cover image Runaway Saint

Runaway Saint

Lisa Samson. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-595545466

The eponymous character of this latest from Samson is Belinda, the aunt of narrator Sara Drexel. Sara is a graphic artist; Aunt Bel is a missionary returned abruptly and mysteriously from Kazakhstan, needing a place to stay. Bel is eccentric, and her advent into the household of Sara and Sara’s dependable husband Finn opens many doors to Sara’s family’s troubled past. Samson maintains her ambitious agenda: big theological questions of sacrifice and sanctity are tucked in between the lines. She reels in the reader with the usual engaging cast of supporting characters: printer Huey, who works with Sara in her small, hip design business, is a well-executed and memorable standout. Samson also brings back characters from her most recent novel, The Sky Beneath My Feet, to loosely knit the two novels together, but also to extend her examination of contemporary Christianity. The book doesn’t cohere perfectly, but it does satisfy, and the author’s many fans will be happy. In her own quirky way, Samson is the Anne Tyler of Christian fiction. (Feb.)