Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Shape of Mercy-Susan Meissner

The Shape of Mercy
Susan Meissner
Waterbrook, Sep 2008, $13.99
ISBN: 9781400074563

She knows her family’s money comes with quite a cost for college student Lauren Durough. As long as she depends on that wealth to finance her she will never be autonomous from their purse string control. Though scared, she accepts a position working for octogenarian Abigail Boyles.

The unpleasant bitter older woman hires Lauren to transcribe the journal of her ancestor Mercy Hayworth, whose first hand account of the seventeenth century Salem witch trials come alive in her diary though she was convicted. As she performs her work, Lauren begins to heed the advice of the courageous Mercy, but also realizes the seventeenth century chronicler’s descendent remains bitter for failing to confront her personal issues; Lauren vows to follow Mercy’s lead although she is not sure where it will take her except it gives her hope and she believes it does likewise for acrimonious Abigail.

This is Christian inspirational literature at its best as Susan Meissner entertains yet gets her message of hope and faith to her readers through her three female characters without preaching. The diary is incredible as Mercy goes through several emotions including feeling the Lord abandoned her, but throughout believes that though she dies unfairly God awaits her. Her overall optimism lifts Lauren and eventually Abigail as well as readers. THE SHAPE OF MERCY is moving and encouraging.

Harriet Klausner

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