Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Fascinating Look at Faith and Second Chances | Review of Arms of Mercy

About the Book (from Zondervan)

He lost her once to a rash decision. 
He will not lose her again.

On the eve of a new year, Catherine Glick is expecting her bu of five years to propose. Instead, the unexpected arrival of an old boyfriend, Elijah, sends her life spiraling out of control. When a rash decision damages her current relationship, Catherine leaves for Florida to work in her cousin’s bakery—anything to flee the source of her shame.

Elijah Graber knows he hurt Catherine when he left their Amish district six years ago. He’s determined to explain his actions, even if it means following her to Florida. Perhaps their two-day bus trip together will provide enough time for him to make his case and win her back.

Just when Elijah is starting to tear down the walls Catherine has built, their bus skids on an icy road—and amid the mayhem and tragedy that follow, Catherine disappears. Elijah’s friends urge him to prepare for the worst, but Elijah holds on to his hope in God and refuses to give up his search for Catherine. With supernatural nudging from the most unexpected places, Elijah sets out to find the love he once lost—no matter the cost.

Releases June 5, 2018!

My Rating


My Review

The first half or so of this story had me really engaged! Elijah and Catherine are interesting characters with a complicated past and conflicting feelings. Knowing the book's description from the get-go, there was an added layer of tension for me, wondering when and how the huge plot twist would arrive.

In that first half, the pacing was excellent, and there was a building sense of dread as things went from bad to worse. I wanted to know what would happen next and how things would turn out for Elijah and Catherine.

But I confess the second half of the book didn't grip me in the same way. The middle, while crucial to establishing new realities and difficult challenges, felt somewhat dragged out, and then the very end felt a bit abrupt, lacking a strong emotional pull and being too neatly resolved.

I've read one other book by this author (A Woodland Miracle) and really enjoyed it, and I think she has a great writing style! And while I'm personally a little uncomfortable with too much emphasis on angels, I think the author does a great job in this story by balancing the work of angels (and fellow believers) with honoring God above all (and showing the characters praying to Him and seeking Him).

Even though this book as a whole didn't end up being a favorite of mine, I still really appreciate the author's unique plots for Amish fiction. This one did intrigue me overall, even if the pacing felt off in the second half. Arms of Mercy takes a fascinating look at faith, life before and after tragedy, and second chances.

*With thanks to Zondervan through NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC of this book.*

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