Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Waves of Mercy - My Review

Lynn Austin’s novel Waves of Mercy tells the story of two very different women growing and struggling in the middle of changing decades.  Geesje de Jonge grew up in the Netherlands, but eventually migrated to America with her parents.  Yet Geesje was reluctant to make this transition, because she had fallen in love with a solider.  A soldier who was not Dutch like herself.  She knew her parents might not approve, and when she did tell them her news—her parents told her she must listen to the will of God for her life.  And she must marry a man who would share her faith in the Lord.  Anna Nicholson finds herself in exactly the opposite place.  There are so many probing questions she has about religion and God, and soon she realizes there is no one to ask or to share her burdens.  She is engaged to marry a man from her circle in society—a wealthy world that many times she believes she is a stranger to.  Soon Anna must make a difficult decision regarding love and her purpose and place in life.  Both Geesje and Anna face various troubles, and they know the decisions they make, in light of their problems, will ultimately forever alter their futures.  Are they ready for the consequences that might come because of their desires to take a different path in life? 

This book shows the trials that many families faced as they took the brave step to leave all they knew behind and travel to a new land—America.  Their pursuit was one of longing to have religious freedom—especially for Geesje’s family.  Her family had faced much persecution in the Netherlands, because they chose to worship outside of what most considered religious.  Even though they met peacefully in their homes, the government still opposed what they were doing.  So one day, many Dutch families made the choice to come to America.  

Throughout Geesje’s journey, she faces many hardships and trials, and she finds her faith tested over and over.  She must either trust in the God she knows or abandon His teachings and promises.  It is interesting to hear her tell the story of her life as she looks back over each event, yet there is much sadness in her memories.  Her story includes levels of intensity that are sometimes difficult to read.  

Anna’s story is very different, yet even the reader sees how much she wants to learn the truth about life and her story.  Anna feels there is a void in her everyday existence, and so she attempts to discover the mystery regarding her background.  The reader will be surprised by the words in the last few chapters and the connections Anna discovers about people she knew nothing about.
This novel is not an easy read, because it records the struggles of several characters.  In fact, there are moments when you wonder if particular characters will ever find a good place in life.  So much happens in each woman’s life, and because you want Geesje and Anna to find love and peace—it might be a hard book to read.  Just remember that this novel is a story of love, strong faith, troubles, perseverance, and the realities of life.  It is not a book you read to escape the trials of life.
Lynn Austin is a great storyteller, and I am sure many will enjoy this book and find comfort in its pages.  Because it does teach one very important lesson—no matter what anyone may endure in this life…God is always by your side.  He is an ever present help in times of trouble.  (Psalm 46:1)

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for my copy.

About The Book  

*Chicago socialite Anna Nicholson retreats to the Hotel Ottawa in Holland, Michigan, after breaking her engagement with her wealthy fiancĂ©.  Filled with questions about her newfound faith and trouble by a recurring nightmare, Ann finds solace in Derk Vander Veen, a seasoned hotle worker who place to go into the ministry.  

Prompted by a request from her son, Geesge de Jonge begins to sift through memories of emigrating form the Netherlands almost fifty years ago.  As she writes them down for the Semi-Centennial anniversary of the town's settlement, her story takes on the life of its own as she honestly and painfully recalls her regrets, doubts, hardships, and joys.  Her story captivated Derk, who sees similarities between Geesje and Anna, and wished to bring the two together.  

 *Synopsis is from the back cover of the novel. 

About The Author

Bestselling author Lynn Austin has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide.  She is an eight-time Christy Award winner for her historical novels, as well as a popular speaker at retreats and conventions.  Lynn and her husband have raised three children and live in Michigan.  

Learn more at:  www.lynnaustin.org 

No comments:

Post a Comment