Title: Miracle of Mercy Land
Author: River Jordan
Publisher’s Synopsis: What if you had the power to amend choices you made in the past? Would you do it even if it changed everything?
Mercy Land has made some unexpected choices for a young woman in the 1930s. The sheltered daughter of a traveling preacher, she chooses to leave her rural community to move to nearby Bay City on the warm, gulf-waters of southern Alabama. There she finds a job at the local paper and spends seven years making herself indispensible to old Doc Philips, the publisher and editor. Then she gets a frantic call at dawn—it’s the biggest news story of her life, and she can’t print a word of it.
Doc has come into possession of a curious book that maps the lives of everyone in Bay City—decisions they’ve made in the past, and how those choices affect the future. Mercy and Doc are consumed by the mystery locked between the pages—Doc because he hopes to right a very old wrong, and Mercy because she wants to fulfill the book’s strange purpose. But when a mystery from Mercy’s past arrives by train, she begins to understand that she will have to make choices that will deeply affect everyone she loves—forever.
“A tremendously well-written tale. River Jordan is a truly gifted author. Highly recommended.” – Davis Bunn, best-selling author
Oh, man! I forgot to post this in the busyness of last week’s costume brigade! I apologize to WaterBrook for dropping that ball! EEEK!
First, one of the things that I loved most about this book was the setting. So few books take place during the Depression era unless the story of the depression is the focal point instead of the setting. I loved that this was different. This was an unusual era for women. Traditional roles were still embraced and encouraged, but there was a burgeoning independence leftover from the “roaring” 20’s when young people, for the first time in most of history, were not rushed into the workforce to help the family, so when Mercy becomes a reporter, that seems to blend the old and new… the old need to support herself and the new independence. I like how it was done… it wasn’t militantly feministic nor was it unrealistic.
However, for me, the best part of the book was the intertwining plots. Ms. Jordan writes compelling characters in a very engaging, almost lyrical, style. I wasn’t certain that I was going to like it with the whole “prophetic mother” thing at the beginning, but I swiftly got over that. I love the different viewpoints on “the book” and how each character seemed to have his/her “own voice.”
I did find a few things that I thought were left too dangly… as if the bow was “tied” but not “pulled tight.” I don’t need every tiny plot nuance explained in intricate detail, but there were a few holes that were nearly gaping. I would have liked a little more closure on a few things, but to say what they are would be a total spoiler.
I give the book three and a half to four stars… If those plot holes were filled, I’d have said a five. Definitely.
I would love to offer this book up as a giveaway, and I might in the future, but I want to reread it once more and I might share with a couple of friends. My thanks to Waterbrook for providing it for review. My opinions shared here are my honest assessment of the book.