Saturday, October 29, 2016
Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin
I have liked Lynn's books, so I was happy to get this one. At first I thought I was going to be a bit disappointed as the book felt a little disjointed as it hopped back and forth between two people, both of which were written in first-person and then also one person's younger years. So it felt like three stories going on together. But in the end, it turned out to be one of the best fiction books I've read in awhile. I like a good chick flick, but sometimes I feel almost silly writing about them because I can feel shallow and silly for spending my time reading things like that. But I still read them because sometimes it's nice to just escape for awhile and get lost in a story that you know is all going to turn out good in the end. And yes, there is a whole line of thought about the horrors of reading what's called romance novels.
Anyway that doesn't have anything to do with this book. This book is good. This is not your happily ever after story. It does have it's that couldn't possibly ever happen in real life moments and yet you know how they say truth is stranger than fiction, so I think some of this could have happened in real life.
It's the story of a young wealthy woman, Anna, whose fiance broker their engagement because she went to a church he didn't approve of. She takes a vacation on Lake Michigan to deal with her heart break. There she meets a man, of course, who is studying to be a minister. She confides in him, he gives her a Bible and she spends a lot of time reading it. He, Derk, wants her to meet his "aunt" (she is the other half of the story both in her younger years and in her older years, both stories are told). Eventually an amazing discovery is made that I will not disclose here.
Now what you all were thinking I was going to say too is that Derk and Anna fell in love and got married, but I'm not going to say that. They did fall in love, but they parted ways. The book ends in a very disturbing place because there are so many questions. The "aunt" tells Anna that she needs to go back to her wealthy life in Chicago. There is a purpose, a reason that she was placed there. The relationship between Anna and her fiance had been patched up, mainly for the sake of her father's business, but she has committed. Anna wonders if she will ever learn to love him and aunt Geesje says this and I think it's so good. "That's up to you. It means making a decision to love him day after day, one loving act at a time. Love is a very powerful emotion, Anneke, but it's also a decision--one you can choose to make." She goes on to talk about the good that Anna could do for the poor in Chicago. But I like that part about love is a choice and it requires effort. It does sometimes even if you are married to the best man ever. I think this also applies to other relationships as well.
There were a few other things that stood out to me in this book. I don't think I can take the time to list them all, so maybe one more.
"'When my parents were gone and God was all I had,' I said, 'I discovered that He is enough. I survived malarial fever, so I knew He must have a purpose for me on this earth even though I couldn't see it. I kept moving forward, one tiny step at a time, clinging to Him in faith. And isn't that the definition of faith--moving forward through the darkness, clinging to God?'"
I like that, just moving forward clinging to God even though we can't see what is going on all around us.
In case you can't tell, I really, really enjoyed this book. Geesje didn't have perfect faith, she struggled, she made some decisions she regretted for years, but she, through her many hardships and griefs, had continued to move forward clinging to God's hand. That is what I want to do.
This book was given to me by Bethany House. I am privileged to write a review giving my honest opinion about the book.
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