Mercy's Rain
Cindy Sproles
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Buy *Mercy's Rain: An Appalachian Novel* by Cindy Sproles online

Mercy's Rain: An Appalachian Novel
Cindy Sproles
Kregel Publications
264 pages
January 2015
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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In the Appalachian Mountains in 1897, the rains announce themselves before they come, changing the heat to cool refreshing air all around. Many call those showers of blessing, like the old hymn states. Mercy Roller needs those rains to wash away the ugliness and hurt that are a part of her life. Mercy is the daughter of Pastor Roller, and although her father claims to be called of God, his actions show him to be the son of the devil. Pastor Roller uses his position in the community to take what he wants from whomever he wants--even his own child and wife. He is cruel beyond belief, and no excuse is given for his heinous behavior. The final moments of his life are the beginning of Mercy’s life as her story moves toward forgiveness and the mercy for which she is named.

Mercy was a happy infant, a loving child, a widow, and a mother long before her sixteenth birthday. Her life in the Roller household was simply something to survive in order to move ahead. When her father dies, Mercy finds her own way to the other side of the mountain and meets Samuel, who refuses to let her wallow in the life she has left behind and demands that she become the person God always wanted her to be.

Isabella and Terrence are looking forward to the birth of their baby but are unclear how the Lord they serve will provide for the help they need. Terrence lost his arm in an accident, and even if he knew how to deliver a baby, he would be physically limited. When Samuel comes to their homestead, bringing with him a young woman named Mercy Roller, they understand about God’s provision. Mercy aided her momma many times in delivering the babies in their church families. She knows that she can deliver Isabella's baby.

When the sound of the train is heard, Samuel and Terrence both know the storm won't be far behind. Even though Isabella is in the beginning stages of labor, both she and Mercy have to take refuge in the storm shelter across the front yard from the house. The moments after the passing of the storm bring wonder and delight, as well as pain.

Any story about abusive families is a hard story to read, and this is no exception. The author shows the reader a life that most of us will never experience but that brings out the compassion in all of us. This is the story of Mercy's Rain and every child who has had to grow up way too soon.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Joyce Rice, 2015

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