I have been reading Lynn Austin books for a few years now. I have loved each and every one of them. I think what I like the most about her books is that she writes about a variety of topics. She has covered everything from Biblical stories all the way to contemporary, series and stand-alones. They all have been so interesting to read.
Lynn's newest release, Waves of Mercy, added a bit of a twist I wasn't expecting. With the story set in West Michigan, Holland to be exact, I knew I would be very comfortable with the storyline. What I didn't really expect was how familiar the characters were. I knew I could have stepped right onto the pages and known what was expected of me. I knew how each character was going to react and I understood why one of the characters rebelled.
The setting for the book is the 50th anniversary of the settling of Holland, MI, and Geesje is asked to write what she remembers of that time. So we get a blend of Geesje's story at the time of the anniversary, but also 50 years earlier. It makes for a wonderful blend of past and her present.
We learn about why the immigrants left the Netherlands and the kind of persecution they experienced. We learn how when the little group set out they were headed for Wisconsin and because of a delay they decided the prices of land here in West Michigan were too good to resist. We learn that the first winter was brutal and yet they worked hard to survive.
I could go on how much fun stuff I read about, but that will ruin the story for you and I want you to be able to find those things out for yourself.
I have read books set in West Michigan before. They are few and far between, but they are out there. I have to admit that I was never very comfortable with how the locals were portrayed in these books. Usually stiff necked, cheap and with little humor. Well most of that is true, but they are also loving, caring, kind and will help you with no questions asked. For some reason people leave that out. Oh, and yes they do have a grand sense of humor, even if it is a little dry once and awhile.
So reading this book where all that comes through was so much fun. I could easily picture my relatives mixed into the story. I knew how to fit in and I understood how their ways may seem strange to those that didn't grow up in their community & may see them as a bit strict. (I did and I grew up with it.)
A wonderful and delightful book that will make you long for the lakeshore. I really had a hard time stopping with what I wanted to say about this book. I really just had a fun time reading it. Take the time to read it and get to know the Dutch community a little.
P.S. She will be here at the store on October 4th at 7:00pm and at Christ Memorial on October 6th also at 7:00 pm.