Do you always read simply for enjoyment? For entertainment? While I confess that fiction eats up a huge chunk of my reading time, I don’t read as I mindless activity. I want to be challenged. To think. That’s one of the huge reasons I try never to miss a Lisa Samson book. She is nothing if not thought provoking. I might even go so far as to say I can’t read her novels without being changed in some way. And that’s a good thing.
The Sky Beneath My Feet follows in that vein. Beth’s pastor husband takes a strange sabbatical, leaving his wife to contemplate her own spiritual life, their crumbling marriage as well as her existence in general. In Lisa Samson’s usual style, the story is peopled with quirky, memorable characters like mother and daughter Margaret and DeeDee, her next door neighbors (who reminded me a bit of the mother-daughter Kennedy duo in Gray Gardens, though not quite to that extreme.), Mother Zacchaeus, a pseudo-nun who runs a rehab house, and the various personalities in the Rent-A-Mob, a group of vocal activists who cross paths with Beth. But it also hosts a variety of all-too-real characters, like Beth herself or her best friend Holly. Beth’s two teenaged sons and her pastor husband. They each grapple with real problems, real issues. And yet each change in believable ways, to believable degrees.
Another thing I love about Lisa’s books in general and The Sky Beneath My Feet in particular: she always makes a connection between those seeking and serving God in different, often opposing, denominations. I love how she brings the church universal to life. How she shows people putting feet to faith or seeing Truth in crazy, seemingly random circumstances. I love that her books require me to ask questions of myself. Of God.
If you haven’t read a Lisa Samson book, I challenge you to pick one up–this one or a previous title, and see what you think. See if you can close the cover as the same person who opened it. To give you a taste, I’ll leave you with some of my favorite lines from The Sky Beneath My Feet.