Skip to main content

"The Shape of Mercy"

"The Shape of Mercy" by Susan Meissner
WaterBrook Press and published in 2008, 307 pages
The author's sites:
This book was bought by me for the purpose of reading/reviewing.

"The Shape of Mercy" is the 2009 Christian Book Award Winner, a 2009 RITA finalist for Best Inspirational Romance with Strong Romantic Elements, a 2009 winner in Women's Fiction from the American Christian Fiction Writers, and has made numerous top 10 lists.
I had read other blogger's reviews about this great novel and I was anxious to read it!

"The Shape of Mercy" is the story of 3 women. We are introduced to the first woman Lauren in the beginning of the story. Lauren is from a wealthy family and has the ability to have whatever money can buy. She is an introverted and quite person, preferring to read over involvement with a social life. She is intrigued by a job posting and desperately wants to provide some kind of income that she herself has earned. She is interviewed for the job by the stories second woman, Abigail. Abigail is a woman in her eighties that is a retired librarian. She is wanting someone to transcribe a journal of her ancestor Mercy Hayworth. Mercy Hayworth is the stories third woman. Mercy was a victim of the Salem witch trials in the late 17th century. Abigail hires Lauren to transcribe Mercy's journal. Lauren is drawn in to the journal that Mercy wrote, it makes her question her own life and belief's. Lauren and Abigail bond, each of them finding similar life paths.
The character Lauren believes that she is honest, yet cynicism is in her tone, anger, a chip on her shoulder, because she is from a wealthy family. She believes that she is expected to perform in the way and fashion her father has set for her as an only child. As an introvert Lauren studies people, ponders things. She has a will to labor and to me this is enriching considering she has come from a family of privilege. She tries to maintain a close relationship with her family even though she does not always enjoy being with them. She is fixated on the girl that she sees in the mirror, the rich girl. I found Lauren's character to be fascinating and multi-sided. She is certainly interesting, not passive even though she is reserved.
Abigail is a mystery person, private, reserved, cautious. This peaks my interest wondering what kind of life has this woman lived, what secrets is she hiding.
Mercy, we know from the beginning that her fate is not good. In her journal we see her intellect, creativeness, wise nature, and fear of the uprisings against the girls in her village. Mercy is a girl from a different time period, and from a place in history that is vexing and disturbing.
The author has a pendant to point out when characters lean forward, the turning of the head, the inhaling or exhaling of a breathe. Body language is expressed in the story and that is not usually pointed out, this gave the characters a more dimensional life. It also gave the reader points of pause that was apart of the rhythm of the story.
There is a steady rhythm in the story, things move along not to fast and not to slow, there is steady movement as if we too are on the journey with the characters.
The word usage, meaning the combining choice of nouns and verbs is poetically beautiful.
There are teaching lessons in the story, lessons that stand out beyond a time period.
I loved this book, it is memorable in that after I have read this book the characters are still with me, their stories still echo in my mind!

Blissful Reading!


~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said…
Annette, thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. Your blog is quite nice. I'm not so into books so I don't have anything to say about them. Maybe sometime soon I'll pick up on it.