Wow! This story drew me in and would not let me go until the last page was turned! And even then, I did not want the book to be over. I NEEDED book two to be available RIGHT AWAY! How much of a hold did this story have on me? Well, I read it in one day…grabbing every free moment that I had in order to dive into the story and discover what would happen next.
One of the things that drew me to this story in the first place was finding out that the main character, Suzanne, would be coming home to her old order Mennonite community and facing all kinds of issues with her family based on the way she left twenty years earlier – aged seventeen and pregnant. But, what I didn’t realize, was that her leaving (and returning) was even more complicated that I could have imagined.
The author did an amazing job in When Mercy Rains of surprising me time and time again. I kept thinking I had everything figured out and could see where the story was heading and then BAM…she threw in a twist I would not see coming! This made the book intriguing, and the fact that it was coupled with extremely interesting characters, made it a really enjoyable tale.
Not only did I like Suzanne, but I also had a real respect for her daughter, Alexa. What a gem of a daughter Suzanne raised. The way she dealt with family members and situations was admirable. The spiritual maturity in both Suzanne and Alexa served them well when they returned home to their extended family.
Paul, Suzanne’s former teenage love, was also a character that I was very fond of in the story. His reaction to truths that he discovered throughout the story seemed very realistic to me. He was a good father to his son and worked hard to be a good member of his community. He loved God, and family was very important to him.
I do not want to give away anything about this story that could prove to be a spoiler, so I will simply say that there is one twist that to me left things a little up in the air regarding the future. I am really hoping that somewhere in the Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy, this will be resolved. Because this left me a little unsettled at the end, I am giving 4.5 stars instead of 5 stars here on my blog. But I will be rounding up to 5 stars on all bookseller sites.
I do have to say that this is one of the best books I have read regarding the subject of forgiveness and the extending of mercy to others. It is very realistic in the way this is handled. God’s forgiveness and God’s mercy toward us likewise is shown in the way the various characters learn to repent, forgive, and accept forgiveness in return for the things that they have done in their lives that have hurt others. This was an emotionally deep story. (4.5 stars)
I would like to express my appreciation to the publisher for the complimentary book that I received through Blogging for Books, in exchange for my honest review.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
She left, heavily weighted with secrets.
But God reveals all things, in His timing.
And He redeems them.
Suzanne Zimmerman was only seventeen and pregnant when her shamed mother quietly sent her away from their Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. With her old home, family, and first love firmly behind her, Suzanne moved to Indiana, became a nurse, and raised a daughter, Alexa, on her own.
Now, nearly twenty years later, an unexpected letter arrives from Kansas. Her brother asks her to bring her nursing abilities home and care for their ailing mother. His request requires that Suzanne face a family that may not have forgiven her and a strict faith community. It also means seeing Paul Aldrich, her first love.
Paul, widowed with an eight-year-old son, is relieved to see Suzanne again, giving him the chance to beg her forgiveness for his past indiscretion. But when he meets Alexa, his guilt flickers in the glare of Suzanne’s prolonged secret–one that changes everything.
Suzanne had let go of any expectation for forgiveness long ago. Does she dare hope in mercy-and how will her uncovered past affect the people she loves the most?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kim Vogel Sawyer is a best-selling, award-winning author with more than one million copies of her books currently in print. Awards include the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Sawyer lives in central Kansas, where she and her retired military husband, Don, run a bed-and-breakfast inn with the help of their feline companions. She savors time with her daughters and grandchildren.