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The (Future) Vista Cañas Library

The Shape of Mercy

(1 customer review)

Author: Susan Meissner

Length: 307 pages
Type: Fiction
Genre: Historical Fiction

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SKU: Darla Williams 5 Categories: , , ,


“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?”


1 review for The Shape of Mercy

  1. Janet Dore

    When I was a young girl, I was inexplicably drawn to the Salem witch trials. I guess a part of me knew that had I lived during those times, I would have been one of the first ones on the scaffolding. It’s a scary and unsettling thought and I cannot imagine the hopeless terror that each of the individuals must have felt as their lives were stolen from them by their fellow judgmental and narrow minded neighbors.

    I pulled this book off the shelf at my local library used bookstore and knew that this was a message it was time to go back to this time after all these years. Funny, that I had just been thinking about it a few months prior. I was definitely interested to see how I felt reading about the trials as an adult.

    I’m glad I did. Susan Meissner did it serious justice. Not only does she take you back in time inside the mind and heart of a young girl that’s appalled at the events going on around here and eventually accused herself, but she weaves the core lesson of this senseless tragedy into modern day life. The characters were real and imperfect, yet likable. I was pulled in…finally. It’s been awhile, I guess because of the specific books I’ve been reading. Susan relieved my concern that something was up with me and reading! I’ll be passing this book on to my teenage girl…

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