It is much easier for her to listen endlessly to different versions of a favorite song, Embraceable You, and escape reality. Yet, life has more in store for her when she meets Augustine, replete with the tattoos, dreadlocks, and his own secrets. With his arrival, Valentine’s soul takes a turn.
If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE
Initially I had difficulty getting into this book. I even put it down and read several others before picking it back up. But because I usually enjoy Lisa Samson, I decided to give it another chance. I am glad I did.
My main problem was all the different story threads and points of view – I would just start learning about one character when another one popped up. But with her usual skill, Lisa took all those loose threads and wove them together into a beautiful finished tapestry.
Daisy and Valentine, Drew and Augustine, as well as a cast of other interesting supporting characters are part of a compelling story of selfish ambition, rejection, the need for love and respect, and faith and redemption. The Embrace Me subtititle “believing is seeing” truly encapsulates the heart of this book.
I would recommend Embrace Me to other readers. My advice is to persevere through the first few chapters. They are essential to understanding the characters. You will be glad you did.