About the Book:
Lark Summerville’s life has few surprises–and that’s just how she likes it. All she wants is to live out her angst-riddled life in her blue-collar Baltimore neighborhood, punctuated by weekly trips to her local parish, where Lark is organist, and telephone conversations with desperate souls who dial her hotline at 1-777-IPRAY4U.
Then one night, Lark’s home is destroyed by a fire, forcing her out of her comfortable nest and back to the childhood home she has avoided for years. At Stoneleigh House, Lark is surrounded by three very different women: her grown daughter, Flannery; her barely tolerable socialite mother, Leslie; and Prisma Percy, housekeeper and family confidante, all of whom believe Lark was widowed years before.
In this circle of women, Lark’s carefully constructed existence begins to unravel, even as the promise of a new one unfolds. But when her contrite ex-husband shows up, longing to assume his role as Flannery’s father, twenty years after his desertion, Lark finds that she must face her own lies–and her past–before a new life can unfold.
This is one that has been sitting in my garage for three years, at least that's what Amazon told me when I went to get the image for this post. None of my review books were calling my name so I headed to the toppling tower of tbr and picked this one.
Lisa Samson is a favorite author, and if you search my archives, you'll find many of her books. She was raised at least nominally Catholic, became an Evangelical Protestant, and within the past few years, has reverted to Catholicism. She writes Christian fiction but often has Catholic elements.
Lark in this book suffers from depression, anxiety and is growing toward agoraphobia. She has allowed her world to shrink more and more each day and by the beginning of this book she no longer drove, she worked by playing the organ at a local Catholic church (though she was not Catholic) and she rarely left her house if she could help it. Her daughter Flannery has just returned home from college, when, as noted above, a fire destroys Lark's home, forcing her to move in with her wealthy (and estranged) mother and her mother's housekeeper.
The daughter and the housekeeper are the two strong characters. Both are open to the working of God in their lives, and both encourage the Lark and her mother to grow, to be open to God and to people. The book is Christian fiction and it truly is about the working of God in these women's lives. It isn't a story with a little religion pasted on top.
I love Samson's writing, I love her stories and I enjoy her characters who are anything but stock. My only complaints about this book deal with Catholicism and I'm not sure whether she was ignorant or using creative license. Samson referred to the inside of the church as the sanctuary, while Catholics refer only to the area near the altar as the sanctuary. Also, she had a Catholic wedding taking place outside a church and within a week of contacting priest. Because of those flaws, I'm giving this book an A- rather than an A.
According to Amazon, I bought this book so I can say whatever I want about it.