Mercy’s Rain

Written by Cindy K. Sproles
Review by Nancy J. Attwell

This inspirational novel about a young woman living in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky in the late 1890s confronts head-on the issue of abuse within the church. When the story begins, eighteen-year-old Mercy Roller has already endured the brutal deaths of both her husband and child. Her father and tormentor, Pastor, dies near the beginning of the book. Mercy then begins a journey, both literal and figurative, that leads her toward redemption.

The themes of birth and rebirth run strongly throughout the story. There is violence in life and violence in death, but also wonder and grace and joy. Although Pastor was a monstrous man who wielded words from the Bible as a weapon while perpetrating shocking acts of violence, the words themselves were of love and mercy, and they took root and blossomed.

Nineteenth-century life in the mountains of Appalachia is beautifully captured. Powerful and disturbing, Mercy’s Rain launches Sproles’ writing career and firmly establishes her as an author who is not afraid to speak the truth.