In Resurrection in May by Lisa Samson, May Seymour has just graduated from college and has no idea what to do next. A trip to Africa gives her new purpose and faith but then she experiences a horrific tragedy. She returns home, unable to return to her previous life but also unable to move forward, still questioning her faith and the incomprehensible nature of tragedy.
In this novel, Samson covers the familiar problem of suffering but she does it through two unique narrative voices—May and Claudius, an old man who reaches out to May both before and after the tragedy. The overall pace of the novel is slow, but a couple of plot twists, combined with Samson’s vivid descriptions and realistic, engaging characters, will keep readers interested.
Through this story, Samson proclaims that life can be found even in the midst of tragedy and death, demonstrating the truth of Christ’s words in John 10:10—“I have come that they might have life.” This book is appropriate for all contemporary fiction readers, but especially those who have come through tragedy to find joy and life on the other side.— Ruth Anne Burrell, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Resurrection in May by Lisa Samson is about May Seymour, a college-age girl who makes a strong connection with an older man right before she leaves for a long journey to Rwanda. The book covers quite a large span of May Seymour’s life and, although the story is packed with loss and grief, in the end readers see that the main character is truly at peace.
In the book’s beginning, the author does not go into much detail about back story or character motivation. Samson does, however, produce a very heartwarming story of the relationship this young college girl and Claudius the old farmer have created. May’s first major problem arises when she is caught in the middle of the genocide in Rwanda, and watches as everyone in her town gets slaughtered. This is the most memorable scene in the book, and author Samson is vivid in her description of the violence and mayhem, revealing graphically how devastating this inhumane situation is. Later in the book when Claudius dies, May is faced with another heart breaking situation. It is not the last time we see her go through pain, but it is the key turning point of the book. May’s personality is very vibrant and domineering in the beginning of the book; however, we see a major change in her behavior once she arrives back on the farm from Rwanda. As the story concludes, she has learned what it means to be a God-fearing woman.
Overall, this book tells a very personal and deeply-moving story. I liked the unique relationships the characters developed with each other. Most importantly, in the end readers are left with a sense of peace. I think this book would captivate women fifteen years old and older. The only reason I would not recommend it for girls younger would be because of all the traumatic death scenes throughout the story.
Psalm 34: 18 says, “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” By the end of the book May has defiantly been “crushed in spirit,” but it is evident that the Lord has been by her side helping her get through all her pain and suffering. It is a great theme that really helps readers understand the greatness of God’s love for those who are hurting. – Makenna Dunkelberger, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
May Seymour graduated from college with the world at her feet and no idea what to do with it. A mission trip to Rwanda brought her a sense of purpose in loving others. So when the genocide began she chose to remain in the village, which was subsequently slaughtered. Only May survived.
May journeyed to heal on the farm of Claudius Borne, a sweet, innocent old man who understood plants and animals far better than people.
Years later, having not stepped a foot off Claudius' farm, May learns an old college flame, now a death-row inmate, is refusing to appeal his sentence. Can she convince him to grab hold of life once again? Their surprising friendship turns the tables, for the prisoner, Eli Campbell, has a deeper faith from which to draw than she. Eli slowly begins to pull May from her cloistered existence. With the help of Eli, their tiny town, and ultimately a renewal of faith, May comes to life once again.