- Publisher: water brook (2008)
- ISBN-10: 1607513358
- ISBN-13: 978-1607513353
- Package Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 268 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#885,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #28997 in Contemporary Women Fiction
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The Shape of Mercy Hardcover – 2008
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I am now preparing to download and read more books by this author. It is a rare thing for me to find a new-to-me author and want to read all she has written. Bravo!
Now, I'm not a huge fan of the Salem witch trials, and what I knew of the event was what I remembered from school. The whole thing makes me very angry and it's not a time in Americas history that I care to revisit. The actions of a few stupid young girls getting so many innocent women hanged for no reason, and the incompetence of the supposed 'Town Leaders' who should have seen through the girls juvenile antics and disciplined them instead of murdering their friends neighbors...it's infuriating.
Here however, it wasn't so bad. The story still made me mad, but it was so interesting that thew few times I wanted to stop reading, I just couldn't. I knew what was going to happen to Mercy, and how terrible it was going to be, but I still had to read it in her words. Both stories were greatly satisfying and Ms. Meissner never gets distracted and loses site of either story. They are both very well developed and intriguing in their own right.
This being only my second book from this author, I can't vouch for all her work, but the two books I've read have been fantastic, and I absolutely recommend them. I definitely look forward to picking up whatever else Ms. Meissner has published, and have added her to my list of authors to keep an eye out for.
Susan Meissner recently spoke about this book, and she relayed that this book is about the individual power everyone has to effect their own and other's circumstances. When reading the book, the reader understands that it's never too late to take an action towards improving our world. This message may be why the book is classified as Christian Fiction, not detracting from that message, but this novel could have just as easily been branded Women's or Historical Fiction. The story transcends genre and becomes simply a great read as good a recommendation to your Grandmother as it is to pre-teens.
The book is well shaped with endearing characters that are near impossible to resist. Mercy's fate, Abagail's life, and Lauren's preconceptions are all revealed slowly which builds the novel's suspense layer by layer. This novel is at times syrupy sweet and sentimental but always satisfying. If you loved, THE HERETIC'S DAUGHTER by Kathleen Kent or DELIVERANCE DANE by Katherine Howe, you're sure to enjoy Meissner's Salem interpretation.
Lauren, a young college student seeking independence from her wealthy family, answers an ad for a literary assistant to help Abigail Boyles with the transcription of an old family diary. The diary, which has in turn haunted and shaped Abigail's life, contains the writings of Mercy Hayworth, a young colonial woman accused of witchcraft and sentenced to die. Mercy's words cross the centuries to touch these women's lives in a way that will change them both, forever.
The Shape of Mercy is the first novel that I have read completely in a digital format and I have to admit, flicking through the digital pages of this novel (in which the characters are wearing gloves to carefully handle the fragile pages of an old diary) seemed rather ironic. The novel itself was gripping and and I loved the way the author wove together elements from contemporary fiction with historical fiction. The characters and storyline stayed with me for days after I finished reading the book. To me, that's a sign of great fiction!
So, as we enter into another season decorated by the images of witches and monsters--make sure to pick up Mercy's story. I guarantee--it will haunt you.