Mercy Come Morning by Lisa T. Bergren is a quick read that will satisfy readers that love the unity of love, faith, and family. With the notice that her mother as at the end of her life due to Alzheimer's, Krista Mueller, a professor of history in Colorado, travels back to her homeland to be by her mother's side. Marked by the pain of her mother's bohemian lifestyle and an absentee father, Krista must learn to forgive her mother for her mistakes as a parent.
What I liked about Mercy Come Morning was its focus on a strained mother-daughter relationship that is marked by eventual forgiveness. Though Krista is angry with her mother, she eventually comes to forgive her through the help of a family friends and the Christian faith. Though Morning can be written off as somewhat sappy and love-saturated due to the fast-paced romance between Krista and a childhood boyfriend, the book is heartwarming and brings to light the real struggles associated with Alzheimer's disease.
PS - The good people at Blogging for Books gave me a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I received a copy of Mercy Come Morning by Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange of an honest review of the book. This book is about a lady named Krista that returned home to try to repair her relationship with her mother when she found out she was dying of congested heart failure. Her mother has Alzheimer's and is unable to talk. This was a beautiful story about grace, forgiveness, love and mercy. The relationships portrayed are broken, but become whole again in the story. Krista and her high school sweetheart work through the past and get over hurts together. The story was very predictable, but beautiful at the same time. It was a quick, easy read. I would recommend this book to anyone that would love to see relationships repaired and how God fixes us along the journey.
Lisa Tawn Bergren's Mercy Come Morning broaches on a number of topics I can relate to and paints a setting that I can visualize without becoming weighed down with unnecessary detail.
The protagonist's journey to self-discovery and healing was gradual and for the most part, realistic. I wasn't quite ready for her change of heart, maybe because I wasn't ready to forgive her mother at that point.
Although the ravages of dementia, Alzheimer's in particular, plays a big part in this book, I find it's more about relationships: between mother and daughter; between man and woman; between believers and their God. Since my life is all about relationships, I love this aspect of the book.
Mercy Come Morning touches on Big Issues: forgiveness, love, self-discovery, surrender, peace, acceptance...topics we can all relate to.
I recommend it.
I received a free copy of the ebook from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.
Krista Mueller's elderly mother is dying, so she returns home to Taos, New Mexico, at the request of Dane McDonnell, the director of the Cimarron Care Center where her elderly mother lives. Dane is also Krista's first love, and although she initially suggests that she didn't really know why the relationship never went anywhere, we do get hints as the story progresses. Despite not having spoken for years, Krista's mother now sings Christmas carols no one even knew that she knew. Krista gradually finds out more about her mother from an old book of hymns that has diary entries and keepsakes interleaved between the pages.
Mercy Come Morning is a story of a not-so-young woman finding herself as she gets to know the mother who has been silent for so many years, and who was distant even before that. Although I found the flashback scenes distracting (because of the constant references to exact years, which was particularly annoying when they didn't always add up - for example, Mother was supposedly born in 1930, but she married in 1942 and turned 40 in 1962), overall I found the novel to be interesting and thought provoking.
The story is told in the first person, by Krista, interspersed with the diary entries, letters and flashbacks to Krista's own childhood memories. There is a skill to writing in the first person. A skilful author can make us see the narrator both as she sees herself, and as others see her. We need to be able to empathise with and like the narrator even while we see her faults. Lisa Tawn Bergren has this ability, which means we can empathise with Krista (and Dane) and engage ourselves in her situation.
Every year, Queen Elizabeth II delivers a televised Christmas message to the people of the Commonwealth. The theme of her 2011 Christmas Message was family and forgiveness, the same as the message of Mercy Come Morning. Many of Krista's issues stem from the fact that she never knew her father, she had a virtually non-existent relationship with her mother (who started showing signs of Alzheimer's when Kristia was only a teen), and a relationship with God that has never filled the gap inside her. I found this to be a slightly disturbing admission at first, because the churches I have attended preach that Jesus will fill the gap inside, yet here we have a Christian character revealing the opposite. It struck me that this is perhaps a more realistic portrayal of life, in that we are often unable to understand and fully accept God's love and peace (and fill the gap inside) until we have come to terms with the links between family, forgiveness and faith in our own lives.
Thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah for providing a free ebook for review.
This was a lovely read about forgiveness and finding peace. Can you imagine living your whole life estranged from your mother? Never hearing the words, "I love you". Krista Mueller lived this life and now her mother has Alzheimer's. Time is slipping quickly. Time that she has missed and misplaced. This is a great story in teaching us to grab hold of those second chances.
I loved this book by Lisa Tawn Bergren. She brought out the best and the worst in these characters. She showcased the qualities we all want to be exposed and she too showed the faults that we try to hide and ignore ourselves.
Reading this book leaves you with a passion to know your mother better. To reach out to your daughter more. To not just leave the past behind, but bring it out in the open and share those hurts so healing can come.
What did I love the most? The Christmas room. We all need a Christmas room to remember the good times. We tend to focus on the bad that have crept into our lives. All the while the good has been right in under our nose the whole time.
This book was a gift from WaterBrook Press for it's review.