Monday, September 04, 2006

"Songbird" by Lisa Samson

This is one of the edgiest and most riveting of the Christian fic fare I have ever read. Not since Dale Cramer's debut have I been so impressed by an author boasting faith in their novels. A highly-flawed character, Charmaine Hopewell adds a humane and relative voice to the world of derelict despair she finds throughout her Southern life.

The atmosphere and dialect read like Billie Letts meets Faulkner. The deep integration of characters into the piece reminded me somewhat of John Irving.

I was thoroughly impressed with Samson's gutsy rhetoric. This story----with its sin and long-time-in-finding redemption ---points the finger at some of the less tangible strains of evangelism: the reliance on the promise of God over medication, the scandalous surroundings of televised programs and their subsequent revivals ( mostly those in the mid-80's with the surge of retreats and resorts a la PTL).

Our focal couple, Charmaine and Harlan, remain the groundwork for a sometimes unbelievable whirlwind of hypocrisy, doubt and selfishness.

This " on the road" novel dips and dives in places I never expected it too. Though it lacks some of Cramer's subtlety, it has a much-needed literate slant that continues to evade so many in the marketplace.

I will definitely read more from her.

1 comment:

Carl V. Anderson said...

I will have to point my wife in this direction as this sounds like something she would really enjoy.