Sunday, May 12, 2019

Review: Waves of Mercy (Waves of Mercy #1) by Lynn Austin

Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from the Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she's asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions hidden all these years, including the story of her one true love.

 At the nearby Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of a broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after a violent storm aboard a steamship stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.

 Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.

Paperback, 384 pages
 Published October 4th, 2016
 by Bethany House

This is my second Lynn Austin book (Where We Belong was my first - click to see my review).  I was drawn to Waves of Mercy because of the location - my family hales from the Netherlands so any piece of HF I can get my hands on I grab. 

Told from 2 different points of view - one being 23-year-old Anna in 1897 and from Geesje who goes back to 1847 and relays her experiences traveling and being one of the first families to settle in Holland, Michigan. It's evident the author knows the area which came through in her writing.

With many layers, I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading this book.  I found the historical aspects enlightening, easy to not just visualize but feel the emotional struggles that occurred.  Not heavy on the romance side was a nice change but love, marriage, and family do play a big role here. The internal struggles both Anna and Geesje deal with was authentic, heartbreaking at times.  As the story unfolded I connected with these ladies, they were on a journey with faith and searching for answers playing center stage.  This is Christian HF and that played predominately.

Lynn Austin is fast becoming a favorite of mine for her interesting plots, locations off the beaten path and character development.  I highly recommend Waves of Mercy and hope to read its sequel, Legacy of Mercy over the summer.

This book is part of my '2019 reading off my shelf challenge'.

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