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Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin
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Waves of Mercy (edition 2016)

by Lynn Austin (Author)

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679252,036 (4.59)1
Member:Eamace
Title:Waves of Mercy
Authors:Lynn Austin (Author)
Info:Bethany House Publishers (2016), Edition: Reprint, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:historical, inspirational, Michigan history

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Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

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I love historical fiction that teaches me more about the history of that time. The author has taken several different tragedies of the 1800's and woven them into this fabulous story. We learn about persecution for what you believe and how this can lead to descions with very big consequences. Recurring nightmares finally lead to answers for young Anna as she searches to know more of her past. Sickness, death, fires and ship wrecks are lessons learned, digested and grown from as our second heroine, Geesje, learns that God has everything in control! ( )
  Eamace | Sep 14, 2018 |
What a remarkable book this is! I don't usually gush over a book, but this one was exceptional. Lynn Austin is becoming one of my favorite authors for her excellent research and writing style. She knows how to draw in the individual reading the book and involve them in the story. Not only does she develop her characters well, but the action is terse and sometimes breathtaking. I enjoyed every minute of this novel, although when things got tough, enjoy might not be the word to describe what I was reading. But I was definitely involved and feeling with the characters in their struggles.

This is a historical fiction piece with a double plot taking place in two time lines. The main plot involves a group of families living in Leiden, the Netherlands in 1847. A group of people drew away from the established state church and became known as Separatists. Persecution was inevitable. People were accosted, homes harmed and businesses were threatened. The De Jong family were in the middle of this. So Geesje tells this story as an older woman, settled in Holland, Michigan 50 years later. Her family owned a printing business. Even though they moved to a different city where there were Separatists in the Netherlands, their business was still threatened. Eventually a group of people decided to emigrate to America where they would have freedom to worship God as they pleased. The group eventually settled the Holland, Michigan area of West Michigan.

The story is long because there were so many adverse conditions and situations for the group to overcome. In the meantime, there is another two stories happening in the latest of the historical periods called the 'present.' One is about a young woman in her early twenty's who is struggling to find herself. This story becomes intertwined with the grandmotherly woman Geesje who is telling this story as a project for her town's celebration of their semi-centennial. Derk is a secondary character who lives next to Geesje and calls her Tante (aunt). She's been like a mother to him since his own died many years before. He is encouraging her to write her story while at the same time he has befriended Anna at the hotel where he works for the summer.

West Michigan has always had as fascinating history as the rest of the state. As a teacher, I was already aware that the Dutch had settled that part of the state and knew some of the history. This book made it all come to life for me. The Great Lakes have their own fascinating history and lore, legends of great shipwrecks, and filled with the history of the native americans as well. There is no simple way to tell this story, so this book is filled with intrigue and struggles.

An integral part of the book was the personal faith of the travelers. Encapsulated in this life of faith is the personal struggle of Geesje herself since the beginning of the story. Hers was not a perfect journey. Her faith wavered, was tested, and she often questioned God and His wisdom. The more she experienced the more involved I felt with this woman. This was not a pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by type of story. She was hurt, and circumstances forced her into some horrible situations. I shed a lot of tears of empathy reading this book. My heart was troubled, hurt, frightened and saddened right along with her. To me, that's a sign of a great book. If you love historical fiction, then I highly recommend this book to you. ( )
  Beverlylynnt | Dec 29, 2017 |
It was hard putting this book down. Lynn Austin has a way of drawing you into the story and making you want to know more about the history surrounding the story. ( )
  eliorajoy | Sep 6, 2017 |
Lynn Austin has indeed produced another gem with Waves of Mercy. This emotionally captivating story of young love, choices, and faith freely discussed in a spell-binding saga of two different generations reminds me of the effect of Christy.

I feel like I can better explain some past non-romantic choices after reading this book, in the light of a desire to follow God's Word. What an encouragement this book can be for our young generation that needs to trust the Lord and learn to make choices based on obedience to His will.
All this encased in a story that will grab your heart and not let it go!

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own. ( )
  Becky_L | Nov 25, 2016 |
With more than half a century apart, latest being the late 1890s, the dual timeline of Lynn Austin's Waves of Mercy is still historical to its truest form. The multi-generational aspect of Anna and Geesje gives readers a different type of story, Rich with historical details, the author didn't just give us something to read, she brought the visual aspect of life in the mid 1800s to the end of the century to life. Both Anna and Geesje have a distinct voice that translate well on paper. Their story is one of lost, trials, and heartbreaks, but it's also about courage, strength and faith. Add in a slew of interesting characters, the stories within stories will capture your attention and set sail until you dock.

This review first appeared on Just Commonly blog.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page. ( )
  justcommonly | Oct 26, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764217615, Paperback)

Austin Returns with a Multi-Generational Historical Novel

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 06 Apr 2016 14:31:39 -0400)

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. Reluctantly 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, 23-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to recover from a broken engagement. She begins having nightmares of being aboard a steamship during a violent storm, and begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her privileged life in Chicago. Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering revelations awaiting them before the summer ends. --… (more)

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