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SHADES OF MERCY
Maine Chronicles #1
by Anita Lustrea and Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira
River North Publishers
978-0-8024-0968-3, PB
288 pages, $14.99

Set in 1950s rural Maine, the novel follows Mercy, the teenage daughter of a respected man who treats her like a son, in her journey to find approval for her secret relationship with Mick, a boy who belongs to the Maliseet tribe. As racial tensions increase, Mick is jailed on fictitious charges, and Mercy's family becomes responsible to navigate the underlying racial drama and set him free.

This novel has an engaging plotline that accurately portrays the historical context and addresses the issues of the time (racism, alcoholism, violence) in an informative and captivating manner. The characters seem relatable to a modern audience because they speak in realistic dialogue for the period and have strong moral anchors, including family loyalty, religious faith, and political equality. This novel is an eye-opener for contemporary readers in the way it shows Christians being willing to take unpopular stands for noble causes.

Siena N. Clymer is a professional writing major at Taylor University and a book reviewer for The Aboite Independent and Church Libraries.


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