Reviewed by Cheryl Russell
The Passion of Mary-Margaret by
"[Lisa Samson's] stellar writing and knack for creating quirky, memorable characters continues in her latest novel. "
In October 2000, Sister Mary-Margaret Fischer dedicates her “little collection of scribblings” to the School Sisters of St. Mary’s, fellow members of her religious order. She begins at the beginning with her own conception in a “moment of evil, a moment not even remotely in the will of God.” She knows little of her parents and is raised by her grandmother and her Aunt Elfi. First her aunt dies, then her grandmother, leaving her without family to raise her. Mary-Margaret moves into St. Mary’s Convent School for girls. Their strong but gentle influence adds to Mary-Margaret’s conviction to live a life as a religious sister.
During her nine years at the convent, she becomes friends with Jude Keller, the lightkeeper’s son. He’s her exact opposite—wild and promiscuous. She feels drawn towards Jude, but her desire to become a religious sister proves stronger than her feelings for the troubled young man. He eventually leaves their little island on the Chesapeake Bay and she continues to work toward her goal of a religious life.
Years pass and the two continue on their separate ways. After serving in the Deep South as a teacher, she returns to Locust Island to take her final vows. But it’s before that final step that the devout Mary-Margaret learns that a life of dedication can veer off in a direction that to the watching world, and to Mary-Margaret, borders on insane. She’s asked to give up her life as a religious nun to marry the troubled young man from her childhood.
The Passion of Mary-Margaret is told by Mary-Margaret. She’s a religious sister with an attitude and writes down her memoirs in a forthright manner, not too concerned with what people will think. Feisty, she calls life around her as she sees it; her sense of humor coming through. She’s no one’s pushover, unless it’s Jesus doing the asking, only then is she unable to say ‘no.’ Her life of obedience and dedication ripples throughout the lives of those around her, touching them in ways no one else can.
Award-winning author Lisa Sampson has written nineteen novels. Her books
include: Quaker Summer, Embrace Me, The Hollywood
Nobody series, Club Sandwich,
Tiger Lilly, Songbird and The Church Ladies. Her stellar writing and knack
for creating quirky, memorable characters continues in her latest novel.
Cheryl Russell lives in the Midwest with her husband and three children. Her short stories, as well as a few articles, have been published in print and online. She's loved to read for as long as she can remember and puts all that time to good use writing book reviews for Infuze, Novel Reviews, and Title Trakk. She's also a member of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, FIRST network, Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour and American Christian Fiction Writers. She's currently working on her first novel. If she could, she'd spend her time hanging out in the thermal areas of Yellowstone in general, Norris Geyser Basin in particular. Another favorite spot is Kennicott, an old copper mining town in Wrangel-St. Elias National Park, Alaska, which is at the end of a 60 mile dirt road, 8 hours west of Anchorage. She and her family are frequent hikers in the national parks, and have pounded the dirt trails in Virginia, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. You can visit her at her blog, Unseen Worlds or at her website.