Waves of Mercy
by: Lynn Austin
About the Book:
Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from the Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she’s asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions hidden all these years, including the story of her one true love.
At the nearby Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of a broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after a violent storm aboard a steamship stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.
Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.
Purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01L9IVCDA?pf_rd_p=d1f45e03-8b73-4c9a-9beb-4819111bef9a&pf_rd_r=GHQ1F4DEARG52QQWE425
Before I read Lynn Austin’s upcoming release, Legacy of Mercy, I wanted to read Waves of Mercy, the prequel to Legacy. I have read several of Lynn’s before and have enjoyed them. I was not disappointed. This book was beautiful, touching, and an absolute delight.
It did take me a bit to get into the story, though it was more about the style than the story itself. While a historical fiction, the “present day” parts of the story use present tense. The “past” parts of the story use past tense. I believe this is the first time I’ve ever read a book written in present tense. Lynn wrote the book in first person, but there are names at the beginning of the chapters, to alert the reader to whom is the “I” speaker.
My favorite character is Geesje (pronounced something like, “Ack shee”) and the story she shares of her journey to America from Holland.
“How spoiled we were back in the Netherlands,” Mama said. “How mindlessly we took it all for granted. Maybe God is teaching us to be more thankful for all His gifts to us.”
This is also where the spiritual truths were most profound. She shares the heartache, the fear, the sense of betrayal by the One who is supposed to love her the most.
As we dug the first grave in this unforgiving land, many of us wondered who would be next. And why God wasn’t listening.
We learn that life is like a puzzle, yet we often try to stuff the pieces into spaces they don’t belong, getting ahead of God’s plan and His direction. This story is deep and unfolds like a flower in surprising ways. There were moments where I had to pause as the tears rolled down my face, shocked by the events that have transpired.
If He didn’t love us and have a plan for each one of us, then why bother living at all?
I adored this book. The ending is emotional and while not unexpected, it is a pleasant twist to the story. It’s a reminder that God is always in control, we never know “what he has up his sleeve” and yet his plan comes together to reveal his tender waves of mercy that roll over us in spite of ourselves and our mistakes.
“…And there have been other times when God didn’t give me a clear answer to the question I asked.”
“That happens to me, too. Why do you think that is?”
“Well… I’ve thought about it a lot, and I’ve decided that it’s because He knows our mind is already made up. We won’t obey Him if He does answer. And then our deliberate disobedience will cause a rift in our relationship with Him. If you know you’re doing something wrong, it often seems easier to keep doing it than to swallow your pride and turn back to God.”
Read a copy of Waves of Mercy. Be inspired. Be blessed. Let His Waves of Mercy wash away the hurt, pain, and shame of the past.
About the Author:
For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband’s work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she’d earned at Hope College and Southern Connecticut State University to work as a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Along with reading, two of Lynn’s lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.
Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published 27 novels. Eight of her historical novels have won Christy Awards for excellence in Christian Fiction. She was inducted into the Christy Award Hall of Fame in 2013.