Book Review – House of Mercy by Erin Healy

House of Mercy by Erin Healy follows the story of Beth Borzoi, a 22-year-old rancher in Colorado, hoping to follow her passion as an animal vet. A series of disturbing and tragic events enters her family’s life, and Beth is forced on a journey in the rugged mountains to seek a grandfather she never met.

The author uses strong, active verbs and descriptive phrases in her writing, as evident in this sentence on page 53: “The ensuing gust swept the plate up off the table and clapped it against the wall, then released it to gravity with a clatter.” I love the details she includes in the descriptions of horses, ranch life, and the wolf.

Her descriptions of the environment surround the characters increases awareness and helps identify mood without detracting from the action of the plot.

“The fast rain poured onto the leathery earth with too much impatience to be absorbed.” – p. 54

The events in this book are not light. At times, chapters were hard to read because the events were so distressing and evil. This book also contains some “magical” elements, which may bother some readers, though I think the primary purpose was symbolism. The antagonists in this book are so evil I felt like I needed to pray for change and growth for these fictional characters. What scares me most is how the main bad character truly felt she was doing the “right thing” in her warped mind.

Perhaps because of the contrast of such despicable evil, the good characters seem so incredibly good, making the reader love them almost instantly within meeting them. This reaction testifies to the strength of the author’s writing.

The book centers on trust regardless of situation, abundant mercy given, and the power of love to withstand and persevere. And, as the main character’s father is quoted several times: “My faith isn’t in good outcomes…only in the goodness of God.”

Question for you: What novel have you read recently? What are your thoughts on the grace-filled nature of mercy?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”