It’s not often that I pick up a novel and I truly don’t want to put it down. I have pretty high expectations–I want to care about the characters as if they were in my own circle of relationships. I want mystery. I want a measure of suspense. I want reality. I want authenticity. I don’t want trite answers to complicated questions. I want to feel like my interior world has been altered for the better because of my interaction with the book.
I felt all those things as I read Lisa Samson’s book Tiger Lillie. Samson paints real people in this book and tackles issues seldom touched in Christian literature: homosexuality, church abuse, weight/self-esteem issues. She does it with a large dose of grace poured over her characters and infused in her plot. The voices of her first person narrative are easily distinguishable. It made me wish they were real so I could sit down and have a chai tea with each one. Thank you, Lisa, for a terrific read and a lovely ride.
Many of us lament the state of Christian fiction–that it is trite, tract-like, or poorly written. Much has happened in the past several years. Christian artists are infusing their prose with reality, tender grittiness and a God not so easily boxed in. I love that Lisa represents this new wave of storytelling.
Christian fiction needs more Lisas, more folks willing to write compelling stories. We’ve been crying for more in places like here and here. Lisa has answered. Will more come forward?