The Shape of Mercy written by Susan Meissner is an amazing Novel based on historical facts from the Salem Witch Trials in the late 1600's.
Lauren, a young college student, is hired to transcribe a diary that belongs to Abigail, a mysterious elderly woman who lives alone. The diary belonged to a distant relative of Abigal's - a young woman, Mercy Hayworth, who experienced the horrors of how assumptions and accusations can influence people to the point of changing their way of thinking about a person, place or thing, even to the point of many needless deaths such as in the Salem Witch Trials.
One of my favorite lines from the book is "never let anyone tell you what to think." So many people erroneously assume things just by what kind of clothing is being worn, what vehicle is being driven, or even what school or people you spend time with. The shape of mercy isn't just about kindness being given to those who do not necessarily deserve it, it is also about not judging based on anything other than facts, thus avoiding the "Well you KNOW how those kind of people are" syndrome.
This exciting story of love lost in one generation, yet found in another is filled with example after example of how we make horrible assumptions based on a quick "glance" and the stigma associated with it.
It also reminds us that fear is a powerful emotion. When our hearts are gripped with anguish and our minds are searching for answers, we must be careful not to allow the emotion itself to consume us and allow us to falsely place blame just to satisfy the need to blame.
Mercy showed us our true selves. Beautiful and awful. Deep and Shallow. Marvelous and mortal.
I hope that as you read and/or listen to this book, that when you think of mercy, it will be shaped differently as you see your true self when you examine your thoughts and assumptions on a daily basis.
Mercy reminds us that we have a choice.
The strategic use of actual names from that period in history makes you feel as though you could actually look for and find the diary of Mercy Hayworth. Tavia Gilbert is exceptional at reading the book, capturing the emotions and grabbing your heart as you journey through this wonderful book.
Thank you to christianaudio for a complimentary copy of this book via the Reviewers program. I am not required to give a positive review of this book.
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