I could call it surreal.
Eleven years ago, shortly after having my first baby in South Africa, I was invited to join a ladies’ book club. Through our monthly meetings, I was introduced to the writing of Christian author Lynn Austin.
Her books changed me.
I flew through her Chronicles of the Kings series, a five-book collection spanning the life and times of Old Testament King Hezekiah. Lynn’s writing brought those books of the Bible to life for me — character storylines suddenly tied together into one big picture; my nostrils tingled from her vivid descriptions of burnt sacrifices.
Year after year, I was first in our book club to purchase Lynn’s latest release. I cherished the rhythm of her writing and internalized the characters she developed, the stories they told.
Fast forward to 2016, and after ten years in Cape Town, I’m back living in my hometown of Holland, Michigan.
A friend sends me a link on Facebook: Did you see that Lynn Austin is inviting readers to join the launch team for her newest book?
I dropped what I was doing and applied immediately.
Then, to my great surprise, I learned that her latest historical novel, Waves of Mercy, was set in my hometown! What were the chances?
Imagine my further shock when I discovered that Lynn had moved to Holland, Michigan! My mind flashed back to my Cape Town book club days, and how she had seemed like a distant celebrity — a writer I greatly admired who resided somewhere across the ocean. And now she lives less than four miles from my house!
As if the story couldn’t get any more incredible — Lynn’s launch team manager invited me to interview Lynn Austin in her home!
Yes, I could definitely call it surreal.
Here we are, in Lynn’s living room:
I have so much to say about our time together that I’m just going to have to let it spill into another post. Come back soon to catch Part 2 of this interview series, in which I share some of the wisdom I gleaned from my interview with Lynn Austin. In the meantime, read on for more about Lynn’s latest novel, Waves of Mercy.
You’re going to love this book. Okay, I admit I’m biased because I live in the town in which it is set.
Have you ever had that privilege? To read an account of how your town was formed?
I lost myself in the telling, imagining the first settlers who stopped in the dense forests and began to chop down wood. I learned that Lake Macatawa used to be called Black Lake, and Hope College started out as Holland Academy. I drive past the original Pillar Church regularly and never knew about the grand hotels that used to line the lakeshore.
But more than the fascinating historical facts, the characters and storyline will captivate you through and through. One of the main characters, Geesje, has been asked to write her life story as the town prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding. As she is in process, a wealthy young lady named Anna visits Holland from Chicago in an attempt to heal from a broken engagement. As it turns out, these two women have much more in common than they ever could’ve imagined.
Waves of Mercy will carry you in its swell of ups and downs as the characters ride the unpredictable storms of life. It will teach you about God’s faithfulness and His neverending care of His people, even and especially during times of tremendous trial. It may just leave you asking, “Why?” and yet give you a sense of amazement over God’s sovereign provision.
If you’ve ever had genuine doubts about the goodness of God, if you’ve wrestled with the lot you’ve been dealt in life, if you’ve suffered losses and can’t explain their purpose — this book will resonate with your soul.
When asked, “What do you hope readers will come away with after finishing Waves of Mercy?” Lynn answered, “I hope they see what a close relationship with God is really like, and will learn to trust Him through the hard times and praise Him in all circumstances.”
When asked if there is a theme that seems to show up often in her writing, Lynn responded with these words: “Life is hard but God is good — and He always has everything under control.”
And don’t forget to come back for Part 2 of this interview series, in which Lynn will share some encouragement for those living the writing life!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I received a free copy of Waves of Mercy in exchange for my honest review.