No wonder Lynn Austin wins so many awards. “Waves of Mercy” is sure to garner another accolade.
The story of Geesje de Jonge spans fifty years and uses locales from the Netherlands to Holland, Michigan. A faith theme is foundational as the family faces religious harassment and relocation to the wilderness of America. The writer’s authenticity and research shine on every page.
Story-telling: Austin achieves something most writers never do—writing seamless parallel stories. Dreams haunt socialite Anna Nicholson and her heart yearns for meaning. Geesje’s memoir begins as a celebration of Holland’s anniversary and opens the vault of her faith struggle. Austin moves skillfully from Anna’s to Geesje’s story. No jagged edges. Her handling of backstory is excellent.
Romance: Lynn Austin includes light romance as well as enduring marriage. Passion and faithfulness, commitment and choices, hardship and triumph, the ordinary and adventure. She delivers them all but doesn’t tie everything up in a neat package. The ending is satisfying though not entirely predictable.
Character Development: I have to say the character development unfolds like the story—well-paced, and this will be one of my favorite Austin novels because I didn’t feel pushed but certainly could not put it down. She sprinkled plot clues, enticing me to read on. What a writer!
The author created situations to show a character’s personality and reactions. For instance, I fell in love with Derk. Austin evoked empathy as Derk weighed his call against finding the right mate. (I wanted to take the guy home even though he wouldn’t prefer southern cuisine. )
Takeaway: Loved this Austin book, and Bethany House appeals to the eye with their cover images. Dan Thornberg and the Bethany team knocked it out of the park with this one. Although someone would buy this one for the cover alone, the reader also gets an unforgettable story.
*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher for an honest read and review, which I have given.