The venture ahead could leave their friendship behind.
Made a safe-haven after the Civil War, Ironwood Plantation is a refuge of equality for former slaves. But twenty years and a new generation later, they have become an isolated community with little contact with the rest of the world.
Mercy Carpenter is everything the world thinks she shouldn’t be. Educated and adventurous, she longs to make a life for herself beyond the beautiful prison of Ironwood. When she secretly submits an article to the Boston Globe under a man’s name and receives an enthusiastic response and an offer for employment, she’s determined to take advantage of the opportunity. But she isn’t prepared for a startling world that won’t accept her color or her gender, and her ambitions soon land her in grave danger.
The privileged daughter of a plantation owner and an aspiring suffragette, Faith Harper is determined not to marry. Especially not her father’s opportunistic new business partner. She doesn’t want any man telling her what to do, least of all the annoyingly chivalrous Nolan Watson. But when Mercy goes missing, Faith will do anything to find her best friend, even if it means trusting a man she doesn’t understand. In a time where prejudices try to define them, Mercy and Faith must push the boundaries of their beliefs and trust in the God who holds the keys to freedom.
*Includes discussion questions
Don't miss these other titles from Bestselling Christian Historical author Stephenia H. McGee
Ironwood Plantation Family Saga
The Whistle Walk
Heir of Hope
The Liberator Series
Stand Alone Titles
In His Eyes
Eternity Between Us
The Heart of Home
Her Place in Time
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My Thoughts on Missing Mercy: What a neat novel! I love the Civil War time period but rarely delve much into the twenty-year period after. Missing Mercy is a great novel I recommend. I love the relationship between Mercy and Faith. Also, I like their names too. I love that the author is showing how there were two sides to the world back then. Not everyone was racist and considered the black and whites as two separate peoples. But rather some did and some didn’t see color at all but rather saw people for who they were inside. Great job of writing. I loved getting to know the characters and couldn’t wait to dive back into the book when I had to take a break. This was my first book to read by this author and now I know that I need to go back and read the first two books in this series because I’m not hooked! Time to reserve some books from the library or request them in. Ready for a good read that you can bury your nose in and only come up when done? This fits the bill. Better yet get the whole series and devour them one after the other! I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from Celebrate Lit. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.
Opening in Oakville, Mississippi in 1887, “Missing Mercy” draws readers into a fascinating world. I have not read anything quite like it before, particularly in a realistic setting, and I definitely want to go back and read the first two books in order to delve deeper into Ironwood! This utopic plantation serves as a safe place for former slaves to live among the white family who owns the land, and while idyllic, it is also notably insulated. As such, when Mercy Carpenter comes of age, she desires to venture into the outside world despite her parents’ objections. Her dream of becoming a journalist seems within reach after the “Boston Globe” offers her a job, not realizing that she is a woman or a Negro, but she is in for a rude and perilous awakening away from the confines of Ironwood. Her best friend, Faith Harper, tries unsuccessfully to warn her, but she also has her own struggles, with parents determined to see her married. In a time when women are expected to be docile homemakers, Faith kicks against the goads, preferring to read as much as she can and learn her father’s shipping business. Despite being white, she is not truly free, either. This novel examines a plethora of issues plaguing America in the wake of the Civil War and its aftermath. The utopia, of course, does not stem the aspirations of the generation born after the War. It is human nature to challenge authority figures, and I am reminded of the folly of youth and of the adults; in a manner of speaking, they are all talking but not listening to each other. Because there is no initial reconciliation between both viewpoints, people get hurt. Sadly this reflects the state of many of us who are Christians today, and the Church as a whole as well. Division becomes more frequent, when we should be focusing on unity. Within the novel, this division occurs on multiple levels, leading to disillusionment and danger. As Mercy discovers, the Northern sentiments toward people of color were often hostile despite their stance during the Civil War, a stark reminder that people are imperfect and that racism has deep roots. Only God can change a person’s heart, and as Mercy and Faith come to learn, we have to rely on Him for all things. Galatians 5:13-14 summarizes the central message of this book: “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Historical fiction readers, those interested in post-Reconstruction society and utopian communities, fans of stories with strong female protagonists, and anyone in search of a wonderful inspirational series will not want to miss out on “Missing Mercy” and the rest of the Ironwood Plantation Family Saga. There are discussion questions at the end of the book to facilitate book club conversations or private reflection. I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
I really enjoyed the story and found Mercy to be a person who has to overcome prejudice to survive. She has wanted to be a journalist and when a newspaper prints one of her stories she is thrilled. They offer her a job and on a whim she takes off to apply for the job in Boston. Mercy and Faith have grown up together and have become best friends. Even though they are different colors that has never stopped them from being friends. I was surprised that Mercy would not tell Faith of her plan to leave and pursue her dream. The story finds Mercy in trouble as she is shunned by the editor of the paper because she is a woman. I'm sure because she was not white probably had something to do with his rude attitude. The author delivers an exciting journey as Mercy finds herself in danger on the streets late at night. Will someone save her before it is too late? Can she survive on her own? The book is a time slip story that focuses mostly on the time period in 1887. I was so involved in Mercy and Faith's story, I forgot about the woman who found the journal that was from one of her ancestors. The author does bring us back to the present to tie up the story and gives a great ending. I enjoyed reading how strong both Mercy and Faith are and how important it was for them to have rights just like men had. The author provides us with a look at the past where prejudice was obvious and two women who were determined to fight for freedom and their friendship. Will Mercy find her dream job? Can Faith rescue her friend before she is lost forever? All these questions will be answered as you go back in time and witness God's protection, friendship and wonderful characters. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
‘For the one who feels plain, ordinary or forgotten - He has great plans for you, and His plans always prosper.’ This third book in the Ironwood Plantation Family series is my introduction to this wonderful set of stories. This one can easily stand alone, but I am certainly going to read the other two as well. A totally fascinating setup - a gated community if you will - Ironwood is a plantation where color is not seen. Faith, the owner’s daughter, and Mercy, the housekeeper’s daughter, are sisters from other mothers. They learn together, play together and have grown up together. The difference is that Faith can leave the compound, but Mercy is discouraged from doing so for safety reasons. Slavery may have been outlawed, but feelings still run very high in Mississippi in the 1880’s. What follows is an in depth look at what it was like for a young colored girl to step out on her own, braving a world she knows nothing about. Faith, who thinks she is worldly-wise, also finds out how little she really knows about the world outside Ironwood. Adventure, danger, a hurricane and much more keep the reader glued to the words of this page-turner! Many lessons are learned about themselves, but the most important one is that God has the future in His hands and they need to trust Him to follow through. I received a copy of this ebook through Vine Press and CelebrateLit. The impressions, comments and rating were in no way solicited.
“I have this impossible idea that God wants all his children to realize that what makes them different isn’t nearly as important as what makes them the same.” It always amazes me how historical fiction can be just as relevant today as the themes were at the times in which they were set. In Missing Mercy, we encounter racism (born of ignorance as well as hatred) and human trafficking – two things that are still prevalent in our world today. For all of our technological advancements, humankind doesn’t change all that much as far as our prejudices and sins, do we? If nothing else, Missing Mercy reminds us that ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ and ‘Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it’ .. and thereby challenges us to always be alert to how we can be used to change the current course. But that’s not all that Missing Mercy does – it also captivates readers with a beautifully written story of friendship, forgiveness, and the truest Love that pursues us through our faults and failures. It’s an adventure, a love story, a tear-jerker, and a smile-inducer. Mercy & Faith are strong heroines, due in part to their unusual upbringing at Ironwood Plantation – a community protected from racism and one which encourages female education and independence. Both young women are in for a rude awakening when they venture out into the world, and both must learn to lean into God and surrender to His plans for them. I loved both Faith and Mercy (and Nolan and Jed, too, for that matter) but oh how I wanted to shake both of them at various times throughout the book. Probably because I share similar traits with each one and heaven forbid fictional characters point out my own flaws LOL. During their separate character arcs in Missing Mercy, my heart alternately sank with dread and swelled with pride. One scene in particular, near the end, almost had me standing up and clapping (I refrained, because my husband was already asleep lol). And then there’s Hezzie – oh my heart, one of my fave fictional characters ever, I think. I wanted to pick her up and hug her more than once. At other times, I wanted to sit at her feet and just listen. She was adorable, intuitive, wise, and kind – and she just made me smile. Bottom Line: Missing Mercy by Stephenia H. McGee is simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking. While it’s the third book in this series, it can easily be read as a standalone. The theme of freedom – and where it’s truly found – manifests in various ways and through various characters, and its contribution to the story is well-written and pivotal. The layered plot keeps you firmly engaged from beginning to end, and the multi-dimensional characters capture your heart. Thought-provoking and entertaining, Missing Mercy is a must-read! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
'May twelfth, eighteen eight-seven. Mercy has gone missing.' These are the words found in a diary that relates what occurred in the lives of two young women in Oakville, Mississippi in 1887. Mercy Carpenter has decided to leave Ironwood Plantation to make a new life elsewhere. She has lived there and been safe at the plantation but she believes that there's so much more waiting outside of these boundaries. She's heard that there are wonderful opportunities in the North but she doesn't anticipate what she will encounter-- prejudices aren't just race related and there can also be prejudices about gender! What follows is a story of danger, uncertainty, and disappointment as Mercy leaves the plantation, Faith sets out to find the black woman who is more like a sister than a friend, and they both encounter unknown consequences. Ironwood Plantation was supposed to be a haven for freed slaves but instead, it had almost become a prison and Stephenia McGee paints a poignant picture with Faith's realization that 'Truth be told, Faith had thought little of the opportunites afforded to her, while at the same time expecting that Mercy should be grateful for a safe place and stay quietly at home.' This is the third book of the Ironwood Plantation Family Saga and McGee has created memorable characters and exciting events to conclude this series. The Civil War is one of my favorite eras and this novel is set twenty-two years after the end of the Civil War. It reaffirms what I've read before: that the end of the war wasn't the end of the hate and prejudice that had bound the United States for so long. This is a story of the search for freedom and for affirmation and it shares the universal need for hope, faith, and perseverance. There is also the possibility of romance for both Mercy and Faith but the real love story is the love between the two of them and this book reminds us once again that love isn't determined by blood ties or family relations. If you enjoy historical fiction and Christian romance you will certainly want to read Missing Mercy. I received an advanced reader copy of this book but a positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts.