Lauren, a college student, helps Abigail Boyles, an 80-year-old recluse, transcribe the diary of Abigail's ancestral cousin, Mercy Hayworth--who was hanged for witchcraft. As secrets unfold, the extent to which the lives of these three women are connected comes to light, and both Lauren and Abigail find the very way they view the world irrevocably changed.
- I purchased this only because it was recommended but LOVED IT
I've studied the trials but had to limit it because it was so troubling - not so with this book. Well written, engaging and hopeful! Kudos to the narrator - Tavia Gilbert's character voices are among the best I've heard.
- Loved it
- We are loved in spite of our faults
A gentle, moving story of a young woman who loses her life during the Salem witch trials of 1692. Her diary survives and is transcribed by another young woman, who assists a very old woman -- a descendant of the original victim. The caring relationship that develops between the student who undertakes the transcription and the old woman who owns the diary is very well envisioned. The narrator of the audiobook made listening to the story very pleasant.
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- a surprise
I don't often read books with covers like this one and I'm reminded not to judge a book . . . The narration was understated and compelling. The narrator was very effective. And the story's resolution was unexpected. Now I'm really glad I took a risk and I listened. Thank you, Susan Meissner, Tavia Gilbert and Christian Audio.
- Having grown up in a wealthy...
Having grown up in a wealthy family, Lauren decides to defy the tradition of relying on family money and step out on her own. She attends a public college and has to fend for herself. Always interested in literature, Lauren sees an ad for a transcription job and immediately applies. Lauren gets the job. Her first assignment is to transcribe the diary of a teenage girl, Mercy Hayworth, set during the Salem witch trials, and is soon drawn into a tale she knows will end in heartbreak. As Lauren digs deeper into the diary she begins to see herself and her life in a new light.
Just as Lauren was drawn into Mercy's story I was drawn into this book. Lauren gripped me with her love for the written word and her determination to make a life for herself. I loved following both Lauren and Mercy as they asked themselves the same question about life and where they were going while living in two different eras, experiencing different situations. It proves that no matter how different we seem on the outside we are still similar on the inside.
I listened to the audio version of this book and the narrator had a gentle, almost haunting voice which seemed perfect for the scenes of the witch trial.
I received this book free for review from Christianaudio.com
- My Take: At First I was...
My Take: At First I was mostly interested in the story of Mercy and really was more or less annoyed by the other story in the book between Lauren and Abigail, but by the end of the book I was really drawn into the relationship and didn't want the story to end.
Go into this for the Story of The Salem Witchcraft but be open to the other story.
I recieved a free copy of this audio book for review purposes from Christianaudio.com
- The Shape of Mercy written by...
The Shape of Mercy written by Susan Meissner is an amazing Novel based on historical facts from the Salem Witch Trials in the late 1600's.
Lauren, a young college student, is hired to transcribe a diary that belongs to Abigail, a mysterious elderly woman who lives alone. The diary belonged to a distant relative of Abigal's - a young woman, Mercy Hayworth, who experienced the horrors of how assumptions and accusations can influence people to the point of changing their way of thinking about a person, place or thing, even to the point of many needless deaths, such as in the Salem Witch Trials.
One of my favorite lines from the book is "never let others tell you what to think." So many people erroneously assume things just by what kind of clothing is being worn, what vehicle is being driven, or even what school or people you spend time with. The shape of mercy isn't just about kindness being given to those who do not necessarily deserve it, it is also about not judging based on anything other than facts, thus avoiding the "Well you KNOW how those kind of people are" syndrome.
This exciting story of love lost in one generation, yet found in another is filled with example after example of how we make horrible assumptions based on a quick "glance" and the stigma associated with it.
"Mercy showed us our true selves. Beautiful and awful. Deep and Shallow. Marvelous and mortal."
I hope that as you read and/or listen to this book, that when you think of mercy, it will be shaped differently as you see your true self when you examine your thoughts and assumptions on a daily basis.
Mercy reminds us that we have a choice.
The strategic use of actual names from that period in history makes you feel as though you could actually look for and find the diary of Mercy Hayworth.
Tavia Gilbert is exceptional at reading the book, capturing the emotions and grabbing your heart as you journey through this wonderful book.
Thank you to christianaudio for a complimentary copy of this book via the Reviewers program. I am not required to give a positive review of this book.
Christianaudio has a free audiobook for your downloading pleasure each and every month, as well as gift certificates for the audio book enthusiast in your world.
- I’ve just finished listening to this...
I’ve just finished listening to this and it was absolutely brilliant. Its one of those books that you don't want to end. One that you get lost in completely.
I really liked the fact that is set in the present, but has links to the past, with the diary of a girl living during the time of the Salem Witch Trials. The book switches easily between the two time periods and I just like Laura who is transcribing it, I also wanted to know what was going to happen. Then just when you think you’ve worked out the whole story there is another twist that you didn’t see coming!
Tavia Gilbilert is an excellent narrator getting the characters’ voices and accents just right throughout.
Susan Meissner has written a wonderful story about the preconceptions and assumptions we make about people we don’t really know. It tackles issues of class, race and religion brilliantly, making me think about the way I behave too.
One particular comment from Mercy’s diary that really got me thinking is “Someone can say something untrue about you, and as long as there is someone else to believe it, you are whatever they say you are.”
I’ve not read or listened to any other books by this author, but I will certainly look out for them in the future.
Thanks to christianaudio.com Reviewers Program for this copy.