Yesterday, I had the privilege of interviewing Stephenia H. McGee – today I’m delighted to bring you my review of her new book, Missing Mercy!
SERIES: Ironwood Plantation Family Saga #3
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: By the Vine Press
RELEASE DATE: October 1, 2019
Mercy is missing, Faith is floundering. Only truth can lead them to freedom.
The venture ahead could leave their friendship behind.
Made a safe-haven after the Civil War, Ironwood Plantation is a refuge of equality for former slaves. But twenty years and a new generation later, they have become an isolated community with little contact with the rest of the world.
Mercy Carpenter is everything the world thinks she shouldn’t be. Educated and adventurous, she longs to make a life for herself beyond the beautiful prison of Ironwood. When she secretly submits an article to the Boston Globe under a man’s name and receives an enthusiastic response and an offer for employment, she’s determined to take advantage of the opportunity. But she isn’t prepared for a startling world that won’t accept her color or her gender, and her ambitions soon land her in grave danger.
The privileged daughter of a plantation owner and an aspiring suffragette, Faith Harper is determined not to marry. Especially not her father’s opportunistic new business partner. She doesn’t want any man telling her what to do, least of all the annoyingly chivalrous Nolan Watson. But when Mercy goes missing, Faith will do anything to find her best friend, even if it means trusting a man she doesn’t understand. In a time where prejudices try to define them, Mercy and Faith must push the boundaries of their beliefs and trust in the God who holds the keys to freedom.
Other Books In This Series
“I have this impossible idea that God wants all his children to realize that what makes them different isn’t nearly as important as what makes them the same.”
It always amazes me how historical fiction can be just as relevant today as the themes were at the times in which they were set. In Missing Mercy, we encounter racism (born of ignorance as well as hatred) and human trafficking – two things that are still prevalent in our world today. For all of our technological advancements, humankind doesn’t change all that much as far as our prejudices and sins, do we? If nothing else, Missing Mercy reminds us that ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ and ‘Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it’ .. and thereby challenges us to always be alert to how we can be used to change the current course.
But that’s not all that Missing Mercy does – it also captivates readers with a beautifully written story of friendship, forgiveness, and the truest Love that pursues us through our faults and failures. It’s an adventure, a love story, a tear-jerker, and a smile-inducer. Mercy & Faith are strong heroines, due in part to their unusual upbringing at Ironwood Plantation – a community protected from racism and one which encourages female education and independence. Both young women are in for a rude awakening when they venture out into the world, and both must learn to lean into God and surrender to His plans for them.
I loved both Faith and Mercy (and Nolan and Jed, too, for that matter) but oh how I wanted to shake both of them at various times throughout the book. Probably because I share similar traits with each one and heaven forbid fictional characters point out my own flaws LOL. During their separate character arcs in Missing Mercy, my heart alternately sank with dread and swelled with pride. One scene in particular, near the end, almost had me standing up and clapping (I refrained, because my husband was already asleep lol).
And then there’s Hezzie – oh my heart, one of my fave fictional characters ever, I think. I wanted to pick her up and hug her more than once. At other times, I wanted to sit at her feet and just listen. She was adorable, intuitive, wise, and kind – and she just made me smile.
Bottom Line: Missing Mercy by Stephenia H. McGee is simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking. While it’s the third book in this series, it can easily be read as a standalone. The theme of freedom – and where it’s truly found – manifests in various ways and through various characters, and its contribution to the story is well-written and pivotal. The layered plot keeps you firmly engaged from beginning to end, and the multi-dimensional characters capture your heart. Thought-provoking and entertaining, Missing Mercy is a must-read!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / love it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion
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Winner of the 2012 RONE Best Inspirational Book of the year (2012) and author of seven Historical novels, Stephenia H. McGee has a fascination with hoop skirts and ball gowns, Greek revival homes and horse-drawn carriages, quirky Southern sayings, and home-grown recipes. She currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and two boys, (accompanied by their two spoiled dogs and mischievous cat) where she writes stories of faith, redemption, and stories steeped in the South.
Visit her website at www.StepheniaMcGee.com and be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get sneak peeks, behind the scenes fun, the occasional recipe, and special offers.
Other Books by Stephenia H. McGee
One winner will receive this awesome Blog Tour giveaway (US mailing address only): Signed paperback copies of The Whistle Walk and Heir of Hope (Ironwood Plantation Family Saga books one and two), Mississippi made cheese straws, handmade leather Jer. 28:11 bookmark, handcrafted specialty soaps, Southern Sisters mandarin orange pepper spread, and Thomas Jefferson quote “I cannot live without books” spiral earrings.
This giveaway is hosted by Stephenia H. McGee for the Missing Mercy blog tour, not RimSP
What about you? What interests you most about Missing Mercy?