Redemption. Forgiveness. Love. Grace and mercy. With heady themes like this, you might get the impression that Embrace Me is a difficult and demanding story to read. You’d be wrong. Intense, yes. Emotional, absolutely. But author Lisa Samson’s easy style and authentic dialog make reading this book enjoyable, not laborious. In many ways it reminded me of The Shack, another work of fiction used to convey Biblical truth.
The book starts with two characters. One is the pastor of a super-successful megachurch, but his eye is on his fame and fortune rather than Jesus. The other is Lizard Lady, her face so badly burned that she makes a living as a freak in a circus sideshow. You have to read for a while before you realize how the lives of these totally dissimilar people are intertwined. As you do, you’ll fall in love with both of them, in spite of—perhaps because of—their very human fallibility.
Christian fiction has a sometimes well-deserved reputation for bad writing, simplistic plots, and insipid characters. This book is not like that. While the underlying lessons are blatant at times, you really don’t mind. With such major issues, it would be easy to make this book into a sermon, with preachy declarations on how we are to live as believers.By making the characters be the lesson-learners, the author avoids that pitfall. And only a few times did I get frustrated and wonder why they were being so dense!
I was easily able to anticipate the ending but I kept reading because I wanted to know how the story got there.
I “only” gave it four out of five stars on my Goodreads.com review. That’s because I’m pretty stingy with my stars (God got five with His boo, the Bible, but hey). I’m not usually into “touchy-feely” books—when it comes to fiction, I prefer action, preferably involving fascinating aliens and faster-than-light travel. This book was a major departure for me. It was strongly recommended by a good friend, however, and I’m glad I followed her advice and downloaded it from the library.