Runaway Saint by Lisa Samson is a phenomenal book. I was a little unsure of it based on the description, but the story really sucked me and kept me turning pages as quickly as I could. The story is about Sara Drexel. Sara is a graphic designer in Baltimore with her own business, husband, and fixer upper in the city. Her mother has become a hippy and her father is his usual professional calligrapher self. Out of the blue, her aunt returns from Kazakstan where she has been living for the last twenty-five years or so as a missionary. Sara's mother and her sister are estranged. Additionally, her mother lives in a tent on a farm (see, hippy). Consequently, Sara's Aunt Bel ultimately ends up living with Sara and her husband Finn.
Sara was only four when Bel left to go overseas. No one has ever said much, except that she was a missionary over there. The family did not do much to keep in touch. Because of Bel's arrival, Sara begins a journey to uncover the past in order to understand Bel, her mom, herself, and her family. The past is full of lots of secrets. Tough things that will change Sara's entire world.
This was an excellent book. The writing was wonderful. In fact, from the second page on I kept reading lines and thinking it was my favorite line, only for it to change a few pages later. The story is just dramatic enough to be able to create a book, but relatable enough for it be a tale told by a friend. Sara is one of the most wonderful narrators. She is honest and real, but still kind and generous to people. She views everything in her life with an attitude of "that's how it is" and her observations on marriage, friendship and family are invaluable.
As I am sure you can tell I really like this book. I can't recommend it enough. It is Christian fiction, but it doesn't rely on that to carry it. In fact, if you are looking for something that doesn't challenge you in your faith then this is not your book.
A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I really did like this book as much as I am implying. You should check it out.