Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner ~ review

The Shape of Mercy: A Novel Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 immediately, Lauren finds herself drawn to this girl who lived and died four centuries ago. As the fervor around the witch accusations increases, Mercy becomes trapped in the worldview of the day, unable to fight the overwhelming influence of snap judgments and superstition, and Lauren realizes that the secrets of Mercy’s story extend beyond the pages of her diary, living on in the mysterious, embittered Abigail.
The strength of her affinity with Mercy forces Lauren to take a startling new look at her own life, including her relationships with Abigail, her college roommate, and a young man named Raul. But on the way to the truth, will Lauren find herself playing the helpless defendant or the misguided judge? Can she break free from her own perceptions and see who she really is?

My take on this book:
Lauren Durrough, is the only child of a wealthy, privileged family, but that isn't what she wants her destiny to be. Living at college it bothered Lauren to live on the stipend her father sent her, she wanted to maker her own way. When she responds to a part time job offer she meets Abigail Boyles who is looking for someone to transcribe the diaries of Mercy Hayworth, an ancestor of Abigail's who lived during the time of the Salem Witch Trials. Mercy accused of being a witch was sentenced to die!

The Shape of Mercy is the perfect blend of past and present. I remembered a bit about the Salem Witch Trials from school, so I was very interested in Mercy's story. It was easy to get caught up in her story, and while I thought I knew how it would end, I was a bit surprised at what actually happened. Reading Mercy's diary entries was by far my favorite parts of the book, it gave us a stark look at how terrifying it must have been to have lived during the times of the Salem witch trials.

Susan Meissner is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. She writes in such a way that you feel as if you are drawn completely into the characters of her story. She does an expert job of weaving past and present together without making it confusing. Even though this book deals with a few heavy topics such as death, and fear, and senseless tragedy, you will also be touched by the compelling story of love, sacrifice, forgiveness and finding ones own way!

rating 4.5/5

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Sounds like a great book! I'm a new follower from Relax and Surf Sunday. Nice to meet you!

    Wife on the Roller Coaster

  2. Stopping by from the Sunday Blop Hop!
    Following you on GFC. Looking forward to your visit @
    Take care,

  3. following you back from Mommy's Peanut Gallery :)

  4. I am a new GFC follower sent from the Sunday Blog hop. Plz follow back at

  5. Thanks so much for the follow. Following you back. What a lovely blog design you have!


  6. Beautiful blog! I am a new follower sent from the Swimmin' By Sunday blog hop.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts. I love reading!


  7. I really want to read this now. Thanks for the suggestion!

    And thanks for stopping by! I returned the follow love. :)

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following! I'm following back. ;)I need some good reading material, thank you for all the great suggestions!

    Have a great day,
    Jennifer @

  9. Ooohh!! I have been wanting to read this!!

  10. Thanks for the follow, following you back. What a pretty blog!

  11. So many great books, so little time!

    Following from Swimmin by Sunday hop. Hope you can stop by, where Disney IS school. FREE T-shirt to new followers this month!

  12. So many wonderful book reviews! I'm following you back from the Say Hi Sunday blog hop!

  13. Thanks for following, I am following back. I wish I could get immersed in a good book
    I am following back.

  14. Following you from Say Hi Sunday, would love a follow back at

  15. Thanks for visiting and following my blog - I am now a follower of your blog!

  16. I love Susan Meissner too. BTW, I got the 2 books. Thanks so much. The Personal History of Rachel Dupree looks great.

  17. Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm following you back.


  18. I'm late! But I'm stopping by via Simple Sunday! I love your blog! Thank you for stopping by!

  19. thanks for following!! returning the favor :)

  20. I recently finished another book about the Salem witch trials that I enjoyed, and this one sounds like something I would like too!
    Thanks for a great, informative review :)


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