I jumped at the chance to read this book after attending a conference where Lisa Samson was the keynote speaker. She was simply amazing and I've wanted to read her books ever since. Resurrection in May was as captivating, stirring and heartwarming as Lisa's keynote addresses. At first, I wasn't sure how to react to the author's unique writing style and creative use of point of view. The main character, May, is first introduced through the eyes of an old bachelor farmer, Claudius. We see the world and the spunky May through his eyes for a good half of the book and only catch a little of May's thoughts until a certain point. For me, this made it hard to connect with May at all. I actually had several parts where I had to push myself to keep reading even though I liked all the secondary characters. I wanted to connect with May but couldn't. That is, until Lisa's brilliance in writing is revealed with the point of view switch and you are as connected to Claudius as May is. Then, we dive deep into May's life as she struggles to overcome the wounds of her experience in Rwanda. The exchanges between May and Eli are heart-wrenching and so real. While this certainly wasn't a light-hearted novel, I still walked away with such hope and admiration of Lisa's amazing writing. This story unfolds with memorable characters, surprising twists and turns and satisfying moments that testify to God's grace. A great read of redemption and hope. Highly recommended. Disclosure: Thomas Nelson provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which is exactly what you'll see here!
My first impression of this book was that it was absolutely delightful! Fun-loving college student May meets grandfatherly Claudius who rescues her from a drunken predicament. While recovering at his farm, May tells Claudius her hopes, plans and dreams. Hes curiousand a little concerned, but content with his chosen life of solitude on a quiet Kentucky farm. The contrasting characters in such an unlikely setting made for a great story start.But then May goes to Rwanda for a missions trip and gets caught up in harsh events there. (Warning: do not read these chapters while waiting for your child in the dentists office because you will be uncomfortably disturbed and want to cry, and the dentists office is an awkward place for that.)May returns to Kentucky deeply scarred both physically and emotionally. She seeks solace on Claudius farmand stays there, refusing to talk about what happened, refusing to leave for any reason at all."Resurrection in May" is the story of her healing process, how the community helps and hinders and grows with her as a result. Its disturbing and frustrating and aggravating, yet author Lisa Samson highlights moments of joy in the midst of deep pain and shows how God can patiently work in individuals and society and how life moves steadily on even when death is all around.Thank you Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of this book for my review.
Award-winning author Lisa Samson has released a new novel, "Resurrection in May." May has just graduated from college and is searching to find herself. An unexpected relationship is formed between May and Claudius, a kind old man. After witnessing a horrific scene in Africa on her missons trip, May returns to the sanctuary she found before her trip at Claudius' home. During this time May meets up with a former flame and the turns that his life have taken force May to think about life, choices and the path that she is taking. Thus begins May's resurrection. If you are looking for a light read, this is not the book for you. Samson has filled this novel with hurt, heartache and very emotionally draining scenes. However, this is also filled with forgiveness, love and grace as the characters bond and work through the issues in their lives. This book is thought-provoking and the story is one that will be remembered.
The scope of the storyline in Resurrection in May is so broad as to seem almost improbable until you begin reading the story. When we first meet May Seymour, she is in a sad state--deeply sunk in a fast-paced, shallow lifestyle at the end of her college years. Her physical journey takes her to Rwanda and back to Kentucky, after narrowly escaping the brutal destruction of the town she was volunteering in. Her spiritual journey is cloudy; she is lost and filled with doubt. May's wounds are deep and her recovery is long.It took me a few chapters to adapt to the author's writing style and get into the story, but it wasn't long before I was sucked into the story. Largely plot driven, I found myself hooked, not wanting to put the book down. I often wished for a more thorough understanding of the characters, as I believe that would have made the emotional impact that much greater, but what was lacking in depth of character was made up for with the engaging plot. The gardening, cooking, and book references throughout were a fun touch. I appreciated the picture of true religion (if you will) and the willingness on the part of the author and publisher to address a topic that wasn't candy coated.This was a diversion from my typical book selections, and overall I was pleasantly surprised.
Claudius, an elderly Kentucky farmer, finds a drunken May lost along a country roadside and takes her home to care for her until she can find her way home. May, a recent college graduate searching for meaning in her life, becomes fascinated with his simple, purposeful lifestyle and embraces it until she leaves for Rwanda to serve with a priest there. After being attacked during a war of ethnic cleansing in the village where she's living, May returns to Kentucky and tries to find the loving God of her farm and village amidst her memories of a violent world. Samson has written an emotionally charged book. While the action is slow and much of it is conversational or simply describing the everyday work of a farm, the reader gleans the heart condition of each character from these simple actions. Samson has turned the reader into a cheerleader as May grows and recovers from her ordeal. By the last page, the reader finds that May is stronger - and less predictable - than one would think. "Resurrection in May" is a wonderful book that will prompt the reader to affirm the power of forgiveness. I will definitely recommend this book and look up Samson's others! This book was given to me by Thomas Nelson in return for an unbiased review.