by Lisa Sampson

March 2008
ISBN: 978-1-5994-210-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Thomas Nelson
Trade Paperback

Drew is burned out as a pastor. Now he’s living as a homeless man, and desperate for interaction with people he goes into a Catholic church to make a confession. Even though he doesn’t believe in that as a Protestant, at least that will be some sort of interaction with another person. The priest recognizes that Drew is a non-Catholic though, and since Mass was about to begin, he recommends that Drew writes him a letter, and then makes an appointment to talk to him.

Valentine is a freak—a man made one. Some woman burned Valentine’s face in a dispute over a man, so now Valentine is reduced to endlessly listening to her mother’s old copy of Embraceable You and dreaming of a life outside of being Lizard Lady with the traveling Circus Freak-show. During the winter months, she lives with a few of the other circus freaks.

When a dread-locked, scarred local with a hidden history and a compelling present enters the picture, Valentine wonders if she’ll find the embrace she longs for…

EMBRACE ME is the first book I’ve seen with a circus setting as the background for the characters. I felt sorry for them, being treated as freaks and having to remind even the other “freaks” that they are actually human, and having people gawk at them instead of treating them as valued members of society. There is a compelling faith message.

I had to keep reading to see what would happen to the main characters, and I hoped that they would find what they are looking for. There is a romance featuring characters with less than perfect physical features, and the story includes an in depth portrayal of a traveling circus.

Reviewed in February 2008 by Laura.

Read more reviews of Lisa Sampson books.Click Here