Original Books

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Straight Up by Lisa Samson

Georgia and Fairly are cousins both living different lives but neither of them is where God wants them to be. Georgia is a frequent drunk who pines after her husband who lives in a monastery. Fairly is a New York businesswoman lacking a sense of purpose in her life. Both of them meet up at their uncle's house and things begin to change for them. Their lives crisscross with a girl named Clarissa, who is living in a bad situation and it all comes to a head one night when they must give everything they have to God.

I wish I could write more in my summary, but anything else is intangible or insignificant, like most Lisa Samson books. Also, like most Lisa Samson books, the title makes no sense, the cover is insignificant, and any summary doesn't do it justice. There are too many everyday life scenes to describe in a summary. But that does not mean this book is not good. No, this book is actually one of the most original I have ever read.

Another staple of a Lisa Samson book is a spastic female lead. The good thing about these such leads is that they each have something different about them or are in different situations (except that they either live in Kentucky or Baltimore). In this instance, the spastic female lead is a drunk and has several interesting drunken stupor scenes. While this bothers some people, I believe it is an issue to be addressed and not brushed over. Clarissa is also an interesting character in that she always refers to herself as "the little girl." Characters have never been an issue with Lisa Samson, so all is well there.

The only romantic subplot is that of Georgia and her husband, and even that is entertaining because of good character development in the relationship. But with books like these, the end can make it or break it. In this case, the end is highly original. There are two different parts that end originally, actually. Georgia's end is original, Clarissa's end is original, and Fairly's end is appropriate. But Clarissa's end holds deeper originality than Georgia's end because Georgia's end can be easily thought of. Clarissa's end takes brains and guts to think of because I've never seen anyone end her situation like Lisa ended it. Not many people are as brave as Lisa when is comes to originality, and this is promising.

More and more authors are trying things like this, and this is encouraging after several years of mundane Christian fiction. Authors are finally stepping out and being realistic. The market is changing, whether people like it or not.

5 stars

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