(Review) Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin
Bethany House. October 4, 2016.
Source: Complimentary copy from Bethany House.
Rating: Very Good.
The story begins with a dramatic scene of passengers on a ship crossing Lake Michigan during a storm. The main character, Anna, is crossing the lake with her mother. They are wealthy citizens of Chicago, Illinois. Anna is an only child. She and her mother stay at the Hotel Ottawa in Holland, Michigan. She had been engaged to a wealthy man. He ridiculed her religious fervor. He gave her an ultimatum about where she attended church. She defied him and their engagement is called off. At the hotel, Anna meets Derk Vander Veen. He is a Christian man who is studying to become a minister. Derk has a special friend named Geesje de Jonge. She immigrated from Holland to Michigan 50 years before. Her story is weaved in with Anna's story.
I loved both Anna's story and Geesje's story. I knew from the first page their stories tied in at some point, but felt the ending gave a solid closure to the characters.
Several reasons led me to love this book:
- Anna and Geesje are women who are Christians. They both showed me their development in character, and their developing spiritual growth. Through life experiences a depth developed in both of them. Perseverance through hardships sharpened their resolve. They both learned about faith and trusting in God. They both have hard decisions to make regarding their future mates. They are characters that are relatable, because their positive and negative traits are shown.
- I enjoyed reading about a group of people I knew little about. The Dutch immigrants of the mid 1800s, who left Holland and came to America to seek freedom in their religion.
- A mystery element. Anna has nightmares. I wondered if they were repressed memories or nightmares from an insecure and troubled young woman.
- Waves of Mercy is a story not just for entertainment but has teaching points. I will end this review with my two favorite quotes.
...faith that is never tested isn't true faith at all. Page 24.
...regret from the past was keeping me from living well in the present. Page 212.
Lynn Austin Lynn Austin has sold more than one and a half million copies of her books worldwide. A former teacher who now writes and speaks full-time, she has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, has also been made into an Original Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home in western Michigan. Learn more at www.lynnaustin.org.