Shades of Mercy by Anita Lustrea and Caryn Rivadeneira

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 of young love and confident their love will survive until they are able to marry.  When a similar couple runs off to New York City to marry 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.

Shades of Mercy

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