Samson (Quaker Summer ) mixes quirky with mysticism, seasons it with social justice, and the result is a page-turner with characters so fresh, funny and indelible the reader wants another 50 pages or so, please. Samson envisions a Jesus even an atheist would enjoy talking to, a Jesus whom the titular Mary-Margaret Fischer, a religious sister, talks to and gets direction from, as mystics quite naturally do. An even more compelling figure than Jesus, or at least someone with more lines and hence more characterization, is Mary-Margaret's childhood friend, Jude Keller, a ne'er-do-well with a soul needing saving encased in a body so good-looking it's hard for a body to resist. The required Christian progression to redemption is a natural in this story that slips between past and present-somewhat confusingly at first-and ranges from Maryland to Africa. The plot holds a few surprises that make some of the final, far-flung episodes more narratively and theologically satisfying. Quirk works; this is a deeply engaging book deserving of a broad audience. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Passion of Mary-Margaretby Lisa Samson
Mary-Margaret yearned to dedicate her life to the Lord. Jesus had another idea.
When Mary-Margaret Fischer met Jude Keller, the lighthouse keeper's son, she was studying at a convent school on a small island off Chesapeake Bay. Destined for a life as a religious sister, she nevertheless felt a pull toward Judegorgeous, rebellious, promiscuous Jude./b>
Mary-Margaret yearned to dedicate her life to the Lord. Jesus had another idea.
When Mary-Margaret Fischer met Jude Keller, the lighthouse keeper's son, she was studying at a convent school on a small island off Chesapeake Bay. Destined for a life as a religious sister, she nevertheless felt a pull toward Judegorgeous, rebellious, promiscuous Jude. But Jude, driven by demons no one really understood, disappeared into Baltimore's seamy red-light district. Mary-Margaret moved on with her life, preparing to serve God with her sisters as a teacher and artist.
Then Jude comes homebut now he's bitter, dissolute, and diseased. And Mary-Margaret receives a divine call that shakes her to the core, a call to give up her dreams for the troubled man who befriended her so long ago. For Jesus' sake, can she forsake the only life she ever wanted for a love that could literally cost her life?
Mary-Margaret Fischer grew up on a small island in the Chesapeake Bay, believing she was conceived from rape. Her mother, a Catholic schoolteacher, died giving birth to her. Mary-Margaret wants to enter the convent, but a small voice tells her that her destiny is not to take her final vows, but instead to marry the less-than-proper Jude Keller, the lighthouse keeper's son. Christy Award winner Samson (Embrace Me; Tiger Lillie) spins a convincing tale about the plans we make for our lives and how God often has other ideas. Well written and enjoyable, this title will appeal to readers who appreciate intelligent fiction with a spiritual element. Recommended for CF and women's fiction collections.
- Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
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- 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)
Meet the Author
Lisa Samson is the author of over twenty-five books, including the Christy award-winning novel Songbird. Her novel, Quaker Summer was Christianity Today's novel of 2008. She is coauthor with her husband, Will, of Justice in the Burbs.
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Because of the circumstances of her birth, Mary-Margaret believes herself to be destined to live as a religious sister. She lives her life based on her plans to marry Jesus - and has no use for any boys. However, while growing up on a small island off Chesapeake Bay, Mary-Margaret forms a friendship with Jude, a boy with demons no one ever imagines. The two lose touch after Jude disappears into Baltimore's red-light district. Mary-Margaret prays for his soul, but otherwise pursues the life she's always planned on. Until Jude comes home diseased, depressed and in dire need. Jesus calls Mary-Margaret to fill that need - but it will cost her everything she's ever known or hoped for. Can she trust Jesus' plan for her life? This is an amazing book of hope, healing, trusting, pursuit and friendship. Filled with metaphors of God's relationship with us, Samson tells a story of love, grace and mercy. Written as if we are reading the diary Mary-Margaret leaves for the Sisters at St. Mary's School, we get to travel through her deepest thoughts and feelings. Samson explores sacrificing for the Lord and how He uses us to accomplish His plans and win souls - and what an honor it is to be included. Samson knows how to hook readers and keep them. This book had me smiling and in tears and crying out to the Lord. Mary-Margaret had to decide if she believed God's plan for her life would be better than her own - something we all must decide.
The sisters at a convent school off Chesapeake Bay wrap orphan Mary-Margaret Fischer in the pious habit of safety, convention, and security, and that suits the young tomboy whose best friend is Jesus just fine. Then Jude, a young man sculpted like Adonis yet besieged by the demons of his past, tries to nudge his way into Mary-Margaret's present, and future, but Mary-Margaret's perception of Jesus' plan for her life doesn't include handsome boys-or any boys, for that matter. When word filters through the tight-knit Chesapeake community that Jude has disappeared into the promiscuous alleys of Baltimore's red light district, Mary-Margaret prays for his soul but otherwise moves on with her plans to become a nun. Then Jude returns home, infected with syphilis and hopelessness. Only Jesus' daring plan can save Jude-but it will cost Mary-Margaret her safety. Dare she leave all she ever knows and has ever wanted for a dangerous future with Jude? Oh, writer friends, this novel begs to be studied.and savored! Using the frame device of "scribblings to her fellow Sisters of St. Mary's School on Locust Island, Maryland," Samson tells the story of Mary-Margaret Fischer through a powerful first person voice. Like Shane Claiborne's Irresistible Revolution, The Passion of Mary-Margaret yanks away pretense to explore the "death to self" that Jesus demands. There's so many highlights in this book: the tension created between Mary Margaret's physical and spiritual appetites, the battle raging between God and Satan for Jude's soul, the absolutely mystical conversations between Jesus and Mary-Margaret, lovely metaphors, killer dialogue, the perfect "pH" balance between literary writing and story-telling. The Passion of Mary-Margaret manages to embrace diversity, explore reality, and push the limit of faith while exalting Jesus Christ as Maker, Redeemer, Defender, and Friend. Don't miss a book of epic proportions-and epic importance! Definitely one of my top reads of 2009
All her life Mary-Margaret has desired only one thing: to serve the God she loves and dedicate her life to Him as a religious sister. But when Jesus tells her to do the unthinkable and marry the town's promiscuous prodigal, can she serve God with her obedience and risk her own life in the process? Lisa Samson has painted a story that shows how God pursues and loves the unlovely by coloring out-of-the-lines with dark and dirty hues, mingling the darkness with light and splendor, crafting a final picture of exquisite beauty. Her characters are fresh, quirky and multi-faceted, and her flowing, vivid prose enhances this masterpiece. This is Lisa Samson's best work yet.
This is not an easy read due to heavy subject matter. Theologically I am not sure I agree with some of the things Mary-Margaret believed either. But I felt the passion of the character to love and that is what kept me reading. Lisa Samson has penned a very deep, provocative, and though-provoking novel that will make you think about many, many things you may not have considered before. Also, there are so many layers to things that we never see. Most of us only see the surface, but don't take the time to dig deeper. This story peels off all of the layers and exposes the heart of the story, which is that any person and any situation can be redeemed if loved the way Christ calls us to love. Not THAT is my kind of story. The Passion of Mary-Margaret is an amazing story with a lot of details not found in most CBA fiction. I loved that. The author was not afraid to tell the truth. I loved that even more. Using the setting of the nuns, the faith, and the church worked for this story, too. So while I don't agree with some things, they were clearly a necessary part of the story and done very well. I am in awe of this author's ability to naturally lead you to hell and back again and change your view of things. For that reason I highly recommend this book. But it's not for the spiritually squeamish. If that describes you, don't even try to read this book. Something this deep and insightful is only for people who are willing to look beneath the surface and take in the bigger picture. Hopefully, they will also feel led to do something about it.
As explained by Aunt Elfi and grandma, the second Mary-Margaret was born in Baltimore when an evil entered a seminarian student who entered the first Mary Margaret not long after the crash on Wall St. As an aside the first was a by-product of the second¿s grandmother and a tourist from Belgium. When the first died giving her soul to the second, grandma raised the child until she died when the second was eight years old. Aunt Elfi left for Tibet while the second attends St. Mary¿s Convent School for Girls where she is on the fast track to becoming a religious sister of Christ.
However, Mary Margaret II meets the Locust Island Chesapeake Bay Lightkeeper¿s carefree son Jude Keller; to her inner shame she is attracted to him and him to her; both hide their feelings although they become friends as she must fill grandma¿s redemption destiny for her. Mary-Margaret completes her last assignment, a medical missionary task in Swaziland before taking her vows. Jude comes home too, bitter and troubled from his time on the mainland. Mary-Margaret finds she remains attracted to Jude and prays for guidance from the Holy Spirit of Jesus, who provides her with surprising pragmatic and worldly advice.
This is an excellent tale of redemption starring a quirky religious student, an acrimonious disturbed young man, and a terrific mystical modern rendition of Jesus providing help to Mary-Margaret. The story line is fast-paced though initially confusing between past and present partially because of the common first and Second names. Fans will enjoy this deep inspirational story as whimsical eccentricity turns redemption into a moving entertaining read.