Waves of Mercy

Waves of Mercy

by Lynn Austin


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Austin Returns with a Multi-Generational Historical Novel

Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from the Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she's asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions hidden all these years, including the story of her one true love.

At the nearby Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of a broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after a violent storm aboard a steamship stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.

Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764217616
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/04/2016
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 124,605
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Lynn Austin has sold more than 1.5 million copies of her books worldwide. A former teacher who now writes and speaks full-time, she has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, has also been made into an Original Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home in western Michigan. Learn more at www.lynnaustin.org.

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Waves of Mercy 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great one from Lynn Austin! I received a free copy of the book from Bethany House Publishers. My opinions are my own. I was captured from the first chapter. I gobbled the pages during every spare moment. Lynn Austin is a gifted writer who does extensive research to ensure historical accuracy. It was great to learn about the Dutch immigrants who came seeking religious freedom. "Waves of Mercy" is bursting with rich wisdom and inspiration.
hjsnyder28 More than 1 year ago
Lynn Austin’s novel Waves of Mercy tells the story of two very different women growing and struggling in the middle of changing decades. Geesje de Jonge grew up in the Netherlands, but eventually migrated to America with her parents. Yet Geesje was reluctant to make this transition, because she had fallen in love with a solider. A soldier who was not Dutch like herself. She knew her parents might not approve, and when she did tell them her news—her parents told her she must listen to the will of God for her life. And she must marry a man that would share her faith in the Lord. Anna Nicholson finds herself in exactly the opposite place. There are so many probing questions she has about religion and God, and soon she realizes there is no one to ask or share her burdens. She is engaged to marry a man from her circle in society—a wealthy world that many times she believes she is a stranger to. Soon Anna must make a difficult decision regarding love and her purpose and place in life. Both Geesje and Anna face various troubles, and they know the decisions they make in light of their problems will ultimately forever alter their futures. Are they ready for the consequences that might come because of their desires to take a different path in life? This book shows the trials that many families faced as they took the brave step to leave all they knew behind and travel to a new land—America. Their pursuit was one of longing to have religious freedom—especially for Geesje’s family. Her family faced much persecution in the Netherlands, because they chose to worship outside of what most considered religious. Even though they met peacefully in their homes, the government still opposed what they were doing. So one day, many Dutch families made the choice to come to America. Throughout Geesje’s journey, she faces many hardships and trials, and she finds her faith tested over and over. She must either trust in the God she knows or abandon His teachings and promises. It is interesting to hear her tell the story of her life as she looks back over each event, yet there is much sadness in her life. Her story includes levels of intensity that are sometimes difficult to read. Anna’s story is very different, yet even the reader sees how much she wants to learn the truth about life and her story. Anna feels there is a void in her everyday existence, and so she attempts to discover the mystery regarding her background. The reader will be surprised by the words in the last few chapters and the connections Anna discovers about people she knew nothing about. This novel is not an easy read, because it records the struggles of several characters. In fact, there are moments when you wonder if particular characters will ever find a good place in life. So much happens in each woman’s life, and because you want Geesje and Anna to find love and peace—it might be a hard book to read. Just remember that this novel is a story of love, strong faith, troubles, perseverance, and the realities of life. It is not a book you read to escape the trials of life. Lynn Austin is a great storyteller, and I am sure many will enjoy this book and find comfort in its pages. Because it does teach one very important lesson—not matter what anyone may endure in this life…God is always by your side. He is an every present help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1) This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for my copy.
VJones More than 1 year ago
Lynn Austin can always be trusted to provide an excellent read. Waves of Mercy had my attention from the first page until the very end. It is a story of coming to terms with the past and finding oneself in the present. It is about looking behind to lessons learned and ahead to future consequences of choices made. Waves of Mercy will be enjoyed by those who love historical fiction. This book dealt with religious persecution and immigration. While Lynn Austin took liberties on moving the date of one of the events, the story is based on an actual shipwreck. The content includes some really fascinating historical facts regarding those emigrating from the Netherlands. Word of caution- Waves of Mercy requires a box of Kleenex. The characters are very loveable and I dreaded when it ended. The book ended with a few questions remaining so I hope that this will be part of a sequel. It does take some concentration to read as the storyline flows back and forth between the past and the present. But everything falls in place at the end with enough twists and turns to remain interesting. I have always been a Lynn Austin fan and this book enforced my opinion. I received a complimentary copy of Waves of Mercy with no obligation to post a review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't Miss this beautiful story! I have been a big Lynn Austin fan for a long time, and & love her books! Those I have not read, are on my "to-read" list. Waves of Mercy is a beautiful story on many levels. The back of the Waves of Mercy book describes it as "Haunted by the Unknowns of Their Pasts, Two Women Search for Answers Along the Shores of Lake Michigan". I love stories that alternate between the past & the present with amazing twists and turns. Lynn writes beautifully and honestly as she captures the heartbreaks, and joys and very real trials. Anna is a young woman trying to find what part if any, faith will play in her life & Geesje is a widow who has been asked to write about her journey from the Netherlands to Holland, MI. Geesje recounts her life, her difficult journey to America, the hardships of starting over and how she struggled with her faith during these difficult times. I sincerely hope that Lynn writes a sequel to this story. You really want to know more about the characters you've come to know and love and you want their story to continue.
RobinWillson 9 months ago
"Often, it's not one great, dramatic thing that God asks us to do but hundreds of little everyday things." Christian Historical Fiction. 1897 and 52 years before. Geesje is an immigrant from the Netherlands. Her story is rich with love and heartbreak both there and here in America. Her family settled in Michigan, naming the new town Holland. Anna has broken up with her fiancé and leaves home for a resort in Holland Michigan to recover. On her way she is nearly shipwrecked, bringing up old nightmares. She was adopted by the man who did actually rescue her from a shipwreck, but they never told her what happened. This is a fabulous journey of discovery for Anna. For most of us our lives don't follow a neat pattern, a straight line. The lives of these people are tattered, shredded and torn, mended and edges smoothed by faith. I highly recommend it! First book in a series. The second book continues this story and is also fabulous. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” #WavesOfMercy #NetGalley #LynnAustin #BooksYouCanFeelGoodAbout
BrendaLee More than 1 year ago
Waves of Mercy Such a wonderful book! “Our burdens are lighter when they’re shared”. A quote from Waves of Mercy. Not the only quote I loved. This book touched me deeply. The decisions that had to be made, the sacrifices the people went through for their religious freedom and the loss of life never made them completely lose their faith in God. Some got weak in their faith but they rallied back by trusting Him. I cannot tell you how much encouragement I got from this story Lynn Austin. It was a wonderful book like I always expect from you. If you have never read a Lynn Austin book, what are you waiting on? Don’t pass this one up. I bought this book from Christian Book Distributors. All opinions are my own.
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
Waves of Mercy #1 Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin Waves of Mercy is actually two stories interwoven alongside each other over a span of 50 plus years of two women searching for answers. The author weaves between the two timelines expertly, keeping the reader captivated by their stories and thereby turning the pages to learn the outcome of their lives. It is full of historical details, coupled with visual details, that brings the characters to life and the era they live in during the mid 1800s to the end of the century. The stories of Geesje and Anna are touching and heartwarming as we read of the tragedies and heartbreaks they have suffered and overcome. But it is a story of courage, strength and strong faith; a faith that carries them through struggles, surprises, joys and all that life has in store for them. I appreciate the spiritual elements woven within the story-lines and the characters lives. The lessons Geesje learned of how God is in control in all areas of her life are not always easy lessons. Lessons Anna soon learns as well. A remarkable, heartwarming story.
4Gazpacho More than 1 year ago
What a remarkable book this is! I don't usually gush over a book, but this one was exceptional. Lynn Austin is becoming one of my favorite authors for her excellent research and writing style. She knows how to draw in the individual reading the book and involve them in the story. Not only does she develop her characters well, but the action is terse and sometimes breathtaking. I enjoyed every minute of this novel, although when things got tough, enjoy might not be the word to describe what I was reading. But I was definitely involved and feeling with the characters in their struggles. This is a historical fiction piece with a double plot taking place in two time lines. The main plot involves a group of families living in Leiden, the Netherlands in 1847. A group of people drew away from the established state church and became known as Separatists. Persecution was inevitable. People were accosted, homes harmed and businesses were threatened. The De Jong family were in the middle of this. So Geesje tells this story as an older woman, settled in Holland, Michigan 50 years later. Her family owned a printing business. Even though they moved to a different city where there were Separatists in the Netherlands, their business was still threatened. Eventually a group of people decided to emigrate to America where they would have freedom to worship God as they pleased. The group eventually settled the Holland, Michigan area of West Michigan. The story is long because there were so many adverse conditions and situations for the group to overcome. In the meantime, there is another two stories happening in the latest of the historical periods called the 'present.' One is about a young woman in her early twenty's who is struggling to find herself. This story becomes intertwined with the grandmotherly woman Geesje who is telling this story as a project for her town's celebration of their semi-centennial. Derk is a secondary character who lives next to Geesje and calls her Tante (aunt). She's been like a mother to him since his own died many years before. He is encouraging her to write her story while at the same time he has befriended Anna at the hotel where he works for the summer. West Michigan has always had as fascinating history as the rest of the state. As a teacher, I was already aware that the Dutch had settled that part of the state and knew some of the history. This book made it all come to life for me. The Great Lakes have their own fascinating history and lore, legends of great shipwrecks, and filled with the history of the native americans as well. There is no simple way to tell this story, so this book is filled with intrigue and struggles. An integral part of the book was the personal faith of the travelers. Encapsulated in this life of faith is the personal struggle of Geesje herself since the beginning of the story. Hers was not a perfect journey. Her faith wavered, was tested, and she often questioned God and His wisdom. The more she experienced the more involved I felt with this woman. This was not a pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by type of story. She was hurt, and circumstances forced her into some horrible situations. I shed a lot of tears of empathy reading this book. My heart was troubled, hurt, frightened and saddened right along with her. To me, that's a sign of a great book. If you love historical fiction, then I highly recommend this book to you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Story!
ElusiveRedTiger More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed the storyline in this book. The characters were great and engaging as well. It seemed as if the author made a concerted effort to be as historically accurate as possible. What was interesting to me was that the book was set during two separate time periods, and yet both of those eras are in the past, making it a “double” period piece. The narration changes from character to character and between past and present, but it was never difficult to follow along. The story was great, BUT…… oh my goodness, I didn’t think the ending was an actual ending. There needs to be a sequel. As soon as I finished it, I was scouring the internet to find out if there was on in the works, and sadly I didn’t find one. So…… good up until the end…..and I would be very pleased if I found a sequel. Please, Lynn Austin?
LynnLD More than 1 year ago
Isn’t it wonderful when you randomly choose a library book from the New Books shelf and it happens to be a wonderful treat? Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin was an unexpected treasure. It took me on a long journey as I traveled with this Dutch family as they leave The Netherlands in the mid-1800’s for religious freedom. They finally settle in Michigan to eventually build the town of Holland through many setbacks. Geejse, the youngest daughter, tells what the family endures and shows how their strong faith helps them face the unimaginable. Anna, on the other hand, is a wealthy, young Chicago woman who visits a Michigan resort many years later. She continually has a recurring dream and this locale helps her find answers. Her story is simultaneously shared. How are these two women’s stories linked? Will Anna find out whether her nightmares are just bad dreams? What does this have to do with Geejse, who is now a widow and living a quiet life? See how this amazing story will keep you turning those pages. Lynn Austin shares spiritual principles that will help you strengthen your own faith. This historical fictional piece will truly inspire, inform and satisfy as the puzzle pieces fall in place.
hthuish More than 1 year ago
Every now and then I will read a book that allows me to peek into a religion different than my own I find that it strengthens and bolsters my own faith and desire to follow God! This is one of those books. Lynn Austin paints an amazing picture with her words. I appreciate the true history that is tied in beautifully with the fictional novel! In this story the lives of two very determined women, living very different lifestyles, and growing up in different times, are woven together perfectly. Anna, a young American women faces a crossroads in her life. Will she pursue the path she thought she always wanted to follow, filled with wealth, prestige in society, and a husband who'd be the envy of all the other young ladies? Or, will she follow the path her heart is pulling her towards, a church where she feels home and loved by God. To make things more complicated, she has is plagued by a nightmare that continues to haunt her. In this book Anna is staying at a resort away from home trying to figure out who she really is and which path she should take. Gesje is a young girl, growing up in the Netherlands, who's family is persecuted because of their religion. Her story is about her strength in following God's plan despite the heartache of fleeing her country, loosing loved ones in their pilgrimage for religious freedom in America, and finding true love! This book will not only capture your attention, but your heartstrings as well! I love the unpredictability throughout the story-lines, and felt very satisfied at the end of the book! Lynn Austin is a very gifted writer and I have already been recommending this book to everyone!
BethErin More than 1 year ago
Waves of Mercy is so full to the brim with rich storytelling that it actually feels like reading two novels at once. Anna is drawn to a deeper relationship with God but that would be a major social faux pas in the eyes of her family and peers. Her fiancé even breaks their engagement yet Anna isn't sure whether that's a bad thing or not. At her son's prompting, Geesje is revisiting past memories and recording them for the town's celebration. Geesje's memories are full of conflict and sorrow but also held together by faith and love. Derk is nursing wounds of his own after his fianceé gave him an ultimatum to essentially choose between her and his calling to become a minister. Derk looks up to Geesje as a surrogate grandmother of sorts and they confide in and encourage one another. While working at a nearby resort hotel, he is intrigued by and drawn to Anna and her strikingly familiar appearance. I requested the opportunity to read and review this title through Bethany House Bloggers. The opinions expressed are my own.
Debragg More than 1 year ago
Waves of Mercy". is another great novel by author Lynn Austin. Anna Nicholson has just come to Hotel Ottawa in Holland, Michigan to get over a broken future marriage to a rich fiancé. She meets Derk Vander Veen who works at the hotel who wants to be a minister. He tries to help her with her issues. Geesje de Jonge's son has asked her to research stories of people who came there 50 years ago from the Netherlands. She is doing this research for the Semi-Centennial of their town. She becomes very engrossed in their stories. Derk tries to get her and Anna together but, will they really get along? He thinks they are alike. I was totally surprised at the end. I give this book a 5/5. I was given this book for a review from Bethany House and all opinions are mine.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
If you like family drama then you will definitely enjoy author Lynn Austin’s newest novel Waves of Mercy. This story follows two different timelines for two women who have much more in common than they can imagine. Alternating between the two timelines we have Anna’s story which is in 1897; and Geesje’s which takes place 50 years previous. I have to say this was at times a heart wrenching read; filled with sadness and circumstances that would make the bravest person tremble. This was a story of choices; between right and wrong, love and loyalty, and submission to God’s will. A major theme running throughout is the question of ‘why does God let bad things happen?’ And when that question is not answered, do we still trust? This was also a very thoughtful read on the choices and consequences of our own free will. I would say that this is more Geesje’s story as in that one we do come to a resolution. I do not know if this will be a series or not, but Anna’s story is left open, which does work with this story. Reading just this one book I felt like I was invested in an amazing series already. I highly recommend this historical fiction drama. I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher. I was not required to leave a positive review and the views expressed are my own.
MarB1 More than 1 year ago
As a Dutch reader, I immensely enjoyed this book about Dutch immigrants starting the colony Holland in Michigan in the 19th century. Lynn Austin has many fans in the Netherlands and I think I can speak for all of her fans here that this was a treat for us; the Dutch readers! ‘Waves of Mercy’ tells the story of two women—an elderly woman, Geesje de Jonge, who emigrated from the Netherlands to start the Holland colony with her parents – and of a wealthy young woman named Anna who doesn’t know where she comes from. Both are from a totally different background, but they have something in common—they are both searching for answers and there’s more . . . The storyline was well developed and I loved seeing how everything worked out. This is not a romance story. It is an historical novel that also covers Geesje’s love story, but it’s definitely not the kind that most romance lovers are looking for. The story is realistic and satisfying. It has depth and is beautifully written. A winner!
Becky5 More than 1 year ago
Haunting Tale of Dutch Settlement of West Michigan... Lynn Austin has indeed produced another gem with Waves of Mercy. This emotionally captivating story of young love, choices, and faith freely discussed in a spell-binding saga of two different generations reminds me of the effect of Christy. I feel like I can better explain some past non-romantic choices after reading this book, in the light of a desire to follow God's Word. What an encouragement this book can be for our young generation that needs to trust the Lord and learn to make choices based on obedience to His will. All this encased in a story that will grab your heart and not let it go! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.
SignGirl58 More than 1 year ago
Anna Nicholson is young and heartbroken. She's lost her fiance due to her strong pull towards an unapproved non-elite Chicago church. In order to process her thoughts and heal her heart, her mother takes her across the Lake to Holland, Michigan. As simple as Anna's story seems, her deepest fear exists in her dreams. She continually relives the torture of drowning in a lake and that dread almost becomes a reality when they took the boat across Lake Michigan. Will her fears ever be put to ease? Anna's emotional turmoil seems trivial in comparison to a local woman, Geesje de Jonge, who had a lifetime of hard experiences, starting with Geesje's family facing religious persecution in the Netherlands. Geesje is working through her past on paper, in an attempt to share her story for the town's fiftieth anniversary celebration. The elderly woman is afraid to share, in brutal honesty, the details of her life, but she ends up finding peace with her past through letting her young friend, Derk Vander Veen, into her past. Derk also meets Anna while she's vacationing and patiently listens to Anna's heart. Derk and Anna are unfit to be friends, per their social statuses, but something draws them together. The author, Lynn Austin, lives in Western Michigan, where "Waves of Mercy" is set. Since I am familiar with the area, I was excited to read this story. She has a very natural style to read and I was easily pulled into her characters' lives. Even with splitting her story across continents and decades, everything fit together well. Both Anna and Geesje have quite the story to tell and the pages will naturally turn quickly! To see what happens in "Waves of Mercy," pick up your copy! I received this great book from Bethany House Publishing for my honest review.
JayneNoble More than 1 year ago
Lynn Austin Waves of Mercy As Geesje puts her history into written form she begins the struggle of facing many truths. At last she is able to face the truths about not only the physical journey and the struggles faced by the immigrants but her personal spiritual journey as well. While her son Derk reads her account he is also developing a friendship with a hotel guest. She has shared with him her relationship issues and secrets and confusions of her past. Can the past of these strangers have any relevance to each other? Could they help or encourage one another if they were to meet? I very much enjoyed the story of the Netherland immigrants. Although you may not consider this a typical love story it is a deeply moving story of spiritual discovery with romance lightly woven in. I definitely recommend this book. I received this book from the publisher for my honest review.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
I have loved every book I have read by Lynn so I was anxious and excited to read her latest. This book is set in my favorite state, Michigan. The setting is beautiful. Lynn did a great job of capturing the beauty of the area. This book has many different layers woven together. I enjoyed Geesje story from her past, it was very interesting. The weird thing about this book was that I was drawn in and then I found myself not engaging. I really bounced back and forth a lot with the story. There were times I was completely hooked and other times when I felt like something was off. I can’t pinpoint what it was that did that for me. I think I felt some of the dialogue was more modern than it would have been for the 1800’s. But I could be wrong. Overall, I did find this book to be good, just not my favorite and I was a bit disappointed after reading other books by Lynn that I loved so much. But this book is getting great reviews so as always, this is my opinion only. If this book sounds intriguing to you then pick it up and give it a read. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
JustCommonly More than 1 year ago
With more than half a century apart, latest being the late 1890s, the dual timeline of Lynn Austin's Waves of Mercy is still historical to its truest form. The multi-generational aspect of Anna and Geesje gives readers a different type of story, Rich with historical details, the author didn't just give us something to read, she brought the visual aspect of life in the mid 1800s to the end of the century to life. Both Anna and Geesje have a distinct voice that translate well on paper. Their story is one of lost, trials, and heartbreaks, but it's also about courage, strength and faith. Add in a slew of interesting characters, the stories within stories will capture your attention and set sail until you dock. This review first appeared on Just Commonly blog. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
Richly layered and steeped in history, Waves of Mercy captivated me from beginning to end! The characterization is excellent, and I quickly became immersed in the lives of Geesje and Anna. I loved the memories and emotions Geesje shared while writing about her life experiences; the immigration from the Netherlands to Michigan was fascinating. I was also delighted by Anna and her determination to discover more about her family and her faith. Geesje and Anna’s journeys are beautifully intertwined, and I would love to continue their stories. If you are a fan of historical fiction, especially multi-generational stories, Waves of Mercy is a novel I highly recommend. I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
Waves of Mercy is reminiscent of a very significant family history regarding my own ancestors. Every aspect of this book is filled with memories of my own family who immigrated to West Michigan from The Netherlands. Lynn Austin has done a spectacular job of recreating the plight of those immigrants and their very difficult encounters both during the immigration process, and starting anew in an underdeveloped locale. I had a little trouble keeping timelines and characters straight at the beginning of the book, but with the development of those characters I began to feel a part of their story. Names mentioned throughout the book are still familiar to this locale. The setting for this novel is very familiar, and it was an early journey through my own lifelong home in Michigan. Description was a highlight, as well as the development of each of the characters. The research for this book is very well done. The locations described are accurate and particularly sentimental. I highly recommend this latest release from Lynn Austin. Her previous novels are some of my favorites, and this one was no disappointment. Disclaimer: I purchased a copy of this book, and was pleasantly surprised when I received a gift copy from the publisher. My expressed opinions are my own, and I was not expected to post a positive review.
booksandbeverages More than 1 year ago
If you take a quick peek at my blog header, you’ll see a nod to Lynn Austin because she’s oh, just one of my favorite authors ever! Every single book I’ve read of hers, I’ve enjoyed and she never fails to capture my history loving heart. Waves of Mercy was no different! The stories of both of these women had me fully hooked. Both Geesje and Anna’s stories weren’t all I expected and I love the book all the more for it (but I want the story to continue too. Please Lynn? PLEASE!). The story of Geesje – y’all wow. So much happened and while not based on a true person, I know much of what happened did happen to those who immigrated to the US. But the history of the town and events? All true. Wow. Then with Anna – a young girl searching for the right answers and holding on to a new faith. Both done so well and many a times some tears were shed. Generational stories never fail to get to me. So much of what we do, the daily decisions we make, the advice we give, all of it shapes our future and sometimes affects lives we might not even think of. Austin is a master of these types of stories. Plus, this didn’t end in all the ways you expect (thus my want for more!). Add in her beautiful themes of restoration and redemption and I’m in. If you are a fan of historical fiction, be sure to give this one a shot. For my fans of Lynn Austin, what’s one of your favorite books? (Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.) Originally posted at http://booksandbeverages.org/2016/11/08/waves-mercy-lynn-austin-book-review/
parmilespages More than 1 year ago
Haunted by the past, two women in two different generations try to reconcile events and struggles in their lives. The author writes in two distinct voices about the internal struggles these women have about faith and the mercy and sovereignty of God. Geesje de Jonge is asked, as part of an anniversary celebration for her town’s settlement, to write her story of how she emigrated from the Netherlands, fifty years prior. Fleeing from religious persecution, her parents decide to take a ship to America with a group of separatists. Geesje is reluctant and resistant to leave her home and to leave Hendrik, a Dutch solider with whom she has fallen in love. The reader embarks on a journey with Geesje as she explores her past decisions and relives her life to date. Chicago socialite Anna Nicholson is a young woman with a mysterious past. She has recently broken her engagement to a wealthy and eligible bachelor and has sought refuge at the Hotel Ottawa in Holland, Michigan to do some soul searching. She finds a friend in Derk Vander Veen, a seasonal hotel worker, with whom she is able to confide. Although very different, both these women’s lives parallel one another as they seek to understand their faith in God and His hand in their lives. The author addressed spiritual questions in a profound and what I thought, a biblically accurate way. What I liked about the story was how the author engaged the heart and soul of these two women in telling their stories and struggles. The narrative was well written easily switching between characters, time periods and locations without causing confusion. The characters were well developed and as the reader, I was drawn into their struggles and joys. I was also fascinated by the historical point of view. I developed an appreciation for the physical struggles of establishing a settlement in America, in its developing years. The only part of the book that I did not like was that Anna was left with a decision at the end of the book, which was left unresolved. I would highly recommend reading this historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.