Tuesday, October 26, 2010
The Miracle of Mercy Land...Review
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 indispensible 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.
A beautifully written story about choices and their consequences on others. But, while the writing is very lyrical and evocative and the characters are memorable, it just never clicked for me. It's a slow moving story and I found myself impatient for it to be finished. Magical realism is used in fiction to help the characters and readers see a deeper meaning to something. Magical elements are portrayed as normal and, here, the book is just that: a magical book that suddenly appears and seems to have knowledge about people's lives, paths and choices. For me, it was hard to accept the magical elements as anything but implausible. Normally that is not the case for me, because I adore Sarah Addison Allen who incorporates magical realism so well into her books.
I believe the book is actually classified as Christian Fiction, but the Christian elements are very subtle, nothing overt. This seems to be a story that resonates with many, it just didn't resonate with me. You can find more positive reviews at Reading to Know, Reviews from the Heart, and From the Heart of a Bookworm.
Thanks to Kelly Blewett of KBK Public Relations for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about River Jordan here. You can purchase your own copy here.