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Posted October 12, 2006
Straight Up great story
I fell in love with the characters right away. The beauty of creating real characters is that we see ourselves in them. Georgia and Fairly are a part of all of us. Their bad choices, the consequences of their choices, and their triumphs are our stories. The book had some twists and turns, to be sure, and at one point I wasn't sure how I felt anymore about how it should end. But the takeaways from this book: choices do have consequences, it's okay to question God and not have all the answers, and once again Lisa has grabbed my heart with a thoughtful, fun, heartfelt, heart-wrenching, grace-filled, unique novel. Whatever your faith or background, if you are looking for something a little different, that's not afraid to dig deep, then get this book. This one is tops on my Christmas gift list.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 29, 2009
This review was first published for the Christian Book Preview site. A unique, gripping novel, Straight Up breaks a lot of CBA 'rules.' The main characters are Georgia--a jazz musician who has neglected her 'gift,' and Fairly--an interior designer. They were cousins and abandoned by their parents through death. They were subsequently abandoned by their spouses. Fairly's died and Georgia's 'found religion.' Both main characters went 'looking for love in all the wrong places.' Georgia found comfort in alchohol, and Fairly dealt with her loss through her relationships with men. Georgia continues to deteriorate until tragedy occurs. She entered 'pink.' Without giving you a spoiler, I'll just say that it's a very interesting place where Georgia learns a lot about herself. A minor character, Clarissa, was interspersed throughout the story, but her point of view was in the third person, rather than the first person like Georgia and Fairly's point of view. Clarissa was adopted and somewhat detached from life. She lived in a chronic survival mode and was pretty much rejected and abused by everyone. I felt so sorry for her. For the longest time I wondered how Clarissa would finally connect with the rest of the 'cast,' but I won't spoil it and tell you how that happens. Let me just say that it's one of those endings that leaves you thinking for hours. Straight Up was a gourmet meal for my finicky pallet. Let me explain why. The author gives you a blend of varying dates and characters to begin with to whet your appetite. Now I have to say at first this confused me, but once I got the feel and texture of each main character I savored the meal. Parts of Straight Up had me grieving, other parts had me wanting to slap the characters, yet I also admired them for being honest with themselves even if they weren't as honest with others. A-hem. It's called pride. In Straight Up, the author 'told it like it is.' No fluff here. She gave me a glimpse into the lives of some pretty heartbroken people who looked okay--for the most part--to the rest of the world. I cared so much about them that I entered their lives. I must say the story made total sense to me. I loved how the author slipped a bit of God's perspective into the mix. What an incredibly creative way to explain things too difficult to understand outside of Christ, and then introduce Him in a way that actually attracts the reader. The author literally prepared some wounded souls for the banquet table, and you ate right along with them. Straight Up is real, it's honest, and it's one of those life-changing stories that sticks with you for a long time. The message? You can't go back and fix the past. But you can make a difference today. I enjoyed every minute of this insightful story. Straight Up comes with my highest recommendation.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
This is a terrific Christian inspirational character study
Georgia Bishop is a talented jazz pianist, but like everything else she tried she failed. When her father dies her last anchor died with him. She quits her job at the Grotto Church, rejects her estranged spouse¿s Sean¿s efforts to reconcile, and moves into her dad¿s Baltimore condo with no plans except to further atrophy in alcohol there.------------ Georgia¿s cousin Fairly Godfrey has made a success as a New York based design expert, but since her spouse Hart died, she feels lonely and despondent. She heads to Baltimore where misery loves miserable company which being with an equally depressed Georgia definitely is. However, instead of spiraling further downward, the two women begin to gain some equilibrium from Solo, a Congo expatriate with two kids who worked for Hart, from Sean¿s refusal to quit, from their uncle, from each other, and ultimately from God who through his grace wants Georgia and Fairly to be all that they can be.-------------- This is a terrific Christian inspirational character study starring two delightful yet depressed women who have watched loved ones die and ergo lost faith in the Lord and in themselves. What makes this excellent drama refreshing besides a strong ensemble cast who seem genuine and two fabulous female leads is how Lisa Samson deals STRAIGHT UP with the God¿s plans for the two cousins, who both want to quit on life until they begin to understand why they are alive.-------------- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.