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Straight Up

Straight Up

4.5 4
by Lisa Samson

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They are living lives they were never meant to live.

Georgia Bishop, a could-be jazz great, has thrown away her life, her marriage, and her talent for her drinking habit. Her cousin, Fairly Godfrey, is living the good life in New York but wonders if deeper meaning exists beyond the superficial world in which she finds herself.

It takes a Congo refugee, a


They are living lives they were never meant to live.

Georgia Bishop, a could-be jazz great, has thrown away her life, her marriage, and her talent for her drinking habit. Her cousin, Fairly Godfrey, is living the good life in New York but wonders if deeper meaning exists beyond the superficial world in which she finds herself.

It takes a Congo refugee, a soul food chef, a persistent husband, and one desperate night on the brink of freedom for Georgia and Fairly to realize how far they have come from their God-given purposes. When they face the most difficult choices of their lives, only the power of grace can bring them to true healing.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Georgia Ella Bishop's life screams "wasted potential." The daughter of a great jazz pianist and a famous news correspondent, she has what it takes to combine her mother's talent and her father's celebrity into one extraordinary life. Her alcoholism, however, thwarts these ambitions even before she can imagine them, and by the time she reaches her mid-30s, all of her chances seem to be used up. When Georgia moves from Baltimore to Lexington, Ky., to make one last attempt to straighten out her life, her social justice-obsessed uncle, her fashion-obsessed cousin and her loving but estranged husband are there to help. Samson, author of the Christy Award-winning Songbird and several other faith-based novels, pulls few punches in this sobering yet sanguine account of God's patience, mercy and eternal optimism in the face of human folly. Samson's writing is characteristically crisp and vibrant-cutting quickly to the heart of her characters and their crises with prose that is emotionally resonant but rarely sentimental. Readers may find events in Georgia's life, particularly her astoundingly bad choices and the surprising consequences she experiences, hard to believe. Still, despite the extremes to which Georgia goes, in Samson's capable hands she becomes an everywoman in whom readers are likely to see at least a glimpse of themselves. (Sept. 19) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
Praise for Straight Up

“Like an expert barrista, Lisa Samson take bits and pieces of her characters’ lives and mixes them into a story that is fascinating and profound. Loss can lift you up…or destroy you. Straight Up shows both options and then lets you decide. Which will it be? This is one good book!”
–Roxanne Henke, author of After Anne, With Love, Libby, and other books in the Coming Home to Brewster series

“What if we chose differently in life? Straight Up is pure Lisa Samson–original, raw, and laced with grace. As always, Lisa’s characters came to life in my imagination, becoming my friends. This book made me cry and also allowed me hope. What a treasure.”
–Robin Lee Hatcher, bestselling author of A Carol for Christmas

“Lisa Samson’s writing is an extravagant gift to her readers. I am eternally amazed at the benevolence that spills so generously from her pen. She is not only a compassionate writer, but a young poet with an old soul, a woman that uses her writing as a dance in which her readers can revel.”
–Patricia Hickman, author of Earthly Vows and Whisper Town

In Straight Up, Lisa Samson draws us into the joys and consequences of this free-will thing called Choice. It is a story that is at once both tough and tender, with Samson exhibiting unusually keen insight into human nature–the longings of the heart, the failings of the flesh, the need for redemption. A powerful read, too important to miss.
–Ann Tatlock, awarding-winning author of Things We Once Held Dear

“Lisa Samson is one of my favorite authors. Her characterization is always brilliant, and Straight Up is no exception. Samson just keeps getting better and better.”
–Colleen Coble, author of Fire Dancer

Product Details

The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sold by:
Random House
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Lisa Samson resides in downtown Lexington, Kentucky where she lives and serves in community. She is the mother of three creative children and the wife of one creative man who puts up with her crazy ways while she puts up with his. Lisa is the winner of the Christy Award for contemporary fiction and has been called “one of the best novelists in the inspirational market” by Publishers Weekly. Visit her at www.lisasamson.com.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Straight Up 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too slow for me. Too many unanswered questions about the characters.
MichelleSutton More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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 Klausner