Thursday, October 3, 2013

Traces of Mercy



From Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley, authors of The Silent Gift and creators of the hit television film Love Comes Softly, comes an exciting historical romance set in post-Civil War, and filled with suspense and faith-building values.

This story brings us well developed characters with courage, faith and strong emotions.  The storyline has enough suspense to keep you turning the pages. With each page turned, I became more invested in the story.  The vivid descriptions transport the reader into the story with ease.  Even though the storyline has many characters the actual story revolves around Mercy, Rand and Elijah.
An injured person is brought into Dr. Abe's office after being found by a couple of travelers.  Upon examination the doctor discovers it is a young woman with her hair cut short and dressed in men's clothes.  When she finally wakes and can't remember anything , she is diagnosed with amnesia, a relativity new concept in the 1800's. After weeks of recovery the doctor takes her to Mother Helena at the Little Sisters of Hope, which is a home where a group of nuns live.  Still having no memories, Mother Helena decides the young lady must have something to be called by and therefore names her Mercy for the medallion she wears around her neck.
Mercy is haunted by the fact she has no memories, therefore, knows nothing of her past and what she left behind.  She knows she feels more comfortable in trousers than she does a dress; she has no interest in cooking or sewing; and she is good with animals.  She continually questions who she is and she has ended up here.
Rand has been raised by his wealthy parents who were and are still strong supporters of the Union.  His father is a railroad owner and was instrumental in several defeats of the confederates during the war.  Rand is considered the most eligible bachelor in St. Louis due to his wealth and social connections.
While out one day on a picnic with a young lady of his acquaintance, he runs into someone trespassing on his land, this is a common occurrence since the war.  The trespasser turns out to be Mercy.  He feels terrible about their misunderstanding and goes to Little Sisters of Hope to apologize.  He becomes intrigued by Mercy and her situation and finds ways to immerse himself in helping the sisters, there by spending more time with Mercy.
Mercy finds herself developing feelings for Rand, but fights it because she hasn't regained her memories and doesn't know what she has in her past.  Maybe a husband or even children, one thing she is certain of is that she must deal with her past to have a future.  Rand finds himself falling in love with Mercy and wants to marry her, but knows that she is scared of what her amnesia could be hiding. 
Elijah Hale was a Union officer who is now after the war stationed in St. Louis.  In a battle in Tenn. his brother is shot and while administering to him a confederate soldier came upon them.  Instead of taking the "kill shot", the soldier allowed him to be with his brother in his final moments of life.  Elijah has never forgotten this moment or the medallion he slipped off and put on that soldier's knife.  Months later at an engagement party, he thinks he recognizes Mercy.
Intrigued by not only Mercy and her story, he begins an investigation and confronts her with his conclusions.  Mercy is devastated.  He tells her she must confess her past or he would expose her.  Elijah knows that with the end of the war that people's emotions are still out of control and he needs Mercy to understand that if her memories return she has no way of knowing how she will feel about Rand or even react.   Mercy, with no memory, knows in her heart what he is telling her is probably true for how would she have come by the medallion.  She knows if she confesses this to Rand, that with his feelings toward the confederacy, he will never look at her the same.  She is torn about what to do. 

About the Authors
Michael Landon Jr., son of television legend Michael Landon, is an award-winning storyteller, first in television and film, and now in books. His print works include One More Sunrise co-written with Tracie Peterson.
Cindy Kelley is an author and screenwriter who worked with Landon on the Love Comes Softly television film and co-wrote the novel The Silent Gift with Landon 
This is a book I would recommend. 
As a rating, I would give it 5 stars. 
The plot is full of twists and turns that will transport the reader into the story. 
Please understand that my review is just that, my own thoughts and feelings of this book.

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