Competition for church members in Mount Oak has reached a furious peak. When tragedy strikes one of their hometown sons, the church women are drawn together through compassion. The Church Ladies is a contemporary tale illustrating how women can have a major impact on the church. Through friendships that reach beneath surface level -- and trials more severe than simple -- they unite with common purpose: to pray, share, and comfort. Slowly, the community of believers learns that the church grows when it is rooted in love. Characters you'll laugh and cry with, in situations every woman will instantly relate to, light up this page-turner about a miracle that could happen anywhere.
A Thousand Acres meets Friendship Cake in this engaging novel by Christian romance writer Samson. Readers in search of a fast-paced plot will want to look elsewhere, but those interested in a complex, compelling protagonist will enjoy this book. Narrator Poppy Fraser leads readers through the novel's two plot lines. The central story concerns Poppy's best friend, Chris, whose son tragically dies in a college hazing stunt. Poppy, a pastor's wife, begins to meet regularly with other local "church ladies" to pray for Chris and her family. The second story line concerns Poppy's own family: although she is a devout Christian, Poppy struggles with her role as a pastor's wife, and with her eldest daughter, who has rejected Jesus and Mom in favor of multiple body-piercings and premarital sex. Furthermore, in a startling plot twist for evangelical fiction, Poppy also wrestles with the guilt of an affair she had several years before. She works to hold her own strained family together, even as she tries to help her best friend's family heal. Samson's fans will love the feisty, honest Poppy; she's down to earth, occasionally sarcastic and always tempted by sweets and expensive coffee. She loves her kids, but doesn't romanticize parenthood. The book is distinguished by Samson's polished prose, especially her striking metaphors and similes ("the darkened sky still hovers over me like a Reformer's cloak"). Samson combines finely grained family drama with quirky Christian women's domestic fiction.