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The Passion of Mary-Margaret
Thomas Nelson / 2009 / Paperback
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When Mary-Margaret Danaher met Jude Keller, the lightkeeper's son, she was studying at convent school on a small island in the Chesapeake Bay. Destined for a life as a religious sister, she nevertheless felt a pull toward Jude-rough and tumble, promiscuous Jude.
After sojourning as a medical missions sister in Swaziland, Mary-Margaret returns to the island to prepare for her final vows. Jude, too, returns to the island, dissolute and hardened. Mary-Margaret can hardly believe it when the Spirit tells her she must marry the troubled boy who befriended her all those years ago, forsaking the only life she ever wante d for a man she knows she'll never love.
Mary-Margaret yearned to dedicate her life to the Lord. Jesus had another idea.
When Mary-Margaret Fischer met Jude Keller, the lighthouse keepers son, she was studying at a convent school on a small island off Chesapeake Bay. Destined for a life as a religious sister, she nevertheless felt a pull toward Jude--gorgeous, rebellious, promiscuous Jude. But Jude, driven by demons no one really understood, disappeared into Baltimores seamy red-light district. Mary-Margaret moved on with her life, preparing to serve God with her sisters as a teacher and artist.
Then Jude comes home--but now hes bitter, dissolute, and diseased. And Mary-Margaret receives a divine call that shakes her to the core, a call to give up her dreams for the troubled man who befriended her so long ago. For Jesus sake, can she forsake the only life she ever wanted for a love that could literally cost her life?
The Christy-award winning author of Christianity Todays Novel of the Year Quaker Summer, Lisa Samson has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as one of the most powerful voices in Christian fiction." She lives in Kentucky with her husband and three kids.
Lisa Sampsons The Passion of Mary-Margaret is a contemporary story of the costand the rewardof following Jesus. Mary-Margaret Fischer has known her whole life that she wants to be a religious sister, but her path takes a different turn when Jesus shows up. He asks her to abandon her upcoming final vows and, instead, to follow him. Mary-Margarets, Yes, Lord, leads her down a path she never expected when Jesus instructs her to marry Jude Keller, the troubled boy from her childhood.
The book should be read as fiction and not as a how-to manual on following Christ. Samsons version of Jesus at times seems to conflict with biblical truths; his instruction contradicts Pauls warning in 2 Corinthians not to be yoked with unbelievers. Additionally, Mary-Margaret continually places greater emphasis on Jesus and not the other two members of the Trinity. However, the books overall message is a worthy one: sometimes God calls us to do things that dont make sense to us, and we have to trust that he knows what hes doing.
The story captivated me by alternating between Mary-Margarets reflections on the past and interjections from the present. The novels true-to-life portrayals of brokenness, bitterness, and unconditional love will resonate with todays audience; readers cannot help but invest in the realistic characters as they try to follow God, or flee from him.
Through the writings of Mary-Margaret, Samson provides a wealth of wisdom for her readers. Its not often that I read a fiction book with a pen in my hand, waiting for the next sentence worthy of underlining. This is not a love story. Its a story of being romanced by the Lover of your soul. I recommend this book for mature believers because of its potentially confusing theology and the deep issues it faces. Andrea Walker, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Samson (Quaker Summer) mixes quirky with mysticism, seasons it with social justice, and the result is a page-turner with characters so fresh, funny and indelible the reader wants another 50 pages or so, please. Samson envisions a Jesus even an atheist would enjoy talking to, a Jesus whom the titular Mary-Margaret Fischer, a religious sister, talks to and gets direction from, as mystics quite naturally do. An even more compelling figure than Jesus, or at least someone with more lines and hence more characterization, is Mary-Margaret's childhood friend, Jude Keller, a ne'er-do-well with a soul needing saving encased in a body so good-looking it's hard for a body to resist. The required Christian progression to redemption is a natural in this story that slips between past and presentsomewhat confusingly at firstand ranges from Maryland to Africa. The plot holds a few surprises that make some of the final, far-flung episodes more narratively and theologically satisfying. Quirk works; this is a deeply engaging book deserving of a broad audience. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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