Shades of Mercy

Shades of Mercy

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It’s 1954 and the world is about to change—including the far Northwoods of Maine. But that change can’t happen soon enough for fourteen-year-old Mercy Millar. Long tired of standing in as the “son” her father never had, Mercy’s ready for the world to embrace her as the young woman she is—as well as embrace the forbidden love she feels.

When childhood playmates grow up and fall in love, the whole community celebrates. But in the case of Mercy and Mick, there would be no celebration. Instead, their relationship must stay hidden. Good girls do not date young men from the Maliseet tribe, at least not in Watsonville, Maine. When racial tensions escalate and Mick is thrown in jail under suspicion of murder, Mercy nearly loses all hope—in love, in her father, and in God Himself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802409683
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Publication date: 09/01/2013
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

ANITA LUSTREA is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, a seasoned radio veteran, and co-host of Moody Broadcasting¿s Midday Connection ( She is the co-author of Daily Seeds from Women who Walk in Faith, Come to Our Table: A Midday Connection Cookbook, and author of What Women Tell Me. Anita lives in the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois with her husband, Mike, and their son. Check out Anita¿s website for more information

CARYN DAHLSTRAND RIVADENEIRA is a writer, speaker, and works on the worship staff at Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church. She¿s the author of Known and Loved: 52 Devotions from the Psalms (Revell, 2013), Grumble Hallelujah: Learning to Love Life When It Lets You Down (Tyndale House, 2011) and Mama¿s Got a Fake I.D.: How to Reveal the Real You Behind All that Mom (Waterbrook, 2009), as well as hundreds of blog posts and magazine articles. Caryn is a regular contributor to Christianity Today¿s Her.Meneutics and to Re:Frame Media¿s Think Christian. Her work also regularly appears in Relevant and FullFill, along with several other media outlets.Caryn lives outside of Chicago with her husband, three kids and one pit bull. Visit her at Find her on Facebook at ( and on Twitter @CarynRivadeneir

Read an Excerpt


A Maine Chronicle

By Anita Lustrea, Caryn Rivadeneira, Pam Pugh

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2013 Anita Lustrea and Caryn Rivadeneira
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8024-0968-3


Early June 1954

I shoved The Catcher in the Rye between the mattress and box spring when I heard Mother yell up the stairs, although I probably needn't have. When I asked Mother for money to buy the book, she made it clear that it wasn't one Mr. Pop would condone. But she gave me the money anyway.

I figured a book tucked below the mattress, hidden by a stack of quilts and under a layer of ruffles, was one Mr. Pop would not find. And, therefore, could not disapprove of my reading.

"Mercy," Mother called again more insistently, this time from the landing, halfway up our staircase.

I cracked the door open—enough to poke my head out and let the cat in—never letting go of the glass knob. "Be right down."

"Please hurry. You need to get something in you. Your father wants you to go get Ansley and Mick."

I couldn't hide my smile.

My mother smiled back, shook her head, and waved her dishrag in the air. I watched her walk back down the stairs. Watched her graceful hand, still lovely after all that hard work, as it glided along the polished oak banister.

I closed the door and leaned for a moment against its dark panels. My smile spread wider across my face. Plenty of fifteen-year-olds would've balked at the idea of a drive into town, to where Ansley and Mick and all the Maliseet lived in the Flats, built over trash in our town dump. But not me. I'd go anywhere, do anything to be with Mick.

Though, of course, Mr. Pop didn't know this. He couldn't know this.

To him, sending me—"You're as good as any son, Mercy"—was simply prudent. I was a good driver, able to navigate the long road into town in any weather. And I was fearless. Unafraid of pounding on the plywood doors of the Flats, unafraid of pushing them open, stepping over and between bodies that huddled together or crisscrossed on the cold floors. Unafraid of clapping my hands, of announcing myself, even of shaking Ansley, Francis, Newell, and Clarence awake if I had to.

I suppose I should've been afraid, should've been more aware of the dangers that a teenaged girl stepping into a shack full of passed-out men might have presented. But these men wanted work, needed work. My presence was their manna. My knowledge of that kept me safe. Well, that and knowing Mick made these rounds with me.

I slid my nightgown off my shoulders and grabbed my shirt and blue jeans from the back of my desk chair. My flannel sleeve slid across the top of my desk and Lickers leapt toward it. She pinned the sleeve like she had a mouse's tail. Her claws dug into the slick-stained wood and dragged back.

"Lickers! No!" I swept my arm across the desk. Lickers leapt with a meow. No.

I ran my finger over the scratch and shook my head, tried not to cry as I thought back to what it took to get this. All last harvest, I'd worked for this desk. And even before with all the rock picking, clearing the fields of rock so the plows could ready the ground. Then I'd spent so many hours, days, weeks bent and sore picking potatoes out of the hard, dry earth. Filling the basket, emptying it into the barrel, filling the basket, emptying it into the barrel. On and on. The repetition might have made me lose my mind were it not for our farmhands Bud Drake and Ellery Burt and their encouraging banter.

But besides the long, hard hours, I got tired of being alone. Even though I was with a crew, no one else filled my barrels. When encouraging words failed to do the job, Bud's comments turned harsher toward us: "You're too far behind." "Your barrel isn't full enough." "Don't forget to put a ticket on your barrel when it's full."

You'd think we'd never done this before the way he nagged. Then again, Bud was only trying to please Mr. Pop. As was I.

Plus, I was focused on a goal: my new desk. So I put up with nagging and hard work and then the waiting—through the end of last October and first half of November—for the Sears truck to deliver this next piece of furniture to the farm. The one I'd longed for more than even the dresser or the bed, which I'd worked for the previous harvest.

The desk represented so much of what I'd wanted. A space to keep my pens, my journals, my books, and my sketch pads. And the mirror above it—the place I could sit and not only feel like me—the real me—but also see me: the young (was I also smart? Maybe even pretty?) woman looking back at me in that mirror. Instead of the sturdy farmhand Mr. Pop apparently saw.

So once again, I looked in that mirror and took a deep breath. Now wasn't the time to cry about a silly scratch. Not with Mother waiting to fill me with biscuits and eggs and fresh milk. Not with Mr. Pop waiting for me to bring back his workers. Not with Mick waiting just for me.

I put arms through sleeves and legs through pants. Pulled my hair back into a ponytail and gave Lickers a final glare. She licked her leg. She never noticed me.

* * *

"Morning, Mercy," Bud said, scraping his fork against the plate. "Truck's all gassed up and ready for you."

"Thanks. And morning to you both." I latched my hand around the porch post and swung a bit as I balanced on the top step, like I did every morning when I stopped to talk to Bud and Ellery, farmhands so trusted they were like family. Family that ate on the porch, that is.

I turned and raised an eyebrow at Ellery, wondering if his standard reply to Bud's greeting, usually some silly adage passed down through five generations of solid Maine stock, would make sense this morning.

"When all is said and done, Miss Mercy, don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya."

Ellery shoved another biscuit into his mouth, and I laughed. This old chestnut even got a snicker out of Mr. Pop.

"So, Ellery, Mother put the last of last night's cheddar in those eggs this morning. What'd you think of it?"

Publicly, he'd eat anything. But privately, this man with the joke had quite the sophisticated palate. Sure, he'd eat anything. But knew what he liked.

"Wicked good," he said. "Butcha know, that creamy Kraft cheese melts smoother than the cheddar. Wonder if she might try that sometime."

I shrugged. Ellery slurped his milk and continued: "Hey, watcha think of them wax cartons they're puttin' the milk in these days? I want the glass bottles back. This'll be a fad, you just wait."

"I'll mention it to her next time she places her order with Mr. Callahan," I said. "You should've been a chef, Ellery. Could've been the new chef at Nelson's. I hear they're hiring."

"Nah," said Ellery, "I'd've missed all this."

I followed his arm as he waved it out across the farm. This place was beautiful. Not just the house and the porch that Mother had made so lovely and welcoming, with tidy and warm places for anyone and everyone to sit and feel at home. But the land. It wasn't an easy land to farm, with its hard-packed rocky soil and short growing season, but Mr. Pop always reminded us that it was the best. It was the very hardness of this place that made it so amazing, he said. The blessings of this place came right out of its trials.

Mother pushed open the screen door. "Mercy, honestly. Have you still not gone? Stop bothering Bud and Ellery and get on your way."

"She's no bother, ma'am," Ellery said and winked at me. "We're just talking about your delicious eggs."

Mother smiled, lowered her eyes, and stepped back inside. She let the screen door slap closed behind her.

"I'll see you in a bit then," I said and hopped down the stairs, landing hard on my sneakers. "Wait. Mr. Pop said to ask you where you'll be when I get back with the Maliseet workers."

"Oh, I suppose the three-acre field would be best to drop them off. If you manage more than five of them this morning, bring half down back and the others to the three acres, off the back road."

"All right. See you when I get back. Want me to feed the chickens and let the pigs out into their pen after that?"

"No, I'll send Bud out to tend to the animals this morning."

Mr. Pop loved his animals. He might act annoyed with Lickers, but he loved seeing her pounce on mice in the shed or in the barn. And the pigs, well, we only had four, but he had them named before they'd been in the pen ten minutes. There was Gracie, after the beautiful and elegant movie star Grace Kelly, then Dorothy, named after Uncle Roger's wife, Dot. I'm not sure how I'd feel having a pig named after me. Aunt Dot just laughed. I guess Mr. Pop knew she'd respond that way. Then there was Gertrude. Mr. Pop never said, but I always believed she was named after the most annoying woman on our party line, Mrs. Garritson. If you ever needed to place a call, you were almost guaranteed to be thwarted by Mrs. Garritson yapping on the phone. George rounded out the pigs, and no one knows where that name came from. Mr. Pop just pointed out that "He looks like a George!"

We had twenty laying hens that we simply referred to as the "girls." Keep the girls fed, safe, and happy, and you'll always have plenty of eggs. That's what Mr. Pop said.

He always treated his farm animals well. They had names, a good place to live, and good food to nourish them. We all knew they'd be food on our table one day, and he wasn't afraid to slaughter them, but he treated them with dignity and respect all of their living days. I can't tell you how many times I heard Mr. Pop say, "Beware the farmer who treats his animals poorly. You could probably make a case that he doesn't treat his family all that well either."

* * *

The truck rumbled past the buttercups and clover down low on the roadside and the devil's paintbrushes and lupine in little patches here and there. I never tired of driving into town alone. It gave me time to think. Going the main road meant I could keep the windows wide-open and catch the breeze. The main road was one of the few paved ways to get into town. There was great beauty in the back way, either the Ridge Road or the Border Road, but the dust from the gravel made you close the cab up tight. Today I enjoyed the wind in my hair.

Mr. Pop had taught me to drive when I was eleven—four years before. It was standard practice for fathers to teach their sons to drive at that age or even younger. Teaching daughters was something of an anomaly. I'm sure plenty of the folks in town—and even on the surrounding farms—raised their eyebrows a bit when they first saw me at the wheel, bouncing and lurching down the back farm road as I learned to work the clutch on the old Ford potato truck. Who knows what they must've thought hearing those grinding gears halfway into town, watching me slide around corners in the muddy buildup at the end of the potato rows. However, the people of Watsonville, Maine, were plenty used to Mr. Pop telling them I was as "good as any son—if not better" and had been used to seeing me raised as the son he never had.

And certainly by now the sight of me, Paul's daughter, in that old potato truck was a regular one. I waved at Pastor Murphy and Mrs. Brown chatting in front of Fulton's on Main Street, knowing that the place I was headed, and what I was off to do, still offered plenty of fodder for gossip.

It had become clear enough by last summer when I was fourteen that I was no son. And that Mr. Pop still sent me and my "budding womanhood," Mother called it, to round up his Indian workers left many people shaking their heads and clucking their tongues.

If it had been any other father besides Paul Millar sending his daughter, it'd have been an uncontainable scandal, boiling over the entire town, through the farms, into the logging camps, and even across the border into New Brunswick. It'd happened with other stories.

But Paul Millar was a trusted, esteemed man. A true man of God and of honor. Although many folks questioned his decisions regarding me and the people he chose to hire, no one could question his heart and his mind. He was a good man. And everybody knew it. Everybody liked him.

Which meant that when Mother took me shopping in town—stepping into Fishman's and Woolworth's, our favorites for a chocolate soda and to look at magazines, pens, and diaries, or into the Chain Apparel and Boston Shoe Store for school clothes and shoes or browsing the beautiful dresses in Woodson's that sometimes made Mother tear up as she rubbed her fingers against the fabrics—no one dared ask the questions they were desperate to. When we stopped into the IGA Grocery Store, Miss Maude's checkout line would grow uncharacteristically quiet. She may have started her gossip about us the moment the bells jingled behind us, but at least she didn't pry for information. Not the way she did with other people.

* * *

I slowed the truck.

"Molly! Molly Carmichael!" I yelled and waved out the truck window. But Molly just grimaced and waved me on. I stopped the truck midstreet to watch her kick off into a run. I hadn't gotten a chance to talk to Molly much since school let out a few weeks ago. And I missed that. Molly was the only one I could talk to about Mick, the only one who understood. Molly's older sister Marjorie and Glenn Socoby had been seeing each other on the sly since last Easter. Glenn was a Maliseet, like Mick. I was tempted to turn the truck to follow her, find out what was up, but Mr. Pop would've had my hide. I'd have to catch her another time. Mick, Ansley, and the others were waiting.

The truck croaked and lurched forward, causing heads to turn again on Main Street. But I kept my eyes on what lay ahead: the stately Second Baptist Church. I always wished we went there. Not just because our friends the Carmichaels were members, but because of its ivory steeple cutting into Maine skies, its creamy columns standing firm in front of scrubbed-each-summer clay bricks, and its English-born-and-bred preacher, Second Baptist breathed sophistication. Even though my family's First Baptist had beaten Second Baptist to the punch years ago and won the Baptist Church Naming War, somehow our little country church, tucked back among potato fields, seemed like the loser.

Especially since Second Baptist got its new sign—the one Ellery called a "braggin' sign." Today it read: "Sunday at 9 a.m. Love Thy Neighbor." I'd have to tell Mr. Pop this one. I knew what he'd say: "Better we love our neighbors all the time, Mercy. Not just nine o'clock on Sundays."


The stench of rot and decay and animal waste hit before the sight of it.

But whenever the Flats came into view—after that bend just past town, after the buildings give way once again to the pines—the smell made sense. Because it isn't just the dump itself but the years of that putrid smell that clung to shack walls, if you call corrugated cardboard or tin (with tar paper stapled to it) walls. That gag-inducing odor steeped deep into old sofas and sunk down into chewed-through mattresses.

This is how and where Mick and the rest of the Maliseet lived. This is where our town had relegated them. But the proud Maliseet tried not to focus on the trash and the ugly; instead they set their eyes on the surrounding beauty. After all, here the rolling brook hugged the country road and sparkled as it ran over rocks and rapids. High white birch and tall pines peppered the landscape across and behind the dump. In fact, in many ways the mound of trash itself blended in. Were it not for the shacks, the rectangles of gray—the soiled mattresses that the Maliseet slept on under open sky—the stray, jutting bits of broken chairs, and piles of tin cans and cereal boxes that the people of Watsonville drove out and piled onto the heap every Saturday, one could be hard-pressed to distinguish this hill from the other ones that rolled their way out of town.

Mr. Pop had taught me to stay vigilant for the dangers that lurked along this inviting gravel-covered road: moose, deer, and bear could wander out at any moment. But as I drove out this day, the words of Second Baptist's braggin' sign reminded me of another danger Mr. Pop often warned me of. "Be careful," he would say, "when people fail to treat one another with dignity."

I hadn't always understood when he said this, but as I parked the truck at the base of the dump, a chill ran through me, suddenly understanding. I'd always figured the black bears that sniffed and poked around through the trash were the greatest danger here. Perhaps I was wrong.

"Hey! Hurry up!"

I jumped at the knock at the truck window. Mick.

"Come on. Before everyone's up," Mick jimmied the handle and opened the door for me, grabbing my hand as I stepped out. "Over here."

He looked around and pulled me toward a pair of smoke-streaked yellow cellar doors.

"Old Man Stringer dropped 'em off yesterday," Mick said. "He was too drunk to haul them up all the way. But wanted us to have 'em. 'They sure don't work for my shack, so I thought maybe they'd work for yours; Old Man told me."

Excerpted from SHADES OF MERCY by Anita Lustrea, Caryn Rivadeneira, Pam Pugh. Copyright © 2013 Anita Lustrea and Caryn Rivadeneira. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Remembering....................     9     

Part 1: "When you've been given much, much is expected"....................     11     

Part 2: "But what doth the Lord require of thee?"....................     89     

Part 3: "I am with you"....................     203     

Epilogue....................     255     

The Maliseet Today....................     257     

Acknowledgments....................     259     

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

 “Shades of Mercy transports you back to a simpler time, idyllic Maine back­drops, and all the complications of racial tension and forbidden love. You’ll cheer for the heroine and fall in love with the hero—a perfect recipe for a sweet, enduring read.”

—Mary DeMuth, speaker and author of The Muir House

“A glorious coming-of-age tale that captures the scenic beauty of Maine as well as the ugly underbelly of racism. I felt transported but saw a mirror of our cur­rent day. You will adore this tenderly told love story—a love story expressed on many different levels.”

—Chris Fabry, bestselling author and radio personality

“The human dynamics in a small town American community with a racially diverse population can be challenging. Some people walk with blinders on; others turn a cheek to the problem of social injustice. . . . Racism is often not easily identifiable or understood. Shades of Mercy highlights problems of the past that in some cases still exist, but also presents hope for a better future of understanding.”

—Brian Reynolds, Tribal Administrator, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians

“Through the vivid lens of two lives set in small-town America, Anita and Caryn capture the heart of one of our biggest pieces of unfinished business: our relationship with First peoples. Anita and Caryn create with pitch-perfect detail the struggles and triumphs of the Maliseet people caught in a world of bigotry, suspicion, and ignorance—and just enough nobility to keep hope alive. A book that both instructs and entertains, but above all inspires.”

—Mark Buchanan, author of Your Church Is Too Safe

Shades of Mercy is a re-creation of small town America complete with its warmth and innocence and a frothy brew of secrets. Tough moral and spiritual questions are faced head-on in this sweet tale of love and friendship.”

—Donna VanLiere, NY Times bestselling author of The Good Dream

“With an intimate, engaging voice, a budding young woman named Mercy extends compassion for the vestiges of the once proud Maine Maliseet, a Native American tribe short on resources yet long on wisdom and appreciation for beauty. A heartwarming taleof the real meaning of grace—that stays with you. We need more stories about the intersection of Christianity and Native Americans, and this one is dignified and wonderful.”

—Linda S. Clare, author of The Fence My Father Built and A Sky without Stars

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Shades of Mercy 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
A powerful story with a message for today... Shades of Mercy    By Anita Lustrea    and Caryn Rivadeneira    Shades of Mercy is a story that looks at the fears and prejudices that have been (and still are) prevalent in our country.  Set in the Northwoods of Maine in 1954, the Maliseet people are the focus of this distrust.   It is this world that Mercy Millar is looking back on.  A world in which she loves a man whom she shouldn't. But Mercy plans to someday leave this world behind and to acknowledge the love she and Mick have for one another. But when racial tensions escalate and Mick is accused of a crime Mercy knows he is incapable of committing, prayer seems to be her only hope.  But when the area faces a natural disaster an act of mercy and compassion may bring about the changes Mercy has been hoping for. Shades of Mercy looks back on a period of unrest and change in our country and the power of love when it extends to all of our neighbors not just those who look like us. I was provided a copy of this book through BookFun/TBCN in exchange for my honest review.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
This sweet coming-of-age story takes place in Watsonville, Maine, during the racial tensions and intolerance of the early 1950s. Young teen, Mercy Miller must keep her love for Mick, a Maliseet Native American, a secret. Underlying tensions between the townsfolk and the Indian tribes have escalated, and something must come to a head soon. This book showcases inhumanity, inequality, prejudice and segregation, as well as love, resolve, mercy, and triumph.  An evocative, moving, enlightening read.   Cover: Like Title: Love Publisher: Moody Publisher Pages: 272 Pace: Steady First Lines (Chapter 1): I shoved The Catcher in the Rye between the mattress and box spring when I heard Mother yell up the stairs, although I probably needn’t have. When I asked Mother for money to buy the book, she made it clear that it wasn’t one Mr. Pop would condone. But she gave me the money anyway. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from Moody Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The options I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
Its_Time_Mamaw More than 1 year ago
A Maine Chronicle Mercy is blessed to live on a farm with her parents. The land is fertile for the many vegetables growing on this farm. Mercy's family welcome the Maliseets in fact Mercy has secretly loved a Maliseet boy since childhood. They hire the Maliseets of Maine's Northwoods. The Maliseets are living in shanties on a garbage dump and suffer from the racial tensions that are out of control among many of the locals. Things come to a head when a natural disaster occurs. God has a plan and it takes this disaster to get his plan into motion. This story brought out that there are many faces in racism and how past hurts and grievances can grow into evil actions and attitudes. The authors write about how God uses his children to defend his children of oppression. Will racism always be with us? If we have ignorant people I guess it will continue. The characters of Mercy and her parents were amazing in that they were vital instruments in God's plan to help the Maliseet.  I highly recommend this book. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers/River North for an honest review.
SandrasBookNook More than 1 year ago
Shades of Mercy is a sweet coming of age story dealing with young love and racial prejudice. The love story is fairly sweet, though somewhat troublesome as there seemed to be little oversight of Mercy leading to her sneaking off to be with Mick whenever she could. The racial prejudice was dealt with honestly which is sometimes painful to read. As someone who has always been taught to judge someone by their actions and not their race or skin tone, it can be hard to read how very nasty people can be to those who do not share their own race. It is truth, however, and therefore a necessary part of the book. That being said, I had a hard time engaging with the characters. I found myself putting to book down in the slower sections (of which there were many), and had to force myself to pick it back up and read some more so I could review it. That definitely dropped my rating for it. If you want a simple, and sometimes slow story of young love coupled with racism, then check this book out. You might love it. I received a copy of this book from River North Publishing for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
This book has been described as a sweet coming-of-age story and I would wholeheartedly agree with that. The two main characters, Mercy and Mick, are young teenagers and they are in love. The problem is that society frowns upon the relationship.  The timeframe is the mid 50s during the era of Brown vs The Board of Education. While things are changing in other parts of the country, the deep seeded prejudice that grips the small town of Watsonville, Maine is alive and well. Mercy is the daughter of a well respected area farmer but Mick is from the disparaged Maliseet tribe. In the eyes of most in the town the two classes do not mix. In a very gentle way the story of the area's history is revealed. We are allowed to see how a tiny seed of bitterness and resentment can blossom into a tree full of anger and revenge. Shades of Mercy shows the best and the worst of how we as humans treat each other. We get to cheer when a group of people begin to rally to change what is wrong even when it seems impossible. I was completely enraptured with the characters and the scenarios that were presented in the novel. Anita and Caryn really captured the dynamics of a small town. I don't know that there will be a sequel, but I sure hope so. The story does come to a conclusion, but there are still areas that I would love to see resolved. I want to know more about these fabulous characters that have taken up residence in my heart. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
CharityU-Austenite More than 1 year ago
A good book, and as good as I had hoped it would be. It’s about the conflict between the whites and the Indians in Maine – I had no idea they had this kind of tension there in the 1950s! This book provided a fascinating look at some complicated situations that seemed true to life. It’s a growing up story about a young girl of 16 and her Indian boyfriend. The book was full of good writing, and had an excellent story – I would read more, either in this series or by these authors. I especially loved the description of a food pantry in Mercy’s house – it reminded me of the luscious food descriptions in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, Farmer Boy. I’m a sucker for food descriptions. ;) But this was a heartwarming and sweet story! **RiverNorth asked me to review this and provided my copy, along with others for giveaway. I wasn’t required to review it positively, nor was I recompensed in any other way for my review.**
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
This is a tale of Mercy who lived during 1954 and who is in a secret relationship with her Maliseet beau Mick. She lives with her parents on a farm, and her father hires the Maliseet to help him work it. The Maliseet are living below poverty level as they make their homes at the local garbage dump. Mick tries to rise above all that and dreams of a life of college and a marriage with Mercy. All of this comes to a crashing halt as one Maliseet dares to run away with the love of his life, a prominent shop keeper's daughter. Now the whole town is on edge, past secrets come to the surface, and allegations are made which can destroy Mick and Mercy's future happiness. This story is told from Mercy's perspective and we follow along with her as she holds on to true love, learns some valuable lessons, and sees the strength of her father and mother's faith as well. I looked forward to reading more of Mick and Mercy's story in the next book. I received this book from The Book Club Network, Inc. for my honest opinion.
ShareeS More than 1 year ago
Shades of Mercy is a great story. Although it’s never easy to read about prejudice, the story was done in such a way as to bring light to the subject and truth to the problem. I really enjoyed this book and found it to be a page turner. The characters are not only realistic, they demonstrate admirable Christian behavior throughout the book. The issues in the story revealed a part of history that I had not known about previously. It is easy to feel sorry for the “less than people” while sitting in a warm house with a full belly. The town of Watsonville has tucked away the Maliseet Indians in the town dump and called it normal. But when their love is forbidden, Marjorie, a white girl from Watsonville and Glenn, a Maliseet Indian, run away to New York to begin their new life together. This causes not only anger in their families, but dissension in the whole town. Divided about what relationships are appropriate, the racial tensions in the town that remained hidden for too long, begin to surface. The long standing friendship and budding relationship between Mercy and Mick is tested and tried. They are forced to reckon with whether their love is strong enough to cross and survive racial and socio economic barriers. Mercy is witness to her parent’s incredible faith and love walk as they support Mick when he’s accused of a crime he did not commit. God’s mercy is demonstrated both in tragedy and in truth. I received this book from the Book Club Network and River North publishers in exchange for my honest opinion. Shades of Mercy is an excellent read and I highly recommend it. I look forward to the next book in the series.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
This is an incredibly well written novel. I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion. Mercy Millar works hard to help her father on his potato farm in Watsonville, Maine. She also dreams of someday having him see her as the young woman she is, not as the son he never had. She also dreams of someday being able to move her relationship with her boyfriend Mick out from the shadows. The barrier to their being open about their attraction to each other is that Mick is a Maliseet Indian. There is a huge amount of racial tension between the white people of Watsonville and the Maliseet tribe of Maine’s Northwoods during the summer of 1954. Then suddenly disaster strikes, even though it looks surprisingly like the grace of God. I was caught up in this book from the very beginning. I wanted to see how Mercy and Mick would be able to navigate the rocky road of racial strife. I had heard much of the way African Americans had been treated. But I had never really heard about the harsh treatment of Native Americans other than through school history books. This book is an eye opening look at the living conditions that many of them were forced to live in, even as recently as the middle of the 20th century. My heart ached for them as I rooted for them to rise above the conditions and the way they were treated. This story is so well crafted and the descriptions are so clear that I can totally see the picture painted by the authors. I would love to see this made into a movie.
inspiremichelle More than 1 year ago
Shades of Mercy, a Maine Chronicle by Anita Lustrea and Caryn Rivadeneira This is a great story of discrimination and the resulting hurt it causes. Shades of Mercy is set in 1954, in a farming community in Maine. Mercy lives on a potato farm with her parents. As a child growing up she has always played and went to school with children from the local Maliseet Indian tribe. Her father, Mr. Pop hires men from the tribe to work on the farm. It was okay to have the Indians as playmate but nothing more. As Mercy grows and becomes a teenager her feeling for Mick her playmate grow stronger. Mick is a Maliseet India and lives on Hungry Hill, a garbage dump. He also helps out around the farm. Because of racial tensions their feeling have to be kept secret. But tension are building in the community. Mick is arrested and jailed for a crime he did not commit and had he been white, he would he have been freed. Mercy and her family do everything in their power to help free Mick. You will find the characters to have a strong faith and moral character. You will also find pillars of the community ready to stand and fight for what is right, to be authentic, real and compassionate. The authors Anita Lustrea and Caryn Rivadeneira have written a story that is believable and full of emotion. They interwoven faith throughout the book in a way that is sure to pull at your heartstrings. I give this book 4 stars, I found it to be realistic and faith filled. I want to thank the authors Anita Lustrea and Caryn Rivadeneira, and the publisher for bringing good clean Christian books like this one to readers like me. I would also like to thank The Book Club Network Inc. for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest review. I am thankful for ya’ll generosity.
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
Shades of Mercy is a great story of a fifteen year old white girl growing up in the 1950's. This takes place in Maine where she grows up and falls in love with a Native American Indian. This meets with opposition due to the hatred and racism against the Indians. The book describes in detail the living conditions, and farming done at that time. The research done for the book was great. The book was flowing, and showed love and faith in self, family and God throughout. Forgiveness and mercy was shown as needed. Overall I enjoyed the book tremendously. I have added two more authors to my ever growing list of one's to follow.I recieved this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my review.
Diana0 More than 1 year ago
Shades of Mercy By: Anita Lustrea and Caryn Dahlstrand This book will pull you in from the beginning. The story takes place in Main around 1954. Mercy was bought up to be a hard worker by her father. Mercy was the son he never had. Mercy worked the potato fields right along with the Maliseet Indians that worked for her father. Mercy is a young girl coming of age and has fallen in love with Mick Maliseet Indian. Which in this day and time not really looked on very highly, People I believe were more prejudice back then. Where is God’s mercy. God is not of color. Through all the town prejudice’s can they be a couple? Will their love be able to come out and live as a happy couple? This is a wonderful book. Hope there will be another one right behind it.
J4Life5 More than 1 year ago
Mercy is a farm girl in 1950's Maine who is in love with a young Maliseet man who helps out on her family farm. The Maliseets, an Indian tribe who had been pushed off their lands, were forced to live in substandard conditions on dumping grounds. Mercy and Mick are full on young love and are confident their love will survive until they are able to marry. When a similar couple runs off to New York City and marries and Mick is accused of a crime, everything changes for this young couple. Is their love and faith in each other strong enough to endure? It was hard for me to get into this book at first. I was a little confused at how the characters related to one another because Mercy calls her father Mr. Pop. At first I wasn't sure if Mercy was also a hired worker at the farm or if Mr. Pop was a foreman. So I wasn't sure I would like this book, but I kept at it and by the end I enjoyed it. My favorite part of this book was the faith that Mercy and her family share. I loved the way Mr. Pop answered Mercy's questions about his philosophy in hiring the Maliseet men compared with other farmers in the area. The other farmers frequently cheat the Maliseet out of their pay, but Mr. Pop never does. He explains to Mercy that everyone is responsible for living their life in the "right" way and doing what they know is right. We can only answer for ourselves. I also loved reading about how Mercy's parents show their love and support for her throughout the book. All in all, I think the book ended up being a good read with a strong message. I had never heard of the Maliseet tribe, so it was interesting to read about the experiences of a different Native American tribe. If you enjoy reading historical fiction, with a strong Christian message, you will probably enjoy this book. I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Shay14 More than 1 year ago
I am so glad I read this book. Mercy is a naive fifteen year old girl who you can't help but love. She is smart, passionate, tough, and caring all rolled into one. Mick is tough, determined, and has been through more than any 15 year old boy should have to go through in his short life. It makes him seem kind of jaded, except when he's with Mercy. Their love has to remain hidden because Mercy is white and Mick is a Maliseet Indian. I loved all the characters in this book. Mercy, Mick, Mother, Mr. Pop (so cute!), and all of the workers and secondary characters. They were very well written and developed. The year is 1954. Race issues are just beginning to surface and fester with the passing of Brown vs. Board of Education. Mick and Mercy are just two teenagers, in love, trying to find their place in their dramatically changing world. This is a sweet story, with dark, hard issues. I love how this book was written! Most books focus on the negative of the circumstances surrounding racial relationships. This book, in my opinion, took a different approach. It gave me hope that one day, everything would work out for Mick and Mercy. When dealing with hate, disillusionment, and other deep seeded issues, books can tend to take on a very dark tone. These authors did a great job of finding the light in the dark. Overall, I thought this was a quick, easy read. I understood the title about halfway into the story. As the book states: "That's where the grace--where all those shades of mercy show up in life," when you realize your mistakes, ask for forgiveness and try to live like Jesus wants as much as possible. I would recommend this to everyone! **I received this complimentary copy of Shades of Mercy from River North Fiction from Moody Publishers. I was not required to provide a review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
MickiBrose More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful and tender story. It ended the way it should . With hope and deep enduring love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
A Poignant Story It is 1954 in a rural farm community in Northern Maine. Mercy's family owns a large potato farm where Mercy does the work of a teenaged boy. Her father, "Mr. Pop" teases her that she is the son he never had. He hires local Maliseet Indians to help work the farm. Mick is a Maliseet who has been a friend to Mercy since they were toddlers playing in the fields and building forts. As teenagers their friendship grows into an attraction that is forbidden. Racial tensions were heating up in the southern states while discord between Indian tribes and those who had overtaken their land were troubling other areas of the country, Maine being no exception. The Maniseet had been forced out of their homes to live in shacks on top of the area dump, and the situation is becoming volatile in Mercy's community.  Shades of Mercy is a story of troubled times and strained relationships. The descrimination presented in this story is realistic and historically accurate. Hard and honest work ethics are reminiscent of farm families of that time frame. Characters presented are authentic, colorful and convincing, as are the issues detailed in this account. Mercy's father represents a pillar of strength and compassion to his family and community through difficult times and distressing events. His strength of character and unwavering faith in God are exemplary and strong currents that are woven throughout this story. The elements of hope, grace, mercy and compassion run strong throughout the events characterized in this book. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Wynn-Wynn Media in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.