Title: The Miracle of Mercy land
Author: River Jordan
Author website: http://www.riverjordan.info/
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Don’t let the flowery book cover fool you, this book strikes you like a bolt of lightning. It starts out like you’re on a roller coaster but don’t know it. That’s because the flower on the book cover lulls you into thinking that you’re on a southern version of “It’s a Small World” when in reality it’s just the “Ka-chunka, Ka-chunka” of your car being taken up to the first dive in a series of whoopty whirls.
“I was born in a bolt of lightning on the banks of Bittersweet Creek.”
The Miracle of Mercy Land follows the story of a young girl (Mercy) caught up in southern intrigue of supernatural variety. The catalyst is a book that appears on the desk of her boss (Doc), a newspaper editor in the small coastal town of Bay City, Alabama. The book has the capability of showing the lives of a diverse list of people, and to keep the reader honest I should go no farther than that.
It’s a supernatural mystery sprinkled with romance in pre-WWII southern Alabama. Along with it come all the eccentric characters that you would expect of a well rounded tale set in backwater, USA. The crazy aunt, the eccentric newsman, and a handsome stranger.
At the same time, the expectation of the flower on the cover comes true. The story, despite the occasional well placed smack in the face, is at its core genteel. It anything, it’s a story born in a bolt of lightning, but one of affection and a longing for dreams fulfilled. Which is perhaps what makes the books so inviting, the chance that dreams can come true. That our choices can affect our lives and those of others.
You see this in the life of each character,which in the process makes them dear to you as the reader. The characters are not so much developed as they are involved. In it you see the true mastery of Jordan’s storytelling ability, characters with a life of their own. Part of this is done by Jordan’s mastery of switching the viewpoints of the characters at very strategic moments. This creates suspense and mystery by giving you a hint of each characters point of view and purpose along the story line without giving away the whole cow.
Romance evolves slowly in the book, and it’s tastefully done. As the book is set in the 1930’s there is a romantic feel that is traditional and passionate without being clubfooted and over the top. There’s a reason Fabio Lanzoni isn’t holding the flower on the front of the cover, it’s because the passion and romance is built up, not splashed over you like an overzealous author striking the middle of a bullseye by chance and dunking you into a tankful of passion punch.
All in all the book will take you on a journey that will make you reflect on your own life as if you were looking into the mysterious book that finds its way to Bay City. If you could change some of the choices in your life, what would they be? How do you think things would change?
Bottom line: An easy read to pick up, difficult to put down. Masterful storytelling with wonderful characters. An interesting premise that applies to anyone.
– Don Ellisor