I believe Lisa Samson is one of the most relevant and provocative writers of Christian fiction today.
Her books continually challenge and inspire me and Embrace Me is no different.
I’d had it on my Kindle for quite a while and delayed reading it for several reasons.
- I knew I’d be hooked from the beginning.
- The cover didn’t entice me – it reminded me a bit of Water for Elephants (which I liked) and I was afraid it would be derivative of that novel.
- The subject matter sounded too dark: a circus freak show.
I was right about one of those. I was hooked right away. And, by the way, Embrace Me is nothing like Water for Elephants. Some of the characters do make their living by exhibiting their differences in a freak show, but they are all so much more than the sum of their oddities and differences.
It’s hard to write a review of this one without giving away too many spoilers.
Drew Parrish is a pastor with big ambitions. His church is large and growing.
Daisy is one of Drew’s parishioners and he believes the two of them can rock the world. For Jesus. Mostly.
Valentine’s face was burned by acid and she’s retreated from the world to hide behind scarves when she’s not at work as the Lizard Woman.
Gus is a street preacher trying to get to know the Valentine behind the scarves.
Their paths cross with Charmaine Hopewell from Samson’s novel Songbird in a lovely and uncontrived way.
I highly recommend this book, but only if you’re willing to have your perception of what it means to be a “good” Christian challenged and maybe even upset.