Let me introduce: my new friend, Mercy
The Miracle of Mercy Land captured me from sentence one. In fact, much of it was read in one sitting, which hasn’t happened to me for a while. It wasn’t the plot that got me, though the plot is thick and draws the reader in, generously giving, but keeping back all the while. What captured me at the first, continued to delight me at the end: Mercy. Her character is rich and deep, her voice is developed and I can hear her speaking in my head as I read the words. This sort of character is rare in our world of fiction often written with a cookie cutter in one hand. There is certainly no other Mercy Land.
She is a young, independent woman living in a time when such independence was uncommon. She comes from a simple place, and lives now in a slightly larger, yet still simple place. She is incredibly easy to like, easy for me to relate to.
The supporting characters are pitch perfect, giving you what you need and drawing you into the world of a story which graciously mixes the historic (1938) world with a magically realistic one, seamlessly.
Unlike many pieces of magical realism, River Jordan does not rely upon sensationalism or shock value. Her book is lyrical, gentle and gripping, but confident. There is no need to put in an extra twist or turn, or cause the reader to gasp in terror or horror, the story stands solidly on it’s own two feet: excellent characters, tight writing, strong voice and an engaging plot.
It is very seldom that I offer unequivocal support for a piece of writing, perhaps even rarer for a piece of fiction. I have spent so much time immersed in good writing, in writing classes, even in the teaching of writing, I sometimes fear that I have become dull to wonder, jaded by poor writing. The Miracle of Mercy Land has showed me that this is not the case. There are still books in the world, some of them even now being written and published, that have the power to thrill the imagination. I look forward to such discoveries, and will watch River Jordan with interest.
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Waterbrook Multnomah has made the first chapter available here. Read it at your own risk, you may be captured as well.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.