BookReview When Mercy Rains by Kim Vogel Sawyer

BookReview When Mercy Rains by Kim Vogel SawyerSuzanne Zimmerman lived in Indiana. She worked hard as a nurse and enjoyed the life she made for herself and her 19 year old daughter, Alexa. But a secret from her past weighed heavy on her heart. Her mother, Abigail, an Old Order Mennonite, needed her help back in Kansas where Suzanne grew up. If she went home she knew she had to face her past and the truth about her daughter’s birth. Still, Suzanne
returned to Kansas to assist her family with her mother’s care. She was surprised to meet up with widowed Paul Aldrich, her first love she left behind years before. He was making Abigail’s house handicap accessible.

When Mercy Rains is written from the point of view of four different characters -Suzanne, Alexa, Abigail, and Paul. What I find amazing is that the story continues to easily flow even though the reader sees the events unfolding through the eyes, words, and actions of a certain character. Each character has a different personality that is shown by writing the story in this manner. But the story is not choppy and can be read without the reader wondering what just happened.

Suzanne and her mother Abigail were very much alike when it came to keeping certain subjects hidden. They both were holding secrets that are making them and their families unhappy. In the beginning, Alexa’s unhappiness was not knowing any family but Suzanne. Suzanne always avoided discussing anything about her family with her daughter. Alexa longed to know more family. Abigail’s unhappiness went much deeper and made her and everyone around her miserable. When I first met Abigail I did not like her. As the story progressed I understood why she had such a grouchy demeanor and felt bad for her. Suzanne was likable from the beginning. As were Alexa, and Paul. Paul was a caring, hard working man and father who lived out his faith.

Suzanne’s secret was actually two fold. Only Abigail, a close friend, and Suzanne knew one half of it. But for 20 years she carried the pain and worries about the undisclosed half. This gave the story a good twist because I thought I had figured things out but I was wrong.

There are no perfect people in this story. Well, except one. Sandra, and that’s only in her own mind. Sandra is Suzanne’s sister. While she is a secondary character, she was also affected by Suzanne leaving her family and community 20 years ago. Suzanne’s other siblings and their spouses are also secondary characters that make the book more enjoyable.

Suzanne really depends on God to get her through everything that the day brings. She relies on prayer and trusts that God will help her. Except for the part of her past that she tries to forget. This shows that she’s human. No one fully trusts God in everything all the time.

As I was reading When Mercy Rains I could picture Suzanne and Alexa’s apartment. I could see her mother’s house and how neglected it looked. I could imagine grouchy Sandra with an unpleasant look on her face. Kim Vogel Sawyer did a good job of describing the characters and scenes so that I could see them in my mind’s eye.

I read this book in two sittings, it was that good. This is the first book that I have read by Kim Vogel Sawyer. I always enjoy reading Inspirational Fiction, especially with Amish or Mennonite characters, which is why I chose this story. There is nothing in this book that I wouldn’t want my daughters or grandmother reading. This is a clean read for fans of this genre.

There was some closure at the end of the story, at least for the main plot of the book. Enough that I was satisfied, at least for the time being. This book is part of The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy so I am hoping in the end that love will prevail in the lives of certain characters. There really is no romance in the story. Suzanne and Paul are clearly attracted to each other initially but this is from the feelings they had as teenagers.

Forgiveness is what this story is all about. Not just forgiving others but ourselves also. Paul wanted to ask Suzanne forgiveness for his past actions. Abigail needed to forgive herself for her selfishness that sent Suzanne away and now keeps the rest of her family at arm’s length. Suzanne needed to forgive her mother and herself. When Mercy Rains is the journey of all of these people and their desire to discover forgiveness and the new beginnings that God gives along the way.

tammycookblogsbooks book rating 4.5/5
I actually give this a rating of 4.5 books

The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy:
When Mercy Rains - read my review here
When Grace Sings - read my review here
When Love Returns - coming Fall 2015
I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah and The Christian Manifesto in exchange for my honest review.

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