Lynn Austin’s Waves of Mercy

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Waves of Mercy is the latest installment by the renowned Christian author Lynn Austin. While certainly not her best novel, it does bring a new element to Christian fiction that is not usually seen. This novel explores the deep corners of one’s mind, the memories that we cannot explain, nor forget. Keeping with her traditional historical romance genre, Austin attempts to add a few twists and turns to her per-usual plot-line, and partially succeeds. Other reviews of this book disliked the amount of tragedy that one of the main characters experienced, alluding that Austin was a bit melodramatic in this novel. Yet another reviewer commented that he thought this book was similar to another of her books, indicating that she reused a past plotline, except with new characters. I don’t think that Austin was melodramatic in this novel, I think that she provided a realistic depiction of how hard life was for early American settlers. While she could have been a bit more original with her plotline, I appreciated that she was trying to draw in younger audiences by using a slightly different writing style in this book. Waves of Mercy deals with subjects such a hardship, death, tragic occurrences, grief, loss, bitterness, lost souls, secrets, anger, forgiveness, salvation, and adoptive families. The opening chapters of the novel introduce the reader to the three main characters, a young woman named Anna Nicholson, an old woman named Geesje de Jonge, and Geesje’s “nephew” Derk Vander Veen. Anna Nicholson is a young woman haunted by nightmares and suppressed memories. For as long as she can remember the same nightmare has haunted her dreams, especially during times of stress and anxiety. When she was a child her parents could explain it away, but now Anna is an adult, and she still suffers at the hands of her own mind. Anna has perfect life on the surface, rich parents, a pampered lifestyle, the perfect fiance, and an upcoming wedding that many girls can only dream of. However, there is a pesky little voice whispering in her ear that all is not right. Anna wonders why she feels so empty and alone, and goes searching for the answer. She finds love and acceptance at what she calls the “castle church”, a place very different from the cold, indifferent walls of her family’s church. However, her fiance does not approve of the Jesus that this church preaches, and forbids her to return if she expects to marry him. Confused and hurt, Anna journeys with her mother to Michigan for a time of rest and regrouping. Geesje de Jonge is an old woman who has seen and been through more in her lifetime that any human being should be expected to endure. Through it all, the mistakes, the wrong choices, and the insurmountable grief, Geesje has managed to hold onto the one thing that is stable in her unstable life, her faith in Jesus Christ. Derk Vander Veen is a young, aspiring minister who has just broken up with his fiance because she¬†disapproved of his chosen profession. He finds comfort and encouragement in the loving arms and endless cookies supplied by his beloved Aunt Geesje. Learning of her own difficult experience with life and love, he encourages Geesje to write down her experiences so that he can read them and learn from her mistakes. Reluctant at first, Geesje begins to write, and finds both release and healing in letting go of the weight of the past. The end of the novel draws these three characters together in an unexpected way, making the novel as a whole more interesting. To find out the exciting conclusion….read the book!;) I think that Waves of Mercy would make a great Christian film in the right hands. With a little editing and some creativity, this novel could go places as a film. Then again, all the books that I have reviewed thus far would be great Christian movies….if someone would recognize them…..:)


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