Wednesday, 23 July 2008
"Embrace Me" by Lisa Samson
What is it about?
Valentine is a woman scarred from an injury and part of a human Marvels & Oddities show that tours through the year, except for winter. Whilst she is talented in beaded jewelery making and has a soft and caring heart, she seems to feel that the only way for her to earn a living is to exploit her deformity. Drew is a highly successful, very shallow Pastor of a mega church. However, his dysfunctional childhood, his mother's death and his need for his father's approval have sent him down a path of seeking self importance. Augustine is a tattooed monk who cares for those that come across his path.
What I thought:
Lisa Samson writes compellingly. This book is written in the first person with each of the main characters taking the next chapter. I struggled with this style for the first quarter to third of the book. However, once I got my mind around it all I was hooked and glad I persisted. I was dismayed at the idea of people allowing themselves to be exploited based on their oddities. The idea, to me, is abhorrent. And yet, Valentine feels that this is her only course of action for a very long time. Each of the characters, in their own way, is seeking unconditional love, healing and a way forward beyond all that they've been through. Lisa took each character through to a place in their lives where they could face their past and conquer the battles they each faced.
The book contained surprises I didn't see coming ~ probably because I was too engrossed in the tale being woven! Certainly from the middle of the book onwards I found this one hard to put down. I wanted to see how things were resolved for each person!
I found this a challenging read and probably not one I would go for if I wanted 'nice' or 'easy'. However, the themes of searching for unconditional love and healing of wounded hearts are worthwhile and Lisa explores these with raw reality. The resolutions for each character are realistic and not contrived or unbelievable, leaving the reader with a sense of hope that situations can improve.