This was a fantastic book, my first read by this author. I tend to lean more towards Peretti and Decker in my literary taste. But Lisa Samson writes the most believable fiction I have read in a long time. The characters are portrayed in a brutal honesty without the usual softening of the realities I see a lot of in Christian fiction. The message is vibrant and heart breaking I loved this book!
Lisa Samson's book always makes you think and this one is no different that the rest. Can you say EDGY?! I don't think I've ever read a Christian fiction book that deals with the type of people mentioned in this story. But these are stories that need to be told, because not everyone is living a picture perfect streak free Christian life. It's a heartbreaking story as you read what has happened in Drew and Valentine's lives. I nearly wanted to cry at times when reading because I felt the character's pain and suffering. Even though there are very few sideshow attractions such as the one portrayed in the story surviving today, it makes the reader think about what life is like for these "so-called freaks." How hard their life must be because they aren't born "normal" like the rest of us. I really don't know how Lella was able to be so upbeat and genuinely happy all the time. I don't think I could have accepted her situation quite so well. This isn't your normal happy ending novel. There is a lot of in your face stuff that a lot of Christians don't like touching. It will make you feel uncomfortable at times but it will also help you to understand more about God's infinite love and acceptance. This book is definitely edgy Christian fiction at its best. Lisa Samson has created another winner. HIGHLY recommended.
Valentine and Lella are not just best friends; they are each others only friend. They earn a living working at Roland Wayfaring Marvels and Oddities show knowing they are freaks to the normals who gawk at them. Valentine has scars all over her body while Lella has no extremities. Whereas Lella also has no dreams, Val fantasizes of one day being romanced by a man while she listens to her mothers copy of Embraceable You, but once the singing stops reality returns.------------However, a newcomer with scars on his soul and in his heart joins the caravan. Augustus befriends Val, but Lella who wants the best for her buddy fears she will be left behind with no one to care for or about her.-------------Combining a deep need to belong to others, which means forgiving and accepting the hurts they cause, inside a set from Brownings Freaks, Lisa Samson writes a powerful relationship drama that will shake the audience to the core. The cast is fully developed so that readers feel the anguish and loneliness each suffers. Adding depth to the emotional punch is the rotating story line between Drew circa 2002-3 and Val circa 2008-9. EMBRACE ME is a powerful insightful tale of love as Ms. Samson makes an ardent case that everyone needs loving mental and physical hugs.--------Harriet Klausner