Idol Chatter

With numerous gold albums, music awards, and even a brief television career, probably the only thing left on Christian singer Amy Grant’s professional to do list, was to jot down her life experiences in a memoir. So it’s no surprise that in “Mosaic”, which arrives in bookstores today, Grant has collected family anecdotes, encounters with the famous and not-so-famous, as well as some songs and poems that illustrate the quiet grace that has always surrounded her work in spite of public criticism and scandal.
Readers who may be looking for juicy details of Grant’s much publicized divorce from singer Gary Chapman (the incident is mentioned in only the most general terms and only when necessary) or who may hope for other salacious tidbits from her celebrity encounters (come on, what really happened when you were at the Costners in Aspen?) will be disappointed with “Mosaic.” But for die-hard fans like me who have followed Grant’s career over the decades, the honesty and sweetness that permeates the stories in this book are a spiritual affirmation of finding God in the simple moments of life if we will only look.

Some of the stories in “Mosaic” will, in fact, sound quite familiar to the longtime Amy Grant fan – stories about her early recording career as a teenager and her life with her large extended family in Nashville that have been a part of many past interviews and unauthorized biographies. But other stories of personal grief and loss punctuate the notion that no one–however privileged or successful–is immune to life’s hard knocks, not even a Christian celeb like Grant. In one chapter, Grant admits to an on-again, off-again battle with depression that she has had to treat medically from time to time. In other chapters, she recounts in detailed matter the pain she felt as she watched a close friend fight a battle with cancer and as she watched a fellow singer grieve the unexpected loss of his fiancé in a car crash.
In more light-hearted stories, Grant tells of a moving yet humorous encounter with an elderly fan of her husband, Vince Gill and stories of her own frustrations as a working mother. She also shares a very interesting lesson about money when she reveals how growing up knowing that her great-grandparents’ considerable fortune was being left to charity and not to any relatives gave her wisdom and insight for her own future.
But all of the anecdotes in the book seem to have one common thread running through them – the importance of human connection at all times, in big ways and small ways. It is the desire to know and be fully known – by God as well as by those around her–that seems to have provided Grant with the purpose for her music and for her life. In this sense, in the day of tabloid headlines and celebrities who have generated or maintained careers based solely on scandal, Grant’s memoir is positively retro. Bitterness and blame do not appear between the lines of any of the pages of “Mosaic.” Neither do easy answers or cheap grace. What does resonate through “Mosaic” is the hard-earned peace Grant has achieved as she has continued to grow in her faith.
In fact, “Mosaic” really makes you wish Grant would go have a little pow-wow with Team Lohan and Team Spears to give them some of her down-home advice. Or at least she should send them this book.

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