Sunday, March 20, 2022

Embrace Me by Lisa Samson ~ Book Review

Book Description from the back of 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."

From this description on the back of the book it seems to me that the publisher had as hard a time writing a short description of the story without giving spoilers as I did.  Nothing about that description is something that would make me pick up this book.  But I had bought it years ago for my daughter thinking she would like the "circus" aspect of the story (which is what I assumed from the cover picture).  Turns out it was not about a circus but about a travelling "freak" show who is now wintering and taking their break in a small town.  Lisa has written some very deep characters with hard issues to face.  The book is all at once sad and hopeful.  It basically is a story about power and pride gone wrong and the devastation it brings to others, the struggle of wrestling with what life has dealt you, the results of wrong choices, mental health, making things right and love and forgiveness.  This is not a typical Christian fiction book.  The characters are flawed and hurt and trying to deal with it in different ways.  Their feelings and reactions are quite real and there are some trigger warnings to this book.  They are definitely not cliche characters.  

I found the book hard to get into at first and must say it didn't really grab me at the get go.  But the author did a great job in developing her characters as the story unfolded and peeling back the layers of how they ended up with this travelling side show.  Sometimes I found the conversations a bit confusing, not knowing exactly who was speaking and the fast forwards and flashbacks sometimes had me rereading spots but the story and the characters tugged at my heart and made me think and ultimately that is what I want from a good story.  This one might warrant a reread because I'm sure I will get more out of it the second time.    

I rate this an 8/10
Reading Challenge Goal Met:  February Read Your Book Shelf Challenge Prompt - "Love" in the title
   (Didn't have a book with "love" so this was chosen for "embrace")

1 comment:

Faith said...

I'll probably pass on this although i've read a couple of her other books and enjoyed them. Thanks for the great review!