Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"The Merciful Scar" by Rebecca St. James & Nancy Rue ~ A Review

Book Description:  

Guilt-ridden after a family tragedy at age 16, Kirsten attempted to bury her pain in her flesh and called it coping. But at 23, on the night she expects her long-time boyfriend to propose, Kirsten discovers a devastating secret about him. In the emotional chaos that follows, an accident by her own hand lands her in a hospital psych ward, unable to find release in injuring herself. The only viable treatment option is a stint on a Montana sheep ranch, working with the quirky but insightful “Sister Frankie.” Feeling as inept as the sheep themselves, Kirsten slowly joins the unlikely crew of people who are also searching for healing. Gradually she opens herself to embrace mothering an orphaned lamb and hearing God’s voice and . . . possibly . . . finding love again. Through it all, mercy begs her to remember the past, showing her there is nothing—nothing—that can’t be redeemed.  (From Thomas Nelson website)

My Thoughts:

I loved this story.  Right from the beginning I was drawn into Kirsten's story.  It tells a very powerful story that stuck with me for days afterward.   Through the assortment of characters, the reader is shown a variety of attempts they use at hiding deep pain within their lives.  The main character is a very likeable young woman with secrets she has tried to hide since her youth.  The only release she finds is through self injury.  She is very careful to keep her secret but when an event occurs that causes her "accident" to be misinterpreted, the self injury is no longer a secret.  Faced with having to do something about it, Kirsten chooses to go to a sheep ranch in Montana at the recommendation of her pastor.  It is here, from the loving and accepting ex-nun, Sister Frankie, and the honest work of a sheep ranch that Kirsten starts to finally face the guilt, pain and anger that have so long been buried inside of her. Though the story is built on her, there are other characters introduced that allow the reader to relate to any one of them in how they, themselves might deal with the painful things in our lives.  Theirs is a long and difficult journey that I felt invested emotionally in as the story continued.  The novel is really well paced and always give just information that kept me glued to the book to find out what all the secrets were and if they would ever find healing and be able to handle life.  And though the characters all had different types anger and hurt and different ways of dealing with it, their path to recovery and healing all pointed to hearing God for themselves.  The foundations of the book are Christian and hearing God for themselves is a main point of recovery the book was never "preachy" to the point of taking over the story.   It was presented "naturally" and, I thought, beautifully to the reader.  The characters and situations are very believeable.  I think the book is directed mostly to young adults but it really is a great read for any age, especially if you have young people in your life.  I'm passing this book onto my girls (ages 18 and 23) to read.

Thanks to Booksneeze for sending me a free copy in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.

There is a preview of the story here if you'd like to read a couple of chapters.

1 comment:

nikkipolani said...

Oooh, this sounds like a good one, Susanne.