Mercy Land has arrived. Born in a bolt of lightening on the banks of Bittersweet Creek, she has moved to nearby Bay City and has found her niche - working as the assistant to Doc, the local newspaper editor. When a mysterious book arrives on her boss's desk that threatens her dreams, Mercy must decide what to do with the book. Mercy's life is further complicated when Doc suddenly decides to retire and brings in John Quincy as his replacement, a newspaper novice who seems to know more about Mercy and Bay City than he's telling. Can Mercy determine the book's purpose before it disappears? Can she solve the mystery of John Quincy before losing her shot at the job of editor?
Jordan is a gifted storyteller who draws the reader in with her descriptions and flowing language. Her characters are alive in this book and kept me cheering them on throughout the story. The issue of the mysterious book, however, was something else. The blurbs I read made me think that this was a book about time travel - which it isn't. Doc seems to think that the book will give him a chance to right an old wrong - but never in their contact with the book do they do more than lose track of time and gain information about people around them. Since they cannot choose whose name will appear to them or travel in time, I'm not sure how he expected to use the book to change a life. That part left me confused; it was a bit raw, I think. There were also connections between a few characters that were never fully explained.
In the end, Jordan makes the point that we are all connected; all of the choices that we make individually affect the human population as a whole. Forgiveness is also a major theme in this book.
I couldn't put book down because I just had to know how Mercy was going to save the day; but now that I know the ending, I don't know how soon I'll pick it back up again. It's a good read, but not one that I need to dust off and make part of my regular reading list.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.
What if you had the power to amend choices you made in the past? Would you do it even if it changed everything?
Mercy Land has made some unexpected choices for a young woman in the 1930s. The sheltered daughter of a traveling preacher, she chooses to leave her rural community to move to nearby Bay City on the warm, gulf-waters of southern Alabama. There she finds a job at the local paper and spends seven years making herself indispensable to old Doc Philips, the publisher and editor. Then she gets a frantic call at dawnâ€”it's the biggest news story of her life, and she can't print a word of it.
Doc has come into possession of a curious book that maps the lives of everyone in Bay Cityâ€”decisions they've made in the past, and how those choices affect the future. Mercy and Doc are consumed by the mystery locked between the pagesâ€”Doc because he hopes to right a very old wrong, and Mercy because she wants to fulfill the book's strange purpose. But when a mystery from Mercy's past arrives by train, she begins to understand that she will have to make choices that will deeply affect everyone she lovesâ€”forever.
I choose this book to review because I liked the premise. I have often wondered how things would be different if I had made different choices. This story explores this idea, in a very interesting way, when a mysterious book suddenly shows up on Doc's desk. Doc and Mercy discover that they are able to see into other people's lives and how their choices affected the present, both for good and bad.
River Jordan has written an interesting book. Her use of description is powerful, and I can still picture Bay City, as well as, Doc and Mercy as I write this review. I would place The Miracle of Mercy Land in the category of fantasy,or magical realism (River Jordan's loose description), although, there isn't magic, as we might define it, in this book. I enjoyed this story, but if you don't like this genre then you may not be interested in this book.
**The Miracle of Mercy Land by River Jordan was provided for me free by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.
From the start of The Miracle of Mercy Land you step into another time and place. You hear to the slow cadence of the south, soft as butter and music to your ears. You can smell the honeysuckle, jasmine and magnolia blossoms each time you take a deep breath. Memories of lazy summer days filled with fishing and chasing butterflies in the fields are brought back to your mind. And you find yourself not only visiting Bay City, Alabama, but seeing and sensing it through one Mercy Land.
Mercy Land, a Bittersweet girl, finds herself plunged into a mystery. A mystery where there are no real answers on how to solve it. This mystery involves a book. A very special book. It showed up at Doc Philips place, without so much as a how do you do. Doc Philip is her boss and owner of the Bay City newspaper.
Together they try to determine the purpose of the book because this book shows the lives, past, present and could be future of everyone of Bay City. Doc thinks he's suppose to use it to change something that took place in the past. Mercy is trying to determine the book's purpose. And together they find out that the choices one person makes affects the lives of many.
The author, River Jordan, has written a beautiful book about some wonderful, ordinary people. She brought to life Mercy Land and Doc Philips and those who play an important part in their lives in such a manner that you become a part of the story as well. River Jordan is a wonderful storyteller and this book, The Miracle of Mercy Land, will take you into the past, to southern Alabama, where you will experience those hot summer days with a cool breeze coming off of the bay; along with the sudden squalls that frequent the area that time of year; and in life. River Jordan and her cast of characters in Mercy Land will keep you captivated to the very end.
River Jordan is a critically acclaimed novelist and playwright. Her previous works include Saints in Limbo and The Messenger of Magnolia Street. She speaks around the country on the "Power of Story" and produces and hosts the radio series Clearstories from Nashville, Tennessee, where she makes her home. You can visit her at www.riverjordan.us.
This book was provided to me free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for the purpose of writing a review.
I was given this book to review as a part of a blogging program with waterbrookmultnomah.com.
I did not like this book. I'm used to picking up a book and not putting it down until it's finished and it's taken me a month to finish this book. I am not a fan of fantasy type writing so I never got into the unbelievable mysterious book that could change the path of someone's life.
The underlying story of a lost love was good and I wish there hadn't been the fantasy part included. I would read this author again because I enjoyed her writing, but the theme was not my cup of tea for this book.
I wanted to read this book because the premise seemed fascinating. The writing in the book was excellent. The description was great and feeling like you were right there with the main character, Mercy was very well done.
That being said I thought the book started slowly and it was very hard to get into. While the character was great and her situation was believable the action was slow to begin. The "book" that came to Doc Philips happened early in the book but then just sort of sat there. I had expected more interaction or more story of what happened while they were "in the book". The foreshadowing was excellent, the wondering what was going on kept me reading.
Once the character, John Quincy was introduced, the book took on a new level of wondering who he was and what would happen. I very much enjoyed the building up of this character and the relationship between John and Mercy. All of the characters questioned if the book they had could change the past and how their choices affected one another.
Since I often like suspense novels I enjoyed the overarching sense of something evil or that something bad was going to happen. The author is very good at portraying that eerie feeling that something isn't right, that something awful has happened or will happen. However, the "evil" didn't seem fully realized. The premise was so good but not fully drawn out. I kept waiting for something awful to happen based on what I had been presented with but nothing really did.
Having completed the book I still have questions. There are things I still don't understand and would have liked to. I believe the story is very character driven which is good but leaves the plot wanting. It is written well meaning it has "pretty prose" and a great Southern charm but my overall impression of the book was confusion.
If you enjoy character-driven books you will like this book because you will love Mercy and her relationship with Doc and her Aunt Ida but if you prefer plot-driven action this wouldn't be the book you would enjoy. Because of that I have to give this book just 3 stars.