Mercy Roller knows her name is a lie: there has never been any mercy in her young life. Raised by a twisted and abusive father who called himself the Pastor, she was abandoned by the church community that should have stood together to protect her from his evil. Her mother, consumed by her own fear and hate, won’t stand her ground to save Mercy either.
The Pastor has robbed Mercy of innocence and love, a husband and her child. Not a single person seems capable of standing up to the Pastor’s unrestrained evil. So Mercy takes matters into her own hands.
Her heart was hardened to love long before she took on the role of judge, jury, and executioner of the Pastor. She just didn’t realize the retribution she thought would save her, might turn her into the very thing she hated most.
Sent away by her angry and grieving mother, Mercy’s path is unclear until she meets a young preacher headed to counsel a pregnant couple. Sure that her calling is to protect the family, Mercy is drawn into a different life on the other side of the mountain where she slowly discovers true righteousness has nothing evil about it–and that there might be room for her own stained and shattered soul to find shelter. . . and even love.
Mercy’s Rain is a remarkable historical novel set in 19th century Appalachia that traces the thorny path from bitterness to forgiveness and reveals the victory and strength that comes from simple faith.
Cindy Sproles is an author and speaker. She has cofounded ChristianDevotions.us and serves as managing editor for SonRise Books and Straight Street Books, imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Cindy teaches at Christian Writers Conferences and ladies retreats and ladies conferences across the country. Her devotions are heartfelt and honest. Edgy and inviting. Cindy serves as the executive editor of ChristianDevotions.us, a writing mentor, and life-coach. Author of four non-fiction books, Cindy’s Fiction debut novel, Mercy’s Rain (Kregel Publishing), will release January 2015. She is a contributing author to CBN.com and InspireaFire.com and serves as the director of Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp Conference. Visit her at http://www.cindysproles.com or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mercy’s Rain is the debut novel of Cindy Sproles. This book conjured up lots of different emotions inside of me. Hard to read, it is nevertheless a moving, beautifully written book that explores the pain of abuse and the mercy in God’s love. I would categorize this book as edgy — the scenes are graphic, the emotions raw. But really, how can you honestly and thoroughly tell a survivor’s story without it. This is not a book for those who don’t want to be uncomfortable or shocked. But for those who are willing to enter someone else’s pain to gain a bit of understanding, then I recommend Mercy’s Rain.
Mercy Roller is the daughter of the Pastor, a man who does unspeakable things and rules his congregation with fear. Set in the Appalachian mountains of eastern Tennessee in 1897, Mercy’s Rain draws it strength from an outstanding sense of place and well-drawn and exceedingly complex characters. The themes of mercy, grace and forgiveness in the face of horror and depravity are powerful The madness that surrounds Mercy’s life comes across as both unbelievable and all too real. It’s knowing that there are real people out there who face similar lives that grips the reader.
Mercy’s questioning of where God is in the midst of her torture is met with love and support by the family she finds in the Johnson’s and Samuel, who is ironically a preacher. They help her to tell her story and quiet the noise that drowns out God’s message. But it is the relationship between a pleading Mercy and God that in the end speaks to the heart of the reader.
Mercy’s Rain is told in the first person voice of Mercy herself. The cadence and dialect of the mountains perfectly fit the story. The book is relatively short — only 260 pages — and was quick to read, yet I felt that a good portion of my life was lived along with Mercy. The story alternates between Mercy’s present and flashbacks, which I really appreciated. The flashbacks would have been harder to bear without the assurance that Mercy had somehow survived.
Again, not for the faint of heart or for those who are a bit weak-stomached, I do recommend Mercy’s Rain.
(Thanks to Kregel for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)
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