Shades of Mercy is a story that looks at the fears and prejudices that have been (and still are) prevalent in our country. Set in the Northwoods of Maine in 1954, the Maliseet people are the focus of this distrust.
It is this world that Mercy Millar is looking back on. A world in which she loves a man whom she shouldn't. But Mercy plans to someday leave this world behind and to acknowledge the love she and Mick have for one another.
But when racial tensions escalate and Mick is accused of a crime Mercy knows he is incapable of committing, prayer seems to be her only hope. But when the area faces a natural disaster an act of mercy and compassion may bring about the changes Mercy has been hoping for.
Shades of Mercy looks back on a period of unrest and change in our country and the power of love when it extends to all of our neighbors not just those who look like us.
I was provided a copy of this book through BookFun/TBCN in exchange for my honest review.
Shades of Mercy is set in a time not even a decade after World War II, where the world saw some of the worst evil man could ever be capable of with the attempt at the genocide of the Jews. It was also a time of the beginning of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, the days of Martin King Luther Jr., and when American was turned upside down (again) in a push for all men to be seen as equal.
But also during that time was a rising awareness of the harsh treatment of the Maliseet Indians of Maine. This tribe lived in conditions not fit for any human being, and were forced to do menial labour for low wages.
It is within this setting that the story picks up, following a young farm girl, Mercy, as she navigates this minefield of human emotion and actions while she herself is on the cusp of adulthood. She can't completely understand why she and Mick, a Maliseet Indian, can't openly be a couple. To her, they were a boy and a girl who liked each other. Why was it such a big deal? But one thing leads to another, and soon Mercy finds herself having to fight her hardest to for her and Mick, and the future they want together.
A moving story, Shades of Mercy is a novel that packs a big punch. Illustrating the suffering that is caused by racism - something that affects people of every race, whether they are rich or poor, young or old, single, married, etc. - it is, at times, a heartbreaking, yet sweet, story, of a budding, forbidden love between two young people.
River North provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for this review which I freely give.
Shades of Mercy, A Maine Chronicle by Anita Lustre
April 30, 2014
Its About Time Mamaw
Mercy is blessed to live on a farm with her parents. The land is fertile for the many vegetables growing on this farm. Mercy's family welcome the Maliseets in fact Mercy has secretly loved a Maliseet boy since childhood. They hire the Maliseets of Maine's Northwoods. The Maliseets are living in shanties on a garbage dump and suffer from the racial tensions that are out of control among many of the locals. Things come to a head when a natural disaster occurs. God has a plan and it takes this disaster to get his plan into motion.
This story brought out that there are many faces in racism and how past hurts and grievances can grow into evil actions and attitudes. The authors write about how God uses his children to defend his children of oppression. Will racism always be with us? If we have ignorant people I guess it will continue. The characters of Mercy and her parents were amazing in that they were vital instruments in God's plan to help the Maliseet.
I highly recommend this book.
I rated this book a 5 out of 5.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers/River North for an honest review.
Shades of Mercy was a very sweet and quiet coming of age story. The story follows Mercy, a fourteen year old girl, who believes she has her life planned out. In a few years, she and her long time friend and recent boyfriend Mick will go off to college together, then once finished with school, they can get married, and live happily ever after. However, Mercy dreams come crashing around her when a friend of hers and her boyfriend disappear. However, this isn't a normal young love runaway, at least in the eyes of the Mercy's friend's father. When he finds out that the girls boyfriend is from the local Maliseet tribe, his prejudices come to a boil and sets the whole town on edge. Mercy hopes that everything will be resolved soon and then things can go back to normal. Sadly, that isn't what happens when her boyfriend Mick, who is also Maliseet, is charged with a crime.
The struggles Mercy's deals with are presented in such a realistic way. She is innocent to the ways of prejudice and still young. Mercy is written in such a way that you feel for her. You watch as she holds out hope for her dream to still come true and for everything to blow through. It was refreshing to read about a real teenager that has respect for her parents and who was raised in a loving home, not a teenager that was full of angst. I enjoyed that about the book.
The one issue I had with the story was the pacing. The story dealt with a very heavy topic and handled it very nicely and not heavy-handed, but a lot didn't seem to happen in a part of the story. I did enjoy how the story focused on one part of Mercy's life, just one summer. The ending left it open for the series to continue on and to grow with Mercy.
It was an enjoyable story.
Thank you to River North, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Shades of Mercy is a sweet story that gently takes you into the small sleepy community of Watsonville, Maine during a time of racial turmoil at the opposite end of the country. It is a story that opens up a period of history that little has been written or spoken about in the United States. This story has intrigued me to further research the Maliseet tribe.
Although forbidden, the love story has you cheering for Mercy and Mick to overcome their personal difficulties and follow through in their young blossoming romance. This book was enjoyed on a Sunday afternoon in one sitting. The clean content would be enjoyed by teens through adults