Original Books

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Songbird by Lisa Samson

Charmaine Hopewell never used to be where she is now-married to a pastor, singing professionally, and taking care of foster children. It all started when her mother left her with her neighbors. Then the neighbors could no longer take care of her, so she went out on her own. After living with college students, singing in a bar, and working in a restaurant, she finally settled down to work at a mission where she met her future husband, Harlan. But things did not stop for her there. Charmaine still wanted to find her mother and grandmother and know the truth about her heritage.

It's hard to completely summarize the plot of Songbird in one review. Songbird is an epic tale of Charmaine's wanderings, starting when she was twelve. There are many more things that happen during the plot than I can tell about in my review.

Epics are something Lisa Samson has never tried and has not tried again. Epics are hard plots to write because the reader can get bored with the slightly choppy writing style. Authors can make mistakes by jumping through life too much or too fast. Lisa didn't make either of these mistakes, but she made another one. The first three fourths of the book are average and run-of-the-mill fiction. The final fourth of the book has five star qualities, but it took too long to get there.

As usual, the characters are realistic-complete with personalities and imperfection. That is, the characters Lisa sticks with. This is namely Charmaine and Harlan. All the other characters are passable, only appearing in the plot for several chapters at a time. There is nothing inherently wrong with this writing style; it's realistic to move from place to place. The problem comes in when your epic begins to lose its purpose.

Obviously, Charmaine's purpose is to find her mother. Of course, she does find her mother, but not in the way the reader might like. That's what I like about Lisa Samson. She strives to do different things with her plots.

As I said, the end is very original and realistic. Lisa went the extra mile to be original with her end. It just took too long to get there. I really enjoyed this book, as I do all of Lisa Samson's books. I continuously expect great things from Lisa Samson.

4.5 stars

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