A moving historical gem: "Legacy of Mercy" by Lynn Austin
about the book....
She Knew Her New Life Would Not Be Easy,
But Nothing Could Prepare Her For What Waits Ahead
Having returned to Chicago, young socialite Anna Nicholson can't seem to focus on her upcoming marriage. The new information she's learned about her birth mother continues to pull at her, and she hires Pinkerton detectives to help her discover the whole truth.
But as she meets people who once knew her mother and hears stories about the past, Anna soon discovers that some secrets are better left hidden. With pressure mounting to keep the past quiet, she discovers daily that her choice to seek God's purpose for her life isn't as simple as she had hoped.
When things are at their darkest, Anna knows she can turn to her grandmother, Geesje de Jonge, back in Holland, Michigan. Geesje's been helping new Dutch immigrants--including a teen with a troubled history--adjust to America. She only hopes that her wisdom can help all these young people through the turmoil they face.
Anna's story is once again woven with that of Geesje, but the perspective this time focuses on the events of their current lives with only brief backflashes to other character's experiences. Austin has so tightly woven these perspectives together that I never felt like I was jarred from one character's journey to the other, but rather that everything fit into one beautiful whole. I was not only intrigued by Anna's tale as she uncovers one piece of her own history after another, finding out the truth of her mother and her father all these years later. But I was also swept up in Gessje's tale of how she opens her home and her heart to two new immigrants, 17-year-old Cornelia and her grandfather, who have a heart-wrenching tale of their own. As Austin connects their lives, a beautiful theme emerges of God's goodness in the midst of the most harrowing of circumstances. The growth of these characters over the course of the novel is remarkable and Austin does it so naturally that it feels like the reader is right there with them experiencing every moment of insight they discover. When the novel began, I just wasn't sure how Austin was going to pull off a happy ending. And yet, though not every aspect of the character's lives comes out as perfect as we may hope, the result is even better and I was left with a smile on my face and a lightness in my heart at the wonderful way that Austin had everything turn out. Really, you can't hope for better than that!
I just can't help but give this novel my highest rating of 5 out of 5 stars, because it is just that good. If you are a fan of Austin already, then you are going to be thoroughly pleased with "Legacy of Mercy". And if you are just looking for a great historical fiction novel, then plan on grabbing a copy of this book (and the prior book in the series if you haven't yet read it). You will be glad you did!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
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