Title: The Miracle of Mercy Land
Author: River Jordan
Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
Summary from Publisher's Website:
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 indispensable 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.
Oh, mercy me. I am a fairly positive person by nature, and I've struggled and struggled with this review. Why? I didn't like the book. I've tried and tried to read it with fresh eyes, determined that today I am going to like this story. The premise is fascinating. The book feels good. (I know, strange. But I like it when the paper and cover are nicely made. It makes reading more enjoyable for me.) The cover art is beautiful. The storyline is exciting, but... I'm not quite sure if I just don't fit with the writing style that Ms. Jordan uses, or if it was the character of Mercy that rubbed me the wrong way. The fascination with the book reminded me of a nearly drug-like addiction. Since I love that I grew up in the south I thought I'd fall madly in love with the southern description of Bay City. Not so. Instead of finding strength and "stick-to-it-iveness" in Mercy and her fellow paper staff I found her to be, well, pale. I felt more like I was listening to a sweet but bland girl ramble than living in the exciting moment of a girl who had the courage to strike out on her own in a time when women didn't do such things. I feel like the book moved slow, and like the characters didn't develop quite as deeply as I'd like. I wish that I had enjoyed the book because I would have loved to write a glowing review of a fantastic tale of unimaginable situations that happened to extraordinary ordinary people. Unfortunately I can't.
Rating: 1 Star. I hope that you enjoy it more than I did. Unfortunately it's not one that I'll read again or recommend.
*Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.