BethanyHouse, 2009. ISBN 978-0-764-20726-6.
Reviewed by Patricia Daly-Lipe
Posted on 04/11/2010
In Lauraine Snelling's A Measure of Mercy, I was transported to another time and place: 1903, Blessing, North Dakota. Many of the characters had been introduced to readers of Snelling's prior books, so to some extent, in the beginning, I was lost. However, once I was engaged with the story, it didn't matter. I came to know the characters who were predominant in this tale and I was hooked. The author had clearly completed a tremendous amount of research. The mores, the rituals, the clothing, the meals, and most of all, the medical history gave me an understanding and an appreciation for the area and the era. As the story progressed, I was taken to Chicago, where the protagonist would spend six months at a Hospital for Women studying to receive her proper designation as a physician.
At the end, it is clear the author plans a sequel. My only recommendation is that the Norwegian words be hyphenated and perhaps a brief summary of circumstances be placed in the beginning. However, I still encourage all ages, from teen to adult, to read A Measure of Mercy. An understanding of the past provides an appreciation of the present. Ms Snelling has accomplished this feat.
Writing about real issues within a compelling story is a hallmark of Snelling's style, shown in her contemporary romances and women's fiction which has probed the issues of forgiveness, loss, domestic violence and cancer.
Today, Lauraine Snelling is a member of the more than Two Million Books In Print club, but when she first began, she was a mother of three teenagers with a simple dream to write "horse books for kids." Her dreams manifested into reality in 1982 with Tragedy on the Toutle, a story about a girl and her horse caught in the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington state. Snelling continued the dream, publishing two more best-selling series: High Hurdles and The Golden Filly. She then expanded her repertoire by writing inspirational fiction for adults. All told, she has over 50 books published, and much of her work has been translated into Norwegian, Danish and German as well as produced as books on tape. Awards have followed her dedication to "telling a good story": the Silver Angel Award for An Untamed Land and a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart for Song of Laughter.
Snelling teaches at writer's conferences across the country, and she mentors others through book doctoring and with her humorous and playful Writing Great Fiction tape set. She also shares material on query letters and other aspects of the writing process. Demand for her books keeps her working when she's not in her ever-growing flower gardens, listening to the soothing rush of the water fountains and the hummingbirds in her back yard. She and husband Wayne have two grown sons and a cockatiel named Bidley, who loves to tease their Basset Hound, Chewy. Learn more on her website.
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