A Thing of Beauty

Lisa Samson. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-59554-547-3

Samson (The Sky Beneath My Feet) is in top page-turner form in this tale of a fractured former child star who, as they say, has issues. Fiona Hume’s Baltimore house is stuffed with clutter that she intends to assemble into a hundred art projects. The former screen phenomenon (an Oscar is lost somewhere in her house) divorced her parents at age 16 for mishandling her finances, and left the film world after rehab. Running out of money, she takes in a boarder, Josia, a gifted blacksmith who begins transforming her home by repurposing the clutter into artwork and influencing her as well. Not everything in this thoughtful tale of redemption and reconciliation is subtle, but the development of the narrative arc is credible and organic, powered by absorbing characters, especially a protagonist who is both deeply flawed and deeply sympathetic. The ending is thoroughly satisfying, in that old-fashioned, can’t-let-the-characters-go kind of way. Agency: MacGregor Literary Agency. (Jan.)
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