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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
304 pages
Sep 2006
WaterBrook Press

Straight Up

by Lisa Samson

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


A unique, gripping novel, Straight Up breaks a lot of CBA "rules." The main characters are Georgia, a jazz musician who has neglected her "gift," and Fairly, an interior designer. They are two cousins who were abandoned by their parents through death, and later abandoned by their spouses; Fairly's died and Georgia's "found religion." Both cousins begin "looking for love in all the wrong places." Georgia finds comfort in alcohol, and Fairly deals with her loss through relationships with men. Georgia continues to deteriorate until tragedy occurs. She enters "pink," a very interesting place where she learns a lot about herself.

A minor character, Clarissa, is interspersed throughout the story in the third person, rather than the first person like Georgia and Fairly's point of view. Clarissa was adopted and is somewhat detached from life. She lives in a chronic survival mode and has been rejected and abused by everyone. For the longest time the reader will wonder how Clarissa connects with the rest of the "cast," but, without spoiling the story, it's one of those endings that leaves readers thinking for hours.

Straight Up is a gourmet meal for finicky pallets. Let me explain why. The author gives readers a blend of varying dates and characters to begin with to whet appetites. Now I have to say at first this confused me, but once I got the feel and texture of each main character I savored the meal. Parts of Straight Up had me grieving, other parts had me wanting to slap the characters, yet I also admired them for being honest with themselves, even if they weren't as honest with others. A-hem. It's called pride.

In Straight Up, the author tells it like it is no fluff here. She gives readers a glimpse into the lives of some heartbroken people who look okay, for the most part, to the rest of the world. I cared so much about them that I entered their lives. I must say the story made total sense to me. I loved how the author slips a bit of God's perspective into the mix. What an incredibly creative way to explain things too difficult to understand outside of Christ, and then introduce Him in a way that actually attracts the reader. The author literally prepares some wounded souls for the banquet table, and readers eat right along with them. Straight Up is real, it's honest, and it's one of those life-changing stories that sticks with you for a long time. The message? You can't go back and fix the past, but you can make a difference today. I enjoyed every minute of this insightful story, and Straight Up comes with my highest recommendation. Michelle Sutton, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

They are living lives they were never meant to live.

Georgia Bishop, a could-be jazz great, has thrown away her life, her marriage, and her talent for her drinking habit. Her cousin, Fairly Godfrey, is living the good life in New York but wonders if deeper meaning exists beyond the superficial world in which she finds herself.

It takes a Congo refugee, a soul food chef, a persistent husband, and one desperate night on the brink of freedom for Georgia and Fairly to realize how far they have come from their God-given purposes. When they face the most difficult choices of their lives, only the power of grace can bring them to true healing.