Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Book Review: The Miracle of Mercy Land by River Jordan

Title: The Miracle of Mercy Land
Author: River Jordan
Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780307457059

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. 

My Review: 

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.


Lorie said...

Whew! Sure am glad I skipped requesting this one. Thanks for the honest review.

At least it is over now. lol

Steph @ Wild Crickets said...

Glad that it helped! I felt awful giving a bad review. My first! It was bound to happen, but I like everything to be happy and positive. Side note... I went to request the book that you reviewed and it was gone! Humpf. Guess I'll have to get it at the library or order it from Amazon. It sounded great!

Briana said...

Oh, I just got this in the mail today. Thanks for your honest review!

Steph @ Wild Crickets said...

Briana - I hope that you like it! Let me know what you think. I want to see if I'm the only one or if I was just missing something. I try not to read reviews before I read a book so I'd love to hear what you think when you read it (or during.)

River Jordan said...

Oh, I'm so sorry that you didn't enjoy The Miracle of Mercy Land or relate to the character. But don't feel bad - not all stories are for all people. And that will always be true. So many people have told me that it was their favorite but I've recommended books to friends I loved that they didn't care for and vice-versa. Thank you for taking time to read and review.

All my best,

River Jordan