Songbird is a novel about Charmaine Hopewell, a Christian gospel singer whose ministry has arisen out of a life of hardship and disappointment. Abandoned by her mother when she was only 11, Charmaine has met with difficulties and also with love and encouragement along her journey. Her faith in God and her love for music have kept her going, and eventually she builds a life for herself as a Christian recording artist and wife of a popular preacher/evangelist.
Charmaine is an engaging character with a strong voice (not just her singing voice!), and the novel touches on some interesting issues, such as evangelical Christian attitudes towards mental illness and mental health professionals, and the televangelist scandals of the 1980s. In spite of this, I didn’t find Songbird as absorbing as the other Lisa Samson novels I’ve read, but it’s still a cut above most of the women’s fiction produced by Christian presses.