Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Review: A Love Story by Samantha Ryan Chandler

I have to preface this review by saying this:  I have friends who are movie theater buffs.  They know movies.  They studied theater.  They know producing and editing and filming and all the ins and outs of shooting a movie.  When we watch a movie, they dissect it.  I on the other hand, just want to be entertained.  I don't care about the camera angle or the director's point of view.

With books, on the other hand, I have high expectations.  So many people "self-publish" a book filled with errors.  A published book should be virtually error free from misspellings, misplaced punctuation, and poor grammar.  It is impossible for me to overlook, and it becomes such a distraction that I can barely focus on the story.

That being said:  I read the book "A Love Story, How God Pursued Me and Found Me, An Impossibly True Story."  It is the auto-biography of Samantha Ryan Chandler.  She writes of her horrific upbringing in "Nowhere, Louisiana" with a satanic mother and a "former altar boy in the Catholic religion father."  I truly cannot imagine the horror and fear that this young child experienced at the hands of her mother.  She had a traumatic marriage lasting approximately 20 years, and seemed to never really catch a break.  The only highlights in Samantha's life were Jesus, her children, and her ministry, Childspring International.

Unfortunately, the book doesn't really tell a story.  I honestly don't know if I have the whole book.  The page count says 108, but my book goes only to page 90, and then there are 7 lined journal pages in the back.  There are 28 chapters (including the epilogue, and the two chapters following the epilogue) in those 90 pages.  Some chapters are a page and a half.  Some are one paragraph.  One chapter is 18 pages.

I wish I could tell you what I loved about this book.  I honestly do.  It's really hard to write a review like this.  But the book is filled with punctuation errors, grammatical errors, and spelling errors.  It is completely disjointed.  The "chapters" jump from one topic to another, then back to a period of her life decades before, then back to the present....  I simply didn't "get it."  It's almost as if it were missing pages, or put in the wrong order.  It truly confused me.

I know that I am, inasmuch as literature goes, like my friends are with movies.  I dissect more than the story.  I probably pay more attention to the minute details, but I try to be objective, and find the best parts.  All I really know about this book is that Samantha had a terrible childhood that no one should have to suffer, and a marriage to a man who was basically a thief and a liar.  But God stuck with her, and she with Him. She also does really wonderful work with children who need medical help and can't afford it (Childspring International).

Here is the information on the book should you desire to purchase it:

ISBN: 978-1-6150-7761-8 | List Price: Hard $22/ Soft $10/ Kindle $5.99 |Format:Hardbound,Softcover or Kindle | Page Count: 108

"The tale of Samantha Ryan Chandler's life is evocatively portrayed in her book: A Love Story, How God Pursued Me and Found Me. It tells of a life that is as disturbing and unsettling as it is uplifting and, in the end, gratifying. How "A girl from Nowhere, Louisiana" finds her way from such humble beginnings to live and walk amongst presidents and the supremely rich, only to find her trust and faith betrayed by those that she loved and trusted the most. She would be tested to the point where she began to doubt her own sanity and, at the moment of her greatest desperation and doubt, she was found by God and brought back from the brink of hopeless despair. Blessed with an almost unquenchable optimism and a unique sense of humor, she relates the story of a life that will speak to those who have encountered abuse, unfairness and anguish. Her love for her children and her faith in God carried her through a crucible of fire and in the end, made her a better, stronger person, ready to carry on with a life that is again filled with love, joy and laughter. A Love Story, How God Pursued Me and Found Me will both inspire you and touch your heart.
A Love Story...How God Pursued Me and Found Me was runnerup in the 2012 National Indie Book Excellence Awards and now carries a sticker on hardbound copies. Samantha Ryan Chandler is also a Contributing Author for Southern Writers Magazine." (copied from the information page on the CWA Review website)

To see Samantha online, she is on twitter as SammieChandler.  
Samantha in also on LinkedIn:  SamanthaRyanChandler
And she has a website at

 I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

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