Mercy's Rain by Cindy K. Sproles

In Mercy's Rain by Cindy K. Sproles, the main character is Mercy Roller. She lives in the Appalachian mountains. It's the Nineteenth Century. Mercy's father is a pastor. There is her mother and her best friend, Maddie. The mountains change with the beauty of the seasons. This is all of the beauty seen by Mercy. Her life is difficult, deplorable and desolate. All of the ugliness in Mercy's life is caused by the Pastor. The Pastor's deeds are almost unbelievable. He not only piles abuse on his family. He also abuses the surrounding community. He kills Stanley during a baptism. Stanley has Polio. I found myself saying more than once under my breath "Lord, have mercy." When Pastor is around, that is all you can hope for is mercy.

Not a day goes by when Mercy doesn't hear her name spoken by someone. There is a roaring river that goes along the mountain.The river seemed to call for "Mercy" too. There is one question that Mercy must have asked herself in a million different ways? How long would she  have to live in torment with no understanding from her mother or the pastor? When she leaves one part of the mountain, the people she cared about show up in her life again. Then, she grapples with forgiveness and mercy again.

As I waited for Mercy's mercy to come to pass, I had the chance to see God's hand working in her life. Cindy K. Sproles left me to think that God is always working, weaving a new pattern in our lives. No matter how ugly and torn up the canvas He can come along  snd  repair the damage. Making what is ugly beautiful again. So, Mercy's life resembles the work of a Master craftsman. In each part of the novel, characters come back again or new characters appear. All of whom draw Mercy Roller closer to a working plan. There is Isabella, Randall, Braden and another preacher. At the end of the novel, Mercy is able to say I know "Mercy," and I know Mercy Roller."

The novel is bitter, poignant, sweet and spiritual. It's the way life is for some mountain folk and for some of us who just live in the holler. Whether we gain spiritual growth from the novel or whether we get a look at the historical side of mountain life, there is no forgetting Mercy.


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