The Shape of Mercy

As a lover of historic fiction, it didn’t take me long to become completely engrossed in Susan Meissner’s most recent book, The Shape of Mercy. This novel is an elegantly crafted work of fiction whose superb storyline whisks the reader through time, transporting them to an era when hysteria reigned and darkness prevailed. The story so completely envelops the reader in a perfectly plausible, yet not too predictable, plot that I actually had to remind myself it was a work of fiction.

The main characters grapple with timeless conflicts as the author subtly draw parallels which compel the reader to reexamine long-held motivations and thought patterns, all the while keeping you immersed in the storyline.

The Shape of Mercy tells the tale of Lauren Durough who “is a college student longing to break free of family expectations when she stumbles into a project for eighty year old Abigail Boyles -transcribing the journals of Mercy Hayworth, a seventeenth-century victim of the Massachusetts witch trials.”

During this transcription process, Mercy and her plight are reframed in both the lives of Abigail and Lauren. Each lady must walk out her own version of Mercy’s conflicts and find resolutions to stigmata and rash judgments.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys historic fiction where the “moral of the story” that undergirds the plot does not detract from the narrative being so perfectly woven by the author. In my opinion, Meissner is one of few Christian authors who writes credible plots that are not heavy-handed.  I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable book that would appeal to a wide audience and I heartily recommend both the book and the author.


To order your own copy of the book visit
The Shape of Mercy: A Novel


Author’s Bio:
From early school-day projects to becoming editor of a local newspaper in Minnesota, Susan Meissner‘s love for writing has been apparent her entire life.  The Shape of Mercy is her latest novel in a string of books that delve into the deeper issues of life. She is the author of nine novels and lives with her family in San Diego, California.  Find out more about her at


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