April 29, 2009

The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner

The Shape of Mercy’s, Lauren, is the quiet introvert as in she doesn’t have any friends that she isn’t related to. She is forever trying to make up for the fact that she isn’t the son her father wanted. So she does everything her family does not expect in an attempt to forge her own path in life. A literature major in college, Lauren is near obsessed with proving that she isn’t a rich snob, so she takes an odd job—transcribing a diary of an accused Salem witch. While earning her spending money she discovers kindred spirits in her employer, Abigail, a wealthy recluse and the diary’s doomed author, Mercy. Learning from the past while on the cusp of her future, Lauren questions her destiny.

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.

1 comment:

Thanks for joining our discussion of this book!

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