PJEFC LIBRARY MONTHLY BOOK REVIEW – MAY 2020
Mosaic : Pieces of My Life So Far
By Amy Grant
222 pages, Flying Dolphin Press
Goodreads rating: 3.78 out of 5
In the world of Christian pop (or Contemporary Christian Music, the proper term for it) during the 80’s and 90’s, two marquee names stand head and shoulders above the rest – Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. Amy Grant found tremendous success as a Gospel singer all through the late 70s and 80s, until she made a then-highly controversial decision in 1991 to enter the world of secular music along the likes of artistes like Madonna, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. Along with it came the heavy rotation on MTV, a collaboration with Peter Cetera that went to number 1 on the billboard charts, appearances on late night talk shows, and the ever-increasing rumours of Grant losing her faith and abandoning her Christian fans. This crossover from gospel to secular music (or ‘sell-out’, depending on who you ask) was a hot topic during the day, especially among the conservative evangelicals in America right down to my friends in youth fellowship. Long before Sun Ho and City Harvest tried to do it, Amy Grant blazed that trail and is still going strong to this day (and without any criminal charges, one might add).
After selling more than 30 million albums, 6 Grammy Awards, 22 Dove Awards (the Christian music industry version of Grammys), two marriages, 4 children, the ‘Queen of Christian pop’ has written a memoir of sorts.
This isn’t a conventional memoir – it is filled with lyrics of her more meaningful songs, along with poetry penned by her. In between, there are short stories where she talks about the things that are closest to her heart – family, parenthood, love, music, loss, death, and God. Reading these memories, it becomes clear that even as successful as she ever got, Amy still remained very human just like us, and struggled greatly with depression, heartbreak and alienation from God.
To be perfectly honest, I have never been a fan of Amy Grant, and will never be one. But no doubt she is a great songwriter and singer, and has done more for Christian music than anyone else will ever hope to do. The one thing that I was most expecting to read about was her thoughts on how and why she decided to enter the murky world of secular music – I was rather disappointed that she did not address this at all. Well, I suppose she had her personal reasons. But I truly enjoyed her honest sharing and outlook on life, especially in such a troubling season of loneliness and isolation that we are going through.