Book Reviews

The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner

We all come face to face with judgment . . . either judging or being judged. We all have to own our snap and unfair judgments about others and must accept that we will be judged and misunderstood from time to time in life. The Shape of Mercy unravels the layers of judgment that easily entangle us. 

The main character, Lauren Durroughs, must learn a tough lesson in misguided judgment while learning to accept who she is and who she was born to be. The Shape of Mercy is layered with life and time. While Lauren transcribes the 400 year old diary of Mercy Hayworth, a girl convicted of being a witch in Salem, MA in 1692 and suffered the harsh judgment of her own day, she must learn to trust without question Abigail Boyles, the owner of the precious diary and elderly woman who hired her to do the transcription.

Full of life and history, this story entwines the lives of three women, Mercy, Lauren and Abigail. One from the past who still has much to teach us -- one whose life is coming to its end but still has a life she needs to learn to live -- and, Lauren, whose life is ahead of her and must learn how to live it well.
The Shape of Mercy is a wonderful work of historical fiction combined with modern day drama and life lessons. I loved the book and found myself and snippets of my own life in each of the character's lives as they worked through their own questions and difficult situations. If you like traces of God's handiwork, historical truth, a little mystery, self reflection and clean reading in your novels, then I highly recommend The Shape of Mercy.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

God's Promises Devotional Journal

A Devotional Journal for everyone, this book promises little gems of truth for the day to day life. 

This journal is filled some of the best thoughts from some of the greatest Christian minds of our day.  Catherine Marshall, Max Lucado, Billy Graham, David Jeremiah, just to name a few.  Every time I pick this journal up I'm nourished with a little nugget of truth.  There are 365 days of scripture verses, profound statements to chew, a reflective question and a lined space to write your own thoughts.  It's the whole package.  One of the things I love the most about it is that it's great for the busy life.  Each day presents you with just a verse and a thought.  It's not too deep or too much to digest in a couple of minutes.  Sometimes we need an entire meal, but sometimes we need just need a bite.  Here's a great example of what this little treasure holds:

"This is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith."  (1 John 5:4) 
"There is a difference between acceptance and resignation.  Resignation is barren of faith in the love of God.  It says, 'Grievous circumstances have come to me.  There is no escaping them.'  Acceptance says, 'I trust the goodwill, the love of my God.  I'll open my arms and my understanding to what He has allowed to come to me.'  Thus acceptance leaves the door of hope wide open to God's creative plan."  ~Catherine Marshall (Moments that Matter)

The cover is attractive with muted shades of green leaves.  It's smallish and easy to carry with you wherever you go.  The ONLY complaint I have is that the text inside is green.  It feels a little hard to see and read.  I would like it better if the text was a nice charcoal gray instead -- a little darker, but not black.  This books would make a nice little gift for someone.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”