Review: House of Mercy by Erin Healy

House of Mercy
House of Mercy by Erin Healy
August 7,2012- Thomas Nelson
Christian, Adult, Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Fantasy
Source: Booksneeze, Thomas Nelson
I was given a copy of this digital galley, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.

From Goodreads:
 After an accident which results in the death of a prized horse and the possible ruin of her family, Beth, who has the gift of healing, sets out on a journey across the mountains in search of her grandfather, as she is followed by a mysterious wolf

My thoughts:
I was immediately intrigued by the synopsis of this book. But, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into and I didn’t know what lay in store for me. I had heard a lot about Healy, and became even more excited her when I discovered that she partnered with Ted Dekker (who is one of my top favorite authors). Still, I wasn’t expecting this.
Beautiful, painful, raw and truth. It’s like having a harsh truth revealed without any protections or preparation. There was so many emotions going through me as I read this, it’s hard to know where to begin.
I will start with Beth, the main character. For me there was one question that kept popping up, what were you thinking? In the beginning it seemed that she was impulsive and did things –everything- without thinking about it. As the story progresses she discovers traces of herself in another character and that helped me understand her better. There were moments that I found myself feeling a bit sorry for her.
Rose, in my opinion, was a very cold and cruel mother. Initially it was because it didn’t she really cared what really happened and blamed it all on Beth. I am not excusing Beth’s choices, but I think that all involved should be held responsible. I think Beth’s mistake led to heavy consequences and that was not carried by all parties involved. In fact, nothing is heard from the brother and sister after we are told that they stopped talking to each other. Abel didn’t care what really happened but didn’t hold it against her. Rose didn’t care what happened and held it against her. In the end, hearing the full story wouldn’t have altered the consequences, but it might have made the family more compassionate towards her. In the end, though, I don’t like Rose. But the truth is that all of us have had a tense relationship like the one that Beth shares with Rose. Some of us may have been Rose at one point or another.
Given the unreliable glimpses into Rose’s character, I’m left not completely understanding the person that she is. Because I don’t understand, I don’t like her and that makes it difficult to overlook her meanness. Levi is another cruel character that is present without any true insight into him. He is cruel-almost brutal- towards Beth. I am not sure if the cruelness from Rose and Levi is due to the loss of the other daughter or because it appeared that Abel favored her. Though I don’t like it, this is real family dynamics, something that we all have to deal with.
Cat, there is something obviously not right with her at the beginning. But the truth of sickness is startling. It is something that has been dealt with before, not in this manner. It is done with compassion, and reveals a truth or the other spectrum for this illness that not many are willing to address. I am tempted to put the name on the illness, but I think one of the things I enjoyed about reading this was that I saw it played without a name attached to it. This story is as much the deterioration of Cat as it is the growth of Beth.
I fell in love with this author because of this book. The writing was beautiful. The truth was painful. The story was all too real, it was something that happens every day in different forms. I do have to warn you though, if you are expecting a story that is nicely wrapped up with a pretty red bow, you are going to be disappointed. If you are expected the sweetness of a budding romance but without a real idea of what is going to happen to the characters once the book is close, than you will be happy. Wolves are present and integral to the story. They are strong, powerful, wise and beautiful.
I thought that I needed to have all of my questions answered. I thought that I had to have all of the obstacles overcome and prayers answered. Beth felt the same way, I am sure there are moments when all of us do. Beth wanted a miracle. God gave her Mercy. The book, and I like that it does, ends in a position of accepting mercy.

5 stars *****

Always Shine.


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