Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Haunted by the Past!!!! Two women search for answers!

           "Waves of Mercy"
              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.

My Thoughts:

I am not typically a fan of books set in this time period,  however, having not read Lynn Austin's books before, I decided to give this novel a try. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised. Having heard good things only about her writing convinced me to read and review this book. This historical novel has depth and a great deal of information about the time period, as it follows Geesje's love story.  

The characters are extremely well described and totally believable in their place in society. You could feel the struggles and heartaches as these immigrants make impossible decisions that they had to live with. The use of flashbacks to decades much earlier was a unique approach and was well used. As you read, you become eager to learn the entire story of Geesje, as the reader meets her as an older woman. Hearing the past events of this individual adds such depth to the plot. There was a very real struggle in choosing to love God and remain faithful in difficult times. 

The plot was detailed and moved steadily throughout. The very real challenges of immigrants and their rough encounters during the immigration process , as well as starting life anew , was felt deeply as the story progressed.

The underlying feeling of hope and maintaining faith in God in the darkest moments,  is the message that shines through  the life of a woman who met with so many troubles. She trusted Him in the roughest storms of life. Geesje kept trusting in whatever life threw at her.  What a great example she is to us all! 

I highly recommend this book to all lovers of historical fiction. It is a love story but one with great depth and meaning!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is now available at your local booksellers. The opinions expressed are honest and my own. 

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