Book Review: Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin is a Christian historical fiction book set in two different time periods in the mid to late 1800’s. Anna Nicholson is the daughter of a prominent Chicago family, seeking answers to deep questions about her life and faith after breaking off her engagement. As she thinks about her life and what she really wants, she goes to Hotel Ottawa in Holland, Michigan to regroup. There she meets Derk Vander Veen, a young worker at the hotel that is planning to go into ministry. At the same time, Geese de Jonge, Derk’s “adoptive” grandmother, is writing her story of emigrating to America from the Netherlands 50 years ago. Though painful at times, Geese understands that telling her story is important. She is shocked to realize that she and Anna may be connected and some of the most painful parts of her story may yield a sweet joy that she never anticipated.

The book Waves of Mercy is told is alternating points of view as Anna shares her thoughts and revelations and Geese writes about her story 50 years earlier. The reader anticipates the ending, which is unlikely but still joyful. Anna questions the expectations of faith and marriage for a woman in the upper class, but her questions are still relevant today. Similarly, Geese’s story is full of deep lows, but the hand of God is still evident through her journey. I think readers of Christian historical fiction will enjoy the characters in this story as they struggle to find peace and grow in their understanding of God. I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for this review; all opinions are my own.

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