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Shades of Mercy by Anita Lustrea
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Shades of Mercy

by Anita Lustrea

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A supremely cozy read. This budding romance warms you up and gives you the happy butterflies. I'm not normally a fan of romance, let alone the super sappy Christian romance, but this book went far beyond my wildest expectations.

This coming of age tale follows young Mercy as she learns just how prejudiced God-fearing Christian people can be. It's Maine in the fifties and a local tribe of Maliseet Indians have been shunted to the dump to live in squalid conditions. Mercy's father is a good Christian and hires the Maliseets to work on his farm even though people in town look down on the tribe as less than human. Mercy and her family have a soft spot for them, especially for Mick, a good looking boy that Mercy has fallen hopelessly in love with. Mercy discovers the hard way just deep the town's and her family's prejudices can go. Will she ever be able to be with Mick publicly? Doesn't Jesus love everyone equally?

This book is a fast read and doesn't get to sappily romantic or preach hell-fire and damnation. It's inspirational, happy, and leaves you in a happy positive mood :)

A copy of this book was provided by Moody Press for free in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  ecataldi | Nov 6, 2013 |
Title: Shades of Mercy
Author: Anita Lustrea & Caryn Rivadeneira
Pages: 272
Year: 2013
Publisher: River North
History is filled with so many stories of many peoples, nations, tribes, places and more. Yet, though these bigger pictures grab my heart, mind and soul, there is more meaning revealed in personal stories. While this is a fictitious story, the people and times are based in historical fact. I was reminded of the way so many people have been treated badly for a variety of reasons, though no reason makes it right to treat others inhumanly.
As I read, I was reminded again that even Christians didn’t always and still don’t always treat others with the love of Christ. I am reminded of what Paul the apostle wrote when he spoke of the flesh and spirit being constantly at war and wondering why he does what he doesn’t want to do. Paul was beside himself as he knew what the right thing to do was and didn’t do it. If you’re a fan of history, you know some tales can grab your attention and then hold on fast till the end of the story.
While some books simply entertain, I can say this one also challenges. Here is the story of a time when certain Native American tribes were segregated from others and then relegated to a place that wasn’t fit for human habitation. One main character would read the Bible for family devotions every morning, never missed churched and hired people other farmers never would. Yet, what a challenge it was for him to go beyond that to work towards change that was permanent. To look at a Native American beyond his skin color, beliefs and past to see him as Christ saw him and sought him. Interracial marriages were looked down upon and people would feel shame if this is a choice they made, and sometimes this shame left to fester would turn into rage.
In this novel, Mick is accused of murdering a man most knew as the town drunk simply because one man stirred up the town folk and twisted the truth. Yet, through the whole novel, the thought of how God uses everything for good kept turning up in various parts of the story. When disaster strikes the town, the authors show the different reactions or responses people have based on their belief system. I thought that very insightful because as people we tend to live according to our own deeply held beliefs.
The ending was a surprise and very appropriate. The scene painted for readers will tug the heart strings with perhaps a hint of future novels with these characters. At least as a reader I hope the authors write more because what they have done in Shades of Mercy is absolutely captivating. I began reading the novel in the morning and stayed at it until I was done; I couldn’t put the book down as I was pulled into the plot so deeply. I hope you read and enjoy Shades of Mercy!
My rating is 5+ stars!
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457 ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Sep 11, 2013 |
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Shades of Mercy is a story of troubled times and strained relationships. The descrimination presented in this story is realistic and historically accurate. Hard and honest work ethics are reminiscent of farm families of that time frame. Characters presented are authentic, colorful and convincing, as are the issues detailed in this account. Mercy's father represents a pillar of strength and compassion to his family and community through difficult times and distressing events. His strength of character and unwavering faith in God are exemplary and strong currents that are woven throughout this story. The elements of hope, grace, mercy and compassion run strong throughout the events characterized in this book.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Wynn-Wynn Media in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802409687, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:29 -0400)

The world has changed from how it was in that special summer of 1954. Mercy tells her granddaughter what it was like for her to have fallen in love with a childhood playmate when that special young man is a Maliseet in small-town Maine. Illumined with the colors of fields of beautiful potato blossoms, enriched by well-rounded characters, and punctuated with the seasons of harvest and festivals, Shades of Mercy is a story that tells how a young couple challenged the prejudices of their day --… (more)

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