Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

Back cover says, "Haunted by the unknowns of their pasts, two women search for answers along the shores of Lake Michigan." I wondered how the stories of a Chicago socialite who had broken her engagement to a wealthy man and an elderly Dutch immigrant who's been asked to write a memoir for the town's semi-centennial celebration would coincide.

Well, it's a masterful story. Lynn Austin skillfully weaves the struggle of Anna, the socialite as her family pressures her to reconsider her marriage to her former fiancé with the remembrances of Geesje de Jonge, who recalls her journey from the Netherlands as a young girl to the wilderness area that is now Holland, Michigan. Anna's new-found faith is part of the problem with the fiancé. And a recurring nightmare about a shipwreck troubles her until she realizes perhaps it really happened. Geesje's memoir writings take her far beyond what she intends to give the celebration committee, but they help her recall her deceased daughter who left home at a young age. Faith plays an important role in Geesje's story, too.

The characters are fascinating, and there's plenty of conflict and soul-searching. I won't be a spoiler, but I will say that you'll love how the story ends. I'd like to see Austin write a sequel to continue both women's stories.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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