Monday, January 6, 2014

Shades of Mercy

by Anita Lustrea & Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira
River North Publishers

It's 1954 and the world-even the far Northwoods of Maine - is about to change. But that change can't happen soon enough for fourteen-year-old Mercy Millar. Long tired of being the "son" her father never had, Mercy's ready for the world to embrace her as the young woman she is, as well as embrace the forbidden love she feels.

When childhood playmates grow up and fall in love, the whole community celebrates. But in the case of Mercy and Mick, there would be no celebration. Instead their relationship must stay hidden. Good girls do not date young men from the Maliseet tribe. At least, not in Watsonville, Maine. When racial tensions escalate and Mick is thrown in jail under suspicion of murder, Mercy nearly loses all hope-in love, in her father, and in God himself.

My Review:

A sore subject even in the best of times, racial tensions run rife in this book. And while we think we as a society are way past this sort of behavior, Lustrea and Rivadeneira portrayed the racial prejudice towards Indians in the 1950's very well. I did feel that the story was very slow paced, but ultimately it makes food for thought in a different sort of way then we're used to getting in a Christian novel. It's a very traditional story, and I ended up enjoying the details of life on the farm, Mercy on the verge of womanhood, and many other little details. 

And of course, we must talk about the romance. Forbidden love, no matter how taboo, will always inspire readers to cheer the couple onward. In this case, we have advanced enough as a country to know that keeping two lovers apart because of race and or culture is just plain wrong. But back then, some things just weren't done, and Mercy and Mick's romance was one of those "off limits" things that no one wanted to see happen. While a little slower than I would have liked, I would definitely recommend it to the younger crowd for a reality check, as well as anyone who enjoys a story that portrays the true meaning of love. 

This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. 

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