Saturday, 26 February 2011

Compelling & Unassuming Tale

Set in the 1930s in the southern town of Bay City, The Miracle of Mercy Land by River Jordan is told through 'three voices'. A tale of lost lives, righting wrongs, courage, belief in human frailty and letting things just be.

The intertwined lives of the main three characters - Mercy, Doc and John is a seamless one; each one offering their own valid viewpoint of how a mysterious book affects their lives. The book arrived suddenly in the hands of Doc (the editor in chief of Bay City's paper). It shows him the lives of everyone - their past, future and what would happen if they took an alternate path; and ultimately how their choices affect everyone around them.

Doc shares the mystery of the book with Mercy and together they try to unlock its purpose - why did it turn up? What are they to do with it? What Doc sees makes him find and ask a John Quincy to join Mercy and he in their journey to discovering what they need to do with the book. But who is John Quincy? What secrets is he holding?

All three become consumed with the mystery and each have their own purpose...Doc wishes to right a wrong, John to change a horrific event. And Mercy? Mercy has to make decisions that affects them all.

Although the author doesn't actually explain how and what this supernatural book is about, it didn't detract from the story being told. Mercy is a strong, likable character and its easy to empathize with the tough decisions that she makes. The inclusion of Mercy's Aunt Ida, mother and father add a warmth to Mercy - she may well be an independent, working woman in the city but she'll always come from a 'no-where' place of Bittersweet Creek and her family is her backbone.

This was an enjoyable read. It's well written and each character had depth to them (even the ones that are in the 'background'). True, there will be some who would like the mystery of the book to be explained, but I think that it almost gets away without explanation. And I say this because the story is saying ultimately, any decision that you make will affect not just you but everyone around you. The book is giving them that choice - what will you do? Leave well alone, or try to change an event and live with the outcome?

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review, the opinions expressed are my own.

Read more on the author and an excerpt of this novel at:

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