It’s time for the best book I read this month and The Cephalopod Coffeehouse hosted by The Armchair Squid. We gather once a month to talk about the best books we’ve read over the past few weeks.
Mercy’s Rain by Cindy K. Sproles is set in the late 1800s and traces the journey of Mercy Roller, a young girl living in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee, who must come to terms with her angry, revengeful heart brought on by a childhood of abuse and brutality.
Mercy’s father, Pastor Roller, is a cruel man with a desire to inflict pain and anguish on his wife and children under the guise of spiritual cleansing and holiness. He sexually and physically abuses his daughter and tries to burn and freeze his wife to death; he hits, hangs, drowns, and commits infanticide. He is evil incarnate and Mercy, finally reaches her breaking point when he kills a local boy.
Her heart full of hate, Mercy shows no mercy when it comes to The Pastor’s punishment for his crime, and years later she readily confesses to herself and others that she had a hand in her own father’s killing. Once she leaves her home and all of its terrible memories and settles among friends who need her child-minding help, Mercy experiences a different life—one that could offer happiness and redemption. Even so, she is haunted by her memories and struggles to forgive herself and those who have hurt her, and experience the very quality after which she is named. Mercy must decide whether she will allow herself to love and let go of the past, finally accepting God’s grace and healing.
Mercy’s Rain is an intense, emotional story, beautifully developed and constructed by Sproles’s fine prose. It is not a novel for the faint-hearted, but it is one for the broken-hearted. Mercy’s journey from broken, bitter, and angry to a girl who desires to love and be loved rings true and is not at all contrived. The novel’s painfully realistic portrait of domestic abuse is part of what makes it so powerful. This is not feel-good inspirational fiction; this is gritty, soul-searching, life-changing story telling—a rushing river of realization that people experience this sort of brokenness every day and must choose between hating and forgiving. Mercy’s hurt is a deep well, and she must decide if God’s love is enough to fill it.If you'd like to look at some other good reads, check out some of my fellow coffeehouse bloggers' favorite reads this month.
What’s the best book you’ve read this month?