Shades of Mercy (Maine Chronicle #1)
Anita Lustrea and Caryn Rivadeneira
River North Fiction/Moody Publishers
Published September 1, 2013
Mercy Millar just wants her father to see her for who she is, instead of the son he wishes he had. She does enjoy the freedom to come and go the way her father’s son would, though. She is even allowed to drive to the edge of town and pick up the Maliseet workers unescorted. She looks forward to that drive each morning because it’s the only place she and Mick, a Maliseet boy, can be together. They steal a few minutes dreaming of a future far from Watsonville and its prejudices, where a white girl and a Maliseet boy can make a life together.
But when a local man’s daughter and another Maliseet boy run away together, racial tensions run high in the tiny Maine town, and Mick and Mercy find themselves right smack in the middle of it all. In an effort to keep Mick from harm, Mercy tries desperately to keep her feelings a secret from the rest of the town. When Mick is falsely charged with a violent crime, Mercy fears the worst. She must find a way to turn the tide of hate to mercy before an innocent man is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit.
Shades of Mercy is a simple love story wrapped in the tumult of the Civil Rights Movement in the northeast. While other parts of the country begin to embrace the bold words and dreams of leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr, the people of Watsonville, Maine restrict their Maliseet Indian population to a life in shanties built on the town dump. The story follows those first moments of powerful change as townspeople begin to demand equality for all citizens. The unique and important historical view of this novel makes it an unforgettable, valuable achievement and a worthy read for today’s youth.
No profanity or crude language.
Mercy and her boyfriend share a few kisses.
Though Mercy and her family live among a strong Christian community, some community members do not believe that the Maliseet people should have the same rights as others. Mercy learns by the example of her parents when to be silent and pray versus when to speak out against wrongdoing.
A brief altercation occurs when a young Maliseet man is accused of attacking a white man. A terrible storm destroys and floods the town of Watsonville, Maine, leaving many citizens injured.
Alcoholism and apathy run rampant through the Maliseet camp.