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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson

Mary-Margaret is a teenage girl who lives a religious sister on an island off the coast of Baltimore. She is not a nun, for she does not reside in a convent. Yet she is a religious sister, who is married to Christ and must do all she can to spread the gospel to those who need it. All she wants to do is honor God and be like Jesus.

But then she met Jude, a wayward teenage boy who lives a wild life. Her heart goes out to him because of his situation, but she doesn't want to do anything drastic to help him. She prays for him and talks to him often, but she begs to differ when she hears what Jesus has in store for her and Jude.

The book is written by Mary-Margaret as an old woman looking back on her past, therefore the reader gets snippets of the present as well as the past. However, the book seems like it really is written by an old woman, and while this is a nice change from Samson's typical female leads, this also makes for bad character development, a surprise for Lisa Samson. Mary Margaret does not have a very good outlook on character's personalities, and while this is a creative touch, it makes for a slightly unprofessional writing style.

Samson insists that this book is not a paraphrase of Hosea, and that it is not meant to be read that way, but there is really no other way to read it. It's a backwards version of Hosea; instead of having the male pursue the female, the female is pursuing the male. This is the most original touch to the book.

This novel is an epic of sorts because it covers a majority of Mary-Margaret's life. Things work out; some things don't work out. It's realistic in some sense, but in other ways, it's not so realistic.

For example, Mary's father keeps appearing in the present. This means that he would have to be over one hundred years old, if Mary is eighty at the time. This is a plot hole and is very strange for Lisa Samson.

If there were a book that stood out from Lisa's other books, it would be this one, mostly because of the lack of good characters. After Embrace Me, I thought she was going to write more original plots like it. The Passion of Mary-Margaret is original, but it's strange for her. Though this novel is fine, I only hope her next release, Resurrection, is better.

4 stars

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