Tuesday, May 20, 2008

CFBA Tour - Embrace Me

The CFBA Tour today features award-winning author Lisa Samson and her latest book, Embrace Me.

The back cover copy reads, "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."

That sums up the book very succinctly. Embrace Me is a character-driven novel, a story designed to explore the depths that forgiveness and redemption can reach. The plot revolves around mega-church pastor Drew Parrish confessing his sin to a Catholic priest in 2003, while freak show attraction Valentine winters in between carnival seasons in the quiet town of Mount Oak in 2008. The story bounces back between their timelines, as they battle their internal demons. Val may hide her burned face under a scarf, but both wounded souls have a true face they are hiding.

The plotline is a little convoluted and incredible at times, but the characterization and themes of Embrace Me keep this book an engaging read. The darkness that both Drew and Valentine struggle with are all too real and the interesting supporting cast draw the two wounded people toward grace. It is hard not to enjoy Lella the armless-legless woman, Augustine the tattooed and dreadlocked monk, and Rick the contortionist.

The book isn't afraid to ask hard questions about true faith, and the glossy side of Christianity is strongly challenged. The Way is not easy, and it is hard to love the unlovable. Even when their cry is to "embrace me," just the way they are.

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

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