Lynn Austin. Waves of Mercy. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2016.
As someone who lives in the great state of Michigan (I admit, I’m biased), I am always excited to find authors and books that are based in the state. Fortunately, Michigan-based Christian author, Lynn Austin, just released a wonderful book that takes place in Holland, a unique town in western Michigan.
Waves of Mercy tells the story of two women, separated by generations, who experience the joys and pitfalls of their faith. Anna Nicholson breaks up her engagement when her fiancé refused to allow her to attend a different church from their Chicago-based socialite crowd. Anna and her mother retreat to Hotel Ottawa, allowing them the chance to step away from social expectations and, instead, enjoy Lake Michigan and the unique town of Holland. At the hotel, Anna regularly encounters Derk Vander Veen, a young hotel worker who is studying for the ministry. As he learns more about Anna’s newfound faith and fears, he is reminded of his elderly neighbor, Geesje de Jorge. Geesje experienced her own challenges as a young woman immigrating from the Netherlands as part of the generation that established the town. When Anna must choose between returning to her fiancé or pursuing a different path, Geesje’s story becomes a beacon of hope in an ocean of uncertainty.
Ms. Austin writes a compelling story of faith over the generations, while painting a gorgeous picture of the western Michigan landscape. Fans of great Christian historical fiction will be absolutely thrilled with this riveting story and its exceptionally realistic characters.
Overall, I was absolutely fascinated by Waves of Mercy. Ms. Austin masterfully develops a storyline that draws together the narratives of two very different generations through the universal experiences of growing faith and love. As a huge fan of A Woman’s Place, I was very excited to see Ms. Austin once again combine the unique stories of such different characters, resulting in an incredible historical tale that functions independently of the classic romance plotlines. In addition, Ms. Austin’s focus on her home state of Michigan incorporates incredible historical and local details that remind fellow Michiganders of home, while revealing its hidden treasures to a national audience. Altogether, Waves of Mercy may be one of the year’s most impressive historical novels, as it sets itself apart in terms of historical research, compelling characters, and the exceptional quality of Ms. Austin’s writing.
Fans of Ms. Austin and her previous novels will absolutely want to read Waves of Mercy. Likewise, readers who enjoy excellent Christian historical fiction should definitely read this novel, as well as Ms. Austin’s other works.
Special thanks to Bethany House Publishers for the advanced copy of Waves of Mercy!
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