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Shades of Mercy Review

Title:  Shades of Mercy
Author:  Anita Lustrea & Caryn Rivadeneira
Pages:  272
Year:  2013
Publisher:  River North
History is filled with so many stories of many peoples, nations, tribes, places and more.  Yet, though these bigger pictures grab my heart, mind and soul, there is more meaning revealed in personal stories.  While this is a fictitious story, the people and times are based in historical fact.  I was reminded of the way so many people have been treated badly for a variety of reasons, though no reason makes it right to treat others inhumanly.
As I read, I was reminded again that even Christians didn’t always and still don’t always treat others with the love of Christ.  I am reminded of what Paul the apostle wrote when he spoke of the flesh and spirit being constantly at war and wondering why he does what he doesn’t want to do.  Paul was beside himself as he knew what the right thing to do was and didn’t do it.  If you’re a fan of history, you know some tales can grab your attention and then hold on fast till the end of the story.
While some books simply entertain, I can say this one also challenges.  Here is the story of a time when certain Native American tribes were segregated from others and then relegated to a place that wasn’t fit for human habitation.  One main character would read the Bible for family devotions every morning, never missed churched and hired people other farmers never would.  Yet, what a challenge it was for him to go beyond that to work towards change that was permanent.  To look at a Native American beyond his skin color, beliefs and past to see him as Christ saw him and sought him.  Interracial marriages were looked down upon and people would feel shame if this is a choice they made, and sometimes this shame left to fester would turn into rage.
In this novel, Mick is accused of murdering a man most knew as the town drunk simply because one man stirred up the town folk and twisted the truth.  Yet, through the whole novel, the thought of how God uses everything for good kept turning up in various parts of the story.  When disaster strikes the town, the authors show the different reactions or responses people have based on their belief system.  I thought that very insightful because as people we tend to live according to our own deeply held beliefs.
The ending was a surprise and very appropriate.  The scene painted for readers will tug the heart strings with perhaps a hint of future novels with these characters.  At least as a reader I hope the authors write more because what they have done in Shades of Mercy is absolutely captivating.  I began reading the novel in the morning and stayed at it until I was done; I couldn’t put the book down as I was pulled into the plot so deeply.  I hope you read and enjoy Shades of Mercy!
My rating is 5+ stars!
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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