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Ten years later, Fiona's huge house is filled with junk purchased at thrift stores, yard sales, or picked up from the side of the road. Each piece was destined for a project, but all she's got so far is a piece of twine with some antique buttons threaded down its length. Her money has almost run out. She will soon lose her house and will be forced back into acting.
Content Disclaimer: This book contains language which may be considered offensive.
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2014
|Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.50 (inches)|
Its a wonder to behold what happens when love moves in . . .
Former child star Fiona Hume deserted the movie biz a decade agoright after she left rehab. She landed in Baltimore, bought a dilapidated old mansion downtown, and hatched dreams of restoring it into a masterpiece, complete with a studio for herself.
She would disappear from public view and live an artists life.
That was the plan.
Ten years later, Fionas huge house is filled with junk purchased at thrift stores, haggled over at yard sales, or picked up from the side of the road. Each piece was destined for an art project . . . but all shes got so far is a piece of twine with some antique buttons threaded down its length.
Shes thirty-two years old and still recognizable, but Fionas money has finally run out. Shes gotten pretty desperate, too, and in her desperation shes willing to do almost anything for money. Almost. So it is that she comes to rent out the maids quarters to a local blacksmith named Josia Yeu.
Josia is everything Fiona isnt: gregarious, peaceful, in control without controlling . . . in short, happy. As the light from the maids quarters begins to permeate the dank rooms of Fionas world, something else begins to transform as wellsomething inside Fiona. Something even she can see is beautiful.
MAS Oregon4 Stars Out Of 5A Journey of RenewalJuly 26, 2015MAS OregonQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4This was very much a Christian book, a fleshing out of the old allegory, my heart God's home. (Josias Yeu: Savior Jehovah). I liked the touch of Josias being a creator-artisan and giving her a Sun and planets to put in her house. As Fiona experiences renewal in Josias unselfish love and kindness, she then is able to experience selfless love and community with others. What a tender rendering of the Gospel and Christ's sanctifying work.
The book has its flaws: Samson does belabor Fiona's quirkiness a bit much. And I guess some of the language may be a little coarse, although I had to go back and search for examples, not having an overly sensitive ear except when God's name is misused. Overall, though, I found it to be a satisfying read, as I do Samson's other work.
Ane MulliganSuwanee, GAAge: Over 65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5I thoroughly enjoyed this book!March 3, 2015Ane MulliganSuwanee, GAAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I really liked this book. Following Fiona was like running through a maze; I never knew quite where we'd come out. Yet, follow her I did from page 1 to "the end" loving every minute of it. It absolutely did not go where I thought it would, but it was perfect! Lisa Sampson is a master at storytelling!
Jennifer M4 Stars Out Of 5A Thing of BeautyMarch 2, 2015Jennifer MA Thing of Beauty, by Lisa Sampson, tells the story of Fiona Hume, a former childhood actor who has left the Hollywood scene behind and has been largely holed up in a dilapidated old mansion in Baltimore. When the story begins, we find a 32 year old Fiona broke after having squandered all her earnings. She's been emancipated from her parents since she was a teen, she is still trying to figure out where she fits in the world, and she has just placed an ad for a roommate to share her old, run down house which has basically served as a place for her to hide from life and hoard all the old bits and pieces of old furniture and other cast-off belongings that she hopes to one day make into art.
When Fiona interviews potential roommates, she meets Josia: a kind and talented older man who barely sleeps and eventually spends all his spare time woodworking and helping Fiona fix up the house. The two develop a friendship, despite Fiona's resolve for them to live separate lives, and she gradually gains the confidence she needs to face her own issues, and re-examine her relationship with her parents and the other people around her.
Sampson tells an interesting story here. Overall, I really enjoyed the book. The thing that I enjoyed the most, however, was also the very thing that made it frustrating. Though it was fiction, it was a very life-like story. We were often inside Fiona's head, which was wounded and messy and meandering. Fiona, and the book, tended to trail off in different directions, just like life. This is probably not the book for you if you prefer neat and tidy Hollywood endings, as it didn't really have one. It reminded me of the ending of an independent film..... a little vague, kind of abrupt, but also sweet and hopeful. I felt like I got to witness personal growth, and it really was a "thing of beauty."
There was a small amount of mildly strong language in this book (which I personally found really refreshing, as it made it more realistic), that's only worth mentioning because it seemed to bother some reviewers. This was not your typical "Christian book", which in my opinion made it even better, Again, just like life, it showed that a beautiful story could be found even beneath the not-so-beautiful exterior.... and that life can be hopeful and worth living, messy and imperfect bits and all.
*I received this book for free from the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
Houston writerHouston, TXAge: 55-65Gender: female1 Stars Out Of 5A Thing of BeautyFebruary 12, 2015Houston writerHouston, TXAge: 55-65Gender: femaleThis book was a sad disappointment to me. There are too many excellent Christian writers who refuse to stoop to the use of profanity to make a point and I was appalled to see the usage of such in this book. Not only did I put the book aside after reaching the second instance of profanity, Ms. Samson has lost a reader. I rely on Christian Books to provide the best of the best, and this fell far short. This offering should not be classified "Christian fiction."
CallieAge: 18-24Gender: female1 Stars Out Of 5Not A Christian BookFebruary 11, 2015CallieAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 2Value: 1Meets Expectations: 1A Thing Of Beauty by Lisa Samson is a story about a child actress, Fia, who finds herself a hoarder as an adult after a particularly traumatizing childhood that ended when she "divorced" her parents. With her mother about to put out a memoir that will tell all the unpleasant details of her younger years, Fia takes a single boarder in her cluttered house, in order to earn extra money to make it look like she still has it all together. Josia, the boarder, starts turning her houseful of junk into beautiful things, and Fia does the same with all the once-broken pieces of her life.
I have to say, I was disappointed in this book. The plot idea had such potential, but the author ruined it for me with around 30 curse words. I was surprised to see so many curse words in a book that is from a Christian publisher. This book is not Christian in any way - the story line doesn't talk about God at all, and while there might be some sort of allegory potential there, it seems like a stretch. I'm honestly pretty surprised that Thomas Nelson chose to publish this book. I don't get it.
This book is written from a first person perspective, and while the main character is multi-dimensional and interesting, I'm not sure I particularly liked her. I also thought some of the narration was a little awkward - the word "okay" was thrown into sentences here and there, and while I think it was supposed to be conversational, I didn't like it.
In many ways, this book was depressing to me. While the character's initial hopeless attitude improved throughout the book, and a couple of her relationships improved, one of them was cut off completely, with no hope for a future reconciliation. The main character was also abused as a child, and the description of the moles.tation incidents painted a picture I didn't necessarily want in my head. The hatred for the horrible person who did that to her was fresh, and while she achieved some closure through a conversation with her father, it all just added to the depressing aspect for me. The final lesson seemed to be that you can find your own happiness in life if you just choose to, and while I suppose that is not a bad lesson, per se, it wasn't what I was expecting at all. I was just disappointed.
Note: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for this review. This is my honest opinion.