By: Karen Chalfant
Cleanliness (See “About” for scale): Very Clean (Topics to consider: death, religion, and war.)
Merciful Renewing is the story of an independent woman in the early 1900s. Her life is full of heartbreak and pain, but she is on the road to forgiveness and love. This tale had very strong religious overtones and started as your typical “someone dies and then the main character blames God and turns from their religion” story. However, it later expanded beyond this and became a fairly touching tale.
I truly enjoyed the first part of this book, and it honestly could’ve ended at the halfway mark. Everything had been wrapped up fairly nicely in the first half, but the second half felt a little off. It went from Christian romance novel to historical fiction in the blink of an eye. It also became fairly slow-paced, but none-the-less still had an enjoyable plot-line. I do also feel the need to mention that there were quite a few spelling and punctuation errors, but those may have been corrected in updated editions.
Although this book was a fairly nice read, I really hated the ending. [WARNING: spoilers ahead!] Reading this story, I watched the beautiful development of the main character from a frightened, young girl to a strong, independent (albeit slightly sexist against her own sex) woman. The end tore that all down. She gave up her independence for essentially the first single guy who showed her attention again. Basically, this story could have had a powerful message attached to it about how even a woman in the 1900s could survive and thrive on her own, but instead it made it feel like the entire plot was leading up to her throwing away her independence – the part of her that truly made her unique for that time period.
This book had a little too much of a picture-perfect ending for me, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it! It’s definitely an interesting story that will have you fully invested in Elizabeth’s life.
~I was sent a free copy of this book from AuthorsDen for an honest review~
p.s. Just because this book wasn’t my cup of tea doesn’t mean that I don’t like Karen Chalfant’s books! In fact, her book Shattered Loyalties was a 4.5 star read for me! Feel free to go check out my review for that one here: Shattered Loyalties by: Karen Chalfant.