The Shape of Mercy
Leaving a life of privilege to strike out on her own, Lauren Durough breaks with convention and her family's expectations by choosing a state college over Stanford and earning her own income over accepting her ample monthly allowance. She takes a part-time job from 83-year-old librarian Abigail Boyles, who asks Lauren to tran ...more
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“We understand what we want to understand.”
This is a hauntingly strange journey of discovery, discerning the depth of bias and belief from different perspectives.
Mercy was an echo from the past, a link to our origins and observer to those things about us that never seem to change.
The heroine evaluated people by their values and worth while thinking she uniquely did not. She comes to the conclusion through her personal actions that she is actually the same as her father after all. Her recen ...more
― Susan Meissner, The Shape of Mercy
I love that quote. If this book had a form, I have no doubt its form would be beautiful.
For me, this book is a five. It’s haunting and tragic and just so Marvelous and seamless in its writing.
This book is about Lauren and Abilgail, a journal and the Salem Witch trials. It moved from the present to the past and back again. I couldn’t put this book down.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be very shallow. The diary was probably the worst; the writing was bad, uninteresting, unrealistic, and, worst of all, didn't touch me at all. I nev ...more
1. Beautiful writing
2. Thought provoking characters (I'm a psychology nerd and love to analyze people.)
3. Historical Fiction (I love to feel like I am getting an insight into the past when I read.)
4. Modern day experiences (and love :)
5. References to some of my favorite books.
I so wish I would have read this before book club selections were made. It's a great book and reminds me of books by Kate Morton. I thought it was a religious book, but ...more
*This is a review fresh post from one originally written in 2008.
This post has been updated, thanks to my new format with the
Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin on August 11, 2015.*
This is one of the most deeply moving novels that I have ever read, and without a doubt it is going on my favorites' shelf in my permanent library. The Shape of Mercy is a story that crosses generations and is both historical and contemporary. I can easily find myself relating to Mercy from early American history as well as
My only issue with the book was that I felt the author tried too hard to make a bigger issue out of things than what was really there. The moral of the story is not to judge people so quickly without knowing them, a lesson the main character learns several times throughout the book. However, I t ...more
About the book:
“We understand what we want to understand.”
Leaving a life of privilege to strike out on her own, Lauren Durough breaks with convention and her family’s expectations by choosing a state college over Stanford and earning her own income over accepting her ample monthly allowance. She takes a part-time job from 83-year-old librarian Abigail Boyles, who asks Lauren to transcribe the journal entries of her ancestor Mercy Hayworth, a victim of the Salem witch trials.
Almost immediatel ...more
Lauren is captivated by Mercy, a sweet girl who lived alone with her father on a farm. Mercy’s mother and younger brother died when Mercy was younger and ...more
"People always believe what they want to believe. . . . . the key is to never let someone else tell you what to think."
When Lauren Durough sheds her upper class mantle long enough to explore employment, she happens upon an eighty three year old former librarian Abigail Boyles. The local heiress has placed an advertisement for a part time employee. The job? . . . transcribing the delicate pages of a primitive diary, penned by a young Puritan ancestor falsely convicted of being a witch du ...more
Why fear? Well, because of the two things I think people fear most: the unknown and failure. I don’t know how to best approach representing this incredible story, and, regardless of the approach I choose, I’m certain I’ll fail to do the book justice.
So, you’re going to have to work with me here. Please be pati ...more
One of my favorite quotes from the book was "I used to think mercy meant showing kindness to someone who didn't deserve it, as if only the recipient defined the act. The girl in between has learne ...more
Anyway, The Shape of Mercy is a great book to read alone or alongside The Crucible like I did. The characters in both time periods draw you in to want to know what happens. Not remembering anything about the Salem Witch Trials, I had to look up at one point if Mercy Haysworth was a real person (she wasn't). The author mad ...more
Her first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories she wrote when she was eight.
She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980. When sh ...more