Monday, March 14, 2011

The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner - a review & giveaway (ends April 4th)

Okay, when I selected THE SHAPE OF MERCY by Susan Meissner to review, it was with a little bit of trepidation.  I read a short blurb about it and & to say the least I wasn't sure I would like the book.  Well, I'm here to tell you I was wrong.  I LOVED the book!  I have never read anything by Susan Meissner but you can be sure I will be reading more of her work.  She is definitely a gifted writer.

THE SHAPE OF MERCY is a contemporary story set in Santa Barbara & the Pacific Palisades in California.  But the story is stirred by a 300 year old diary that was written during the Salem witch trials.  The diary was written by Mercy Haworth, a young Puritan girl. and it was passed down through eight generations of Mercy's family and came into the care of Abigail Boyles. 

The story begins with Miss Boyles hiring a student, Lauren Durough, from UC Santa Barbara, to edit the diary for clarity and to transcribe it into a language more readable for modern audiences.  As Lauren works on transcribing the diary the reader is drawn into Mercy's world.  Ms. Meissner has written the diary portions so well that I felt like I was there, in Salem, as the Witch Trials were happening. 

This book is about three women, Mercy, Abigail and Lauren.  All of different eras yet drawn together because of a diary.  You experience their lives, loves and their love of God throughout the book.  I would highly recommend this book and would give it a 5 star rating.



     Leaving a life of privilege to strike out on her own, Lauren Durough breaks with her family's expectations and takes a part-time job from eighty-three-year-old librarian Abigail Boyles.  The mysterious employer asks Lauren to transcribe the journal entries of her ancestor Mercy Hayworth, a victim of the Salem witch trials.
     Immediately, Lauren finds herself drawn to this girl who lived and died four centuries ago.  As the fervor around the witch accusations increases, Mercy becomes trapped, unable to fight the overwhelming influence of snap judgments and superstitions.  Lauren realizes that the secrets of Mercy's story extend beyond the pages of her diary, living on in the mysterious, embittered Abigail.
     The strength of her affinity with Mercy forces Lauren to take a startling new look at her own life, including her relationships with Abigail, her college roommate, and a young man named Raul.  But on the way to the truth, will Lauren find herself playing the helpless defendant or the misguided judge?
     Can she break free from her own perceptions and see who she really is?

My copy of THE SHAPE OF MERCY was sent to me by Waterbrook Multomah for my honest opinion.

I would love to pass on my gently used copy of this book to one lucky reader.


1. Giveaway is open to US and Canada

2. No PO Boxes please

3. You MUST be a follower of my blog (please leave name you follow under in your comment)

4. Include an email address where I can reach you if you are selected as the winner of this giveaway. Please enter you email address in this format - name[at]yahoo[dot]com

To enter, please answer this question:  What is your favorite genre of books to read?

Giveaway will run through April 4th and a winner will be selected using

Smiles & Blessings,


  1. Thanks for this giveaway!
    My favorite genre is Christian historical fiction.
    I am a new GFC follower:)
    Charlotte Kay
    charlovesmark at gmail dot com

  2. Hi Cindy! My favorite genre has always been Christian historical fiction. Althouh... I've read two moder fiction this year and am finding I enjoy it as well. Might be switching! :)

    I am a new follower... Mary Ann.


    Thanks so much and God bless!

  3. I'm following you as either Kyle or Kyle Cheng, not sure which name appears.

    My email:

    I love reading fantasy or allegorical novels.

  4. I don't know if I have a favorite genre right now. I'm reading a historical romance, a romantic suspense, and a women's contemporary. I'm writing two different books right now, a mystery and a historical romance.

    I've read several other reviews of this book. I would love to win it.

    teaching by writing at yahoo dot com

  5. I have wanted to read a book by her also, I have several on my 'want to read list' but haven't yet. This would be a perfect one to start with. Also, I have just started a book club for our Women's Ministry, it's called "Page Turners". This would be a perfect monthly selection, if it's a page turner like you say it is!

  6. Hi Cindy! My name is Beth. I'd say my favorite genre is historical fiction (as long as it is clean), followed closely by fantasy. I enjoy fairy tales of all kinds. I read Christian fiction and historical fiction as well, my favorite authors being Liz Curtis Higgs and Siri Mitchell. Sorry, I got carried away as I always do when talking about books/reading. Thank you so much for this giveaway! I've been eyeballing this title for a while.


  7. Oh, and I follow under Beth Harbin.

  8. I really liked "The Shape of Mercy" when I read it. I would love to win a copy to call my own.
    I follow your blog as pmk56.
    My favorite genre is Christian fiction. Within that wide genre I enjoy historical, contemporary, suspense, and mysteries.