Mercy takes shape. . .

It is the eve of the release of my tenth novel, The Shape of Mercy. Tomorrow it will hit the street, as they say.

Every book I’ve written I’ve invested into it threads of myself. And I don’t just mean time and mental gymnastics. But this one. . . This one emerged from somewhere deep inside me. I found myself pondering just about everything that really matters when I was writing this one. A novelist bleeds his or her worldview onto the pages when he or she writes; Sometimes we bleed a little, sometimes the pages seem red when we’re done.

The concept behind The Shape of Mercy stayed with me long after I finished it, which was nearly a year ago. And I know why it did. I am guilty of the weakness Lauren my protagonist had to discover – and admit – about herself. She, like me, like so many, judge better than we love. And we let fear dictate how much love we will extend and to whom we will extend it. Not always, not in every circumstance. But it happens often enough to know I might[‘ve easily kept my quivering mouth shut had I lived in Salem in 1692. I can’t see myself accusing my innocent neighbor of bewitching me, but I might’ve said nothing – out of fear for my own life -when someone else did the finger-pointing. And I might’ve said nothing still when the Village marched to Gallows Hill to watch the accused hang. We tend to fear what we can’t comprehend. And we tend to understand only what we want to.

There is a shimmering ray of hope, however. And it actually permeated all of 1692 Salem, though it hasn’t garnered the same spotlight as the delusions of frightened and empowered people. The innocents who were hanged as witches refused to confess an allegiance to the Devil. Refused to the point of death. I find that remarkable and magnificent. It fills me with hope to consider that while we have the capacity to judge when we should show mercy, we also have the capacity to embrace Truth for all we’re worth – even if it means we give up everything for it.

It wasn’t all darkness and deception in 1692 Salem. There was light there, too. It flickered every time the noose was pulled tight on the throat of one who would not give up on God and everything holy and good.

This book isn’t a book about the Trials, just a contemporary look at what they teach us.

And so it begins; my little roving commentary on the things we must learn from our weaker moments in history.

And the things we must commemorate. . .

Author: Susan

This post has 6 Comments

  1. Nicole on September 16, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Sounds like another good one, Susan. And sometimes we quietly boast in how much we love the Lord, but in our actions of silence of judgment we prove otherwise. Fear is a powerful controller if we let it be. To our shame.

  2. Clair on September 16, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    I am looking forward to getting the book and reading it.

  3. Ruth Dell on September 19, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Hi Susan

    Best wishes on the release of your new book. I love books with two stories set in different times.

    Several years ago I read a novel about Salem that also had a modern day story in it. It was a fascinating read and based on the idea that the phenomena seen in Salem were the result of poisoning by a mould in the rye! Don’t know if there’s any truth in it but it made me think. Unfortunately I can’t remember either the title or author.

    God bless

    Ruth Dell

  4. Amy Jo on September 26, 2008 at 12:25 am

    Congratulations! That must feel really good to have another book completed and out! Looking forward to reading it. Right now I'm reading “Blue Heart Blessed”…I have a son name 'Liam', BTW, great choice! 😉 PLEASE tell me that your not done with the Raechel Flynn series…those are my favorite! Blessings & JOY, Amy in OR

  5. Clair on October 2, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    I just finished the book last night. A good read…I enjoyed it and it gives a person plenty to think about. It also made me want to know more about the Salem Witch trials.

  6. Anonymous on October 4, 2008 at 2:08 pm


    “the kind of inspirational fiction that prompts readers to call up old friends, lost loves or fallen-away family members to tell them that all is forgiven and that life is too short for holding grudges.” That’s the reason I like to read Christian fiction. It teaches a concrete lesson for all to learn. Most people journal prayers, things God does for them, etc. I journal what I learn from Christian novels.

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