I read _Lion's Honey_ in about 90 minutes. It's a tiny volume, and not too deep, but heartening and sweet (like its subject, the author would say).
I did not go back and read the original source on Samson, Judges 13-16, before undertaking this modern examination of it. I still have to, in fact. But Grossman's central thesis, of a man tragically trapped in his own singular destiny, rang true. The need for love and belonging is primal indeed, and in some cases it is the "golden boys" (and girls) who are most unfulfilled in that regard.
As often, I feel (in this retelling) that the humanity and psychological insight of the Bible stories is unsurpassed.
A jacket blurb on _The Color of Water_ said it "will make you proud to be a member of the human race." I found that absolutely untrue. I was horrified by many of the events in the book, both in McBride's childhood and his mother's. Molestation, denial of affection, drugs, beatings, prejudice, soul-crunching poverty ... it's true that McBride's family survived all of it, and considers themselves prosperous and blessed, but I feel that a lot of the ill effects were not addressed.
McBride says near the end of the book that looking back beyond a certain point in her past, his mother sees only hell. I wonder nonetheless whether that might still have been better to communicate to her children as part of their heritage than the vacuum she presented.
I can't find my own childhood copy of _Life Story_. I'm going to have to rectify that, because it's a beautiful and important book: beautiful in its simple, colorful illustrations, its sparse language, and most importantly its sense of amazement and awe towards the evolved creation. It occurred to me recently that I should write--for my own future children--a scientific creation myth: a telling of the action of God as understood by modern science. Then I remembered _Life Story_ already exists. I still may want to put it in my own words, but I'll check with this source first.