Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin
Haunted by the Unknowns of Their Pasts, Two Women Search for Answers Along the Shores of Lake Michigan
Chicago socialite Anna Nicholson retreats to the Hotel Ottawa in Holland, Michigan, after breaking her engagement with her wealthy fiancé. Filled with questions about her newfound faith and troubled by a recurring nightmare, Anna finds solace in Derk Vander Veen, a seasonal hotel worker who plans to go into the ministry.
Prompted by a request from her son, Geesje de Jonge begins to sift through memories of emigrating from the Netherlands almost fifty years ago. As she writes them down for the Semi-Centennial anniversary of the town’s settlement, her story takes on a life of its own as she honestly and painfully recalls her regrets, doubts, hardships, and joys. Her story captivates Derk, who sees similarities between Geesje and Anna, and wishes to bring the two together.
Past and present collide as Anna and Geesje seek clarity, but neither expects the revelations that await them.
I loved this book! Waves of Mercy is so well-written. It’s one of my new favorite books. I love historical fiction, but the story is so relatable to every era.
Do you ever question God? Have you ever been so angry with Him that you’ve isolated yourself from His love and fellow Christians? Been there, done that. I’m sure that we all have had things happen in our lives where we just cannot see how God could allow it to happen to us.
Maybe you’ve lost a child, a parent, a spouse. Perhaps you’ve been through a huge financial loss or struggle. Where is God in all of this? He’s still there even when we feel like He has abandoned us. Even when we have faced crises beyond what we’ve felt we could handle, He is with us.
Gessje has felt these losses. When she is asked to write her memoirs, Gessje isn’t sure how much of the “truth” she should add. Should she share how she raged against God and turned her back on her faith, or should she just write trite accounts of how her family left the Netherlands to find religious freedom in America? She chooses to write it all, allowing her young neighbor Derk to read her story as it progresses.
I wish I could share everything I felt while reading this book, but you have to read it yourself and experience those feelings. While I was reading, I could relate so much to Gessje, and I felt relief that the author must have felt this way too. Even though you know you aren’t the only one who has been mad at God or felt like your life hasn’t turned out the way you wanted it to, it is a relief to have validation. I’m sure you know what I mean!
The way that this book ends is so good, but I hope that the author writes another with these same characters! I love them. They are so real. Their flaws make them relatable. And their hearts make you love them. I highly recommend Waves of Mercy.