ABOUT THE AUTHORS
ABOUT THE BOOK
If you would like to read the first chapter of Shades of Mercy, go HERE.
Shades of Mercy is a gentle tale with an understated tension. While the focus and details feel fresh, the story itself feels familiar - sort of a "new classic" that highlights some important issues but does so in an inconspicuous and unassuming way. The country girl whose eyes are opened to the injustices of life as well as true hope...the rural community that struggles with its perception and treatment of those who are seen as different and possibly threatening...wrongful imprisonment...legal disputes...a time of change for everyone - it's all there. This is a very traditional story from the perspective of one girl on the verge of womanhood who observes the people she's grown up with and their need for varying shades of mercy.
The plot itself didn't overly impress me. There isn't a whole lot that happens, and the things that do are marked with a subtle strain that doesn't entirely engage. In some ways the story has its surprises, but sometimes I wished for deeper explorations of different characters. However, the writing itself - while sometimes feeling a tad bit "done before" - is really rather lovely. There are some great lines, and the simplicity of the era and the characters' lifestyles is rather charming, although the difficult realities and unkind attitudes are not glossed over.
For those who enjoy a quieter book with a "classic" feel, Shades of Mercy should satisfy - and if that hint of more recounting to come (in the epilogue) is ever fulfilled, there's potential for another, possibly more romantic "Maine Chronicle." I did like this book and the stroll through memories of another time, along with the timeless lessons. But this sort of story - with its unhurried pace and lack of energy and novelty - isn't really my cup of tea.
*With thanks to the publisher through CFBA for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*