Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shades of Mercy by Anity Lustrea and Caryn Rivadeneira Review & Give Away!!!

About the Book:  (from River North)
It’s 1954 and the world-even the far Northwoods of Maine-is about to change. But that change can’t happen soon enough for fourteen-year-old Mercy Millar. Long tired of being the “son” her father never had, Mercy’s ready for the world to embrace her as the young woman she is-as well as embrace the forbidden love she feels.
 When childhood playmates grow up and fall in love, the whole community celebrates. But in the case of Mercy and Mick, there would be no celebration. Instead their relationship must stay hidden. Good girls do not date young men from the Maliseet tribe. At least, not in Watsonville, Maine. When racial tensions escalate and Mick is thrown in jail under suspicion of murder, Mercy nearly loses all hope-in love, in her father, and in God himself.
My Thoughts:
When so much hate fills your heart, you can make a leap to any conclusion.  You don’t need the truth because you are above the truth.”  (p. 95)

Mercy is fifteen and deeply in love with her lifelong friend, Mick.  Mick is a Maliseet Indian, and the romance that buds between these two characters must remain hidden – at least for now.  Mick keeps promising Mercy “someday” things will be different, and then when a young lady from the community elopes with a Maliseet the true colors of the community’s racism is revealed.  The firestorm that descends on the small community in Maine’s Northwoods in 1954 is the beginning of fundamental change, but the price it exacts on the people is both profound and very painful.

I am tempted to classify this as young adult fiction because of the ages of the main characters in the story.  It is definitely a coming of age story for Mercy, and Mick even states her naivety on page 42 when he says, “For a smart girl, you don’t understand much about the world, do you?”  Racism and its winds of change were blowing through the country around the Black and White community.  However, the Maliseet tribe in Maine was forced to face its own crisis and make some changes that they had remained resistant to for generations.  The nuances of those changes are reflected in all of the character’s lives, and the reader looks upon all of those changes through the eyes of Mercy.  (that name is, indeed purposeful!)

You will grow to love the people of Mercy’s family and her extended community.  You will see mercy and grace lived out by her parents and through her own life choices.  You will ache for all of the community when the trials grow severe and urgently press upon their hearts and minds.  The end of the story is both satisfying and abrupt.  I say that because I would have enjoyed the journey from where Shades of Mercy ends and where the epilogue picks up. (Okay, I love a good series!) But as a stand- alone novel, this story is beautifully and thoughtfully written.  I am happy to recommend this book to everyone!!

** Leave your name and contact information on this post and the publisher will send one lucky reader a FREE copy of this fabulous book!!

About the Authors:
ANITA (LUSTREA) MURPHY is on a mission to communicate freedom to women. She does it through the avenues of speaking, writing, and art. Anita has worked for Moody Radio for 26 years, the last 11 hosting Midday Connection, a radio talk show for women, where she gets to teach, learn and grow along with the rest of the Midday community from across the country. Anita released her first book in 2010, What Women Tell Me: Finding Freedom From the Secrets We Keep(Zondervan). It is her personal story woven in with the stories of women she's heard from through her years hosting Midday Connection. Anita has been the general editor and writer on 3 other projects, Daily Seeds from Women Who Walk in Faith , Come to Our Table, and Tending the Soul (Moody Publishers). Anita is wife to Mike Murphy, a Pastor at Christ Church of Oak Brook, and Director of Spiritual Transformation at Breakthrough Urban Ministries on the west side of Chicago. Mike makes Anita laugh and is the anchor in her life. Her son John is one of the brightest spots in her world. He's heading to college to study history. Anita is originally from Maine, the most beautiful state in the union according to her! If she can't be in Maine, her second choice is Chicago. Reading, writing, bird watching, and drinking hot tea are some of her favorite pastimes. For more information or to connect with Anita find her atwww.anitalustrea.comwww.middayconnection.org, on facebook, or twitter @anitalustrea.

CARYN DAHLSTRAND RIVADENEIRA is a writer, speaker, and works on the worship staff at Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church. She's the author ofKnown and Loved: 52 Devotions from the Psalms (Revell, 2013), Grumble Hallelujah: Learning to Love Life When It Lets You Down (Tyndale House, 2011) and Mama's Got a Fake I.D.: How to Reveal the Real You Behind All that Mom (Waterbrook, 2009), as well as hundreds of blog posts and magazine articles. Caryn is a regular contributor to Christianity Today's Her.Meneutics and to Re:Frame Media's Think Christian. Her work also regularly appears in Relevant and FullFill, along with several other media outlets.Caryn lives outside of Chicago with her husband, three kids and one pit bull. Visit her at www.carynrivadeneira.com. Find her on Facebook at (facebook.com/carynrivadeneira) and on Twitter @CarynRivadeneir

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