Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Lynn Austin: Legacy of Mercy

By Kelly Bridgewater

Having returned to Chicago, young socialite Anna Nicholson can't seem to focus on her upcoming marriage. The new information she's learned about her birth mother continues to pull at her, and she hires Pinkerton detectives to help her find the truth. But as she meets people who once knew her mother and hears stories about the past, Anna soon discovers that some secrets are better left hidden.

At the same time, unflattering stories about Anna are leaked by someone who would love to see her disgraced and her engagement broken. And as Anna tries to share her faith with her society friends, she understands that her choice to seek God's purpose for her life isn't as simple as she had hoped.

When things are at their darkest, Anna knows she can turn to her grandmother, Geesje de Jonge, back in Holland, Michigan. Geesje's been helping new Dutch immigrants, including a teen with a haunted past, adjust to America. She only hopes that her wisdom can help all these young people through the turmoil they face.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

I'm not that familiar with Lynn Austin's writing, but I know a couple of writer friends who believe Austin is the greatest writer out there. The synopsis and the cover for Legacy of Mercy grabbed my attention, and I decided to give her a try. Being a historical romance, I had a pretty good idea what I was in for. A story set in the past filled with characters who tried to solve a conflict and learn to fall in love with a member of the opposite sex. The story kept my attention.

Austin does a wonderful job at inviting me into the world of the late nineteenth century in Chicago, Illinois. The society and the social clubs sprang from the page as well as my imagination. I enjoyed spending time here and loved following Anneke as she traveled to find out about her real birth parents. I love a story with a good treasure hunt, either from the present or the past. Legacy of Mercy does exactly that.

The hunt for Anneke's biological's parents kept me riveted to the page. I wanted to find out who her parents were and if her mother was actually married when she gave birth to Anneke. I flew through the pages and couldn't wait to see the end result. The story was nicely woven together, and Austin really tells a wonderful story. The story is told from Anneke's perspective and her grandmother in Holland, Michigan. Austin tells the story but doesn't confuse me. She puts subheadings, which helps makes it easier for me to follow whose perspective I'm in.

I liked how Anneke wanted more out of her life than attending society clubs and parties to be seen. She wanted to do what God suggested and help the poor, orphaned, and widowed. I liked her character the most. She was a woman after God's own heart. Something we should all strive to be.

Overall, Legacy of Mercy by Lynn Austin is an enduring tale of God's love and is populated with interesting characters who are on a treasure hunt for what is true. I believe fans of historical romance like Jen Turano, Judith Miller, and Lorena Seilstad would enjoy this novel.

I received a complimentary copy of Legacy of Mercy by Lynn Austin from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

About the Author:
From Amazon

For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother, and daughter concerning the change in women's roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve's Daughters.

Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published 27 novels. Eight of her historical novels have won Christy Awards for excellence in Christian Fiction: Hidden Places (2001), Candle in the Darkness (2002), Fire by Night (2003), A Proper Pursuit (2007), Until We Reach Home (2008), Though Waters Roar (2009) While We're Far Apart (2010), and Wonderland Creek (2011). Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film. (Taken from Amazon.)

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