The Passion of Mary Margaret

April 15th. 2009

I picked up the latest book by Lisa Samson because everything I’ve read by her is exceptional. Lisa is a gifted writer. She brings humanity to characters that society ignores.  From the first novel of hers I read, Songbird, to this one, The Passion of Mary Margaret, I’ve been pushed to reexamine how I look at people and God’s gift of redemption. Last winter’s Embrace Me took all the insecurities about people I might consider ‘freaks’ and splattered them on the wall. Really, I don’t know what paths Lisa has walked to generate this empathy for wounded people, but she’s one of the best writers for taking those scared souls and holding them up as a light that beams back to God. So, it was with some trepidation that I opened this latest novel. But once again, I was quickly sucked in to caring for a little red-headed orphan who just loved Jesus.  Because this is written as a memoir-in-the-making there are a lot of flash-forwards, flash-backwards and a few flash-sideways sometimes all in the same chapter. And in lesser hands, this would turn out as a mess. Lisa weaves a tapestry instead. This is one of those novels where Jesus plays a starring role, but unlike other novels, I didn’t find myself questioning the theology. Instead, I longed for more of Jesus and the unexpected.

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