Friday, March 13, 2015

Mercy's Rain: An Appalachian Novel - by Cindy K. Sproles

I found this to be a hard book to get through due to the tough subject matter.  Mercy Roller's father is a pastor who doesn't know God at all.  He's abusive in every possible way both to Mercy and her mother and to the community as well.  Because of him and her mother Mercy struggles with believing in a good God and doesn't know what love really looks like.  When Mercy does something her grieving mother feels is unforgivable, she's kicked out and she decides to follow the river.  She ends up running into another preacher and goes with him to help a woman about to give birth and protect her if there's a need.  There she meets a loving couple who, along with the preacher, show her what love really looks like and who God really is.

I found it difficult to get through the story because Mercy keeps reliving the horrible memories of her past and what her father did to her and to others.  It's not exactly graphic, but gives enough detail so you know what happened and I found myself getting incredibly angry with him and also with her mother for not stopping it.  Besides the abuse making me so angry, it really gets on my nerves when God's Word, the Bible, is twisted into something evil, like the way her father used Scripture to justify his evil actions.  There didn't seem to be enough goodness to balance out the evil in the story.  It's not all bad, though, as she meets a few people who treat her well and love her.  There is some hope and it gets better nearer the end.  There are also a couple swear words, which weren't needed.  I liked the ultimate message of the importance of forgiveness and letting go of bitterness with God's help.  I thought it was well-written and definitely gave the ambiance of the Appalachian mountain area.  You might like it if you like stories about overcoming abuse and the importance of mercy and forgiveness.

I received this book free from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review.

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