The Secrets of Mercy

The Secrets of Mercy: a novel

THE SECRETS OF MERCY, by Brook Blander, is an inspiring, entertaining and spellbinding book.

   – Judge, 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

 


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News of emancipation reaches the southern town of Mercy where within its boundaries four women journey to define freedom within their lives. They endure abuse, tend to unrequited love and ache from broken families. Suffering too long, only their dreams, desires and secrets hold them up each day.

Sylvia, the cook and confidant of her former mistress, hungers in silent desperation for a life with her sons who were sold years ago and for her husband who sleeps beside her filled with fury in his fists. She is not the only bruised soul on the plantation. Mistress Vivian Purvis moves about Mercy with a veneer of perfection, a fabricated likeness of the perfect wife to one of the town’s wealthiest and distinguished men. He, too, is lined in a pretty caul to conceal his brilliant misimpression. In their suffering, the two women discover they can help each other stand up and heal.

The resounding news marks the lawful end of slavery for Blacks, yet, on a neighboring plantation, they do not scatter and run, they do not gather up their children and move their free limbs in a joyous, gallant departure. Instead, they are trepidatious not eager, frightened not doughty. The deaths of Blacks brave enough to leave the plantation behind have their legs stiff with fear as they watch their neighbors kick up dust pulling their belongings behind them. There, with sharp eyes and long ears resides, Nella Jo, better known as First Lady, a black slave and the Master’s mistress, who lives in luxury and exploits her position among the other slaves. When the comforts of her life begin to dwindle at the onset of emancipation, frenzied and despondent, she strives to maintain the past to secure the future for herself and her daughter, Yuna. A woman with her own desires, Yuna struggles against her mother’s manipulations and stingy love for a different life all her own.

In Mercy, secrets hide in sluggish water and misfortune roams upright and without restraint. When freedom rings, each woman finds she is a prisoner grappling for some of it. Within their journeys, they discover the passageway to freedom resides within and always will.readasampleCHAPTER


What The Readers Are Saying…

Leave a REVIEW

THE SECRETS OF MERCY, by Brook Blander, is an inspiring, entertaining and spellbinding book. I started it and couldn’t put it down, reading it in one long afternoon. The book has some wonderful characters, too many to mention, except for Sylvia, Julius, Alivia, Yuna… well, too many to mention. The plotting is also excellent, making many turns and twists, too many to mention, except to say that this book is a great read. Altogether, I would recommend this book to readers everywhere.
– Judge, 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Remarkable Experience of a Book…
Reading the book was a remarkable experience! I was sucked right in from the first few words. I did not want the book to end. It is fantastically written and the characters somehow made their way into my heart. I loved them all. The tragedies, the joys, the sadness – my emotions were on a rollercoaster and I loved it. Great book! It left me questioning …if I lived back then during that time, what would I have done with my freedom? And most importantly, what am I doing with my freedom now?
AuthorsDen Professional Book Reviewers

Emotional, Heartfelt…
It is a strong, emotional, heart felt novel. Many of the chapters made you feel like you [were] right there watching, feeling, and partaking in some events. This novel was wonderfully written. Although times [were] terribly difficult for them, they found the strengh to keep going forward. They were not content with the way things were so with the help from God and their accepting changes, they were determined to break the destructive cycles. Yes! This novel motivates and encourages me to take time to learn how to find serenity while also accepting my life as it is. Life isn’t fair, predictable, or controllable, though it can be wonderfully rich in many ways.
AuthorsDen Professional Book Reviewers

The Story is Alive!
The story is alive with original characters who are full of love, sadness and rage. It is [as] sweet as it is bitter. Set in the South just after Emancipation. This story will press on your chest, make you happy and make you cry. The characters will not leave you until days after you’ve finished reading the book. To the author, thank you for an amazing read!
AuthorsDen Professional Book Reviewers

Discover the Secrets of Mercy!
Blander does a superb job of creating characters and energy that you can truly feel. She intricately paints a vivid picture of people who become a part of your soul as you travel with them on their emotional journeys of struggle and heart ache, and as you watch them overcome those obstacles to find growth and joy. Each woman’s story, though strongly her own, is intricately weaved together with the others to create a unique web of interconnection, making this book an absolute page turner. I anxiously look forward to the sequel.
Amazon Reader/Reviewer

Emotions of Mercy
When I sat down to read The Secrets of Mercy I did not know what I was in for. After reading the first chapter I knew then that I was going on a journey back in time. It was an emotional journey. I felt the anxiety and the pain the slaves felt when body parts of their loved ones was returned to them. The journey that each of the main women went through was incredible. They did not let their circumstances hold them back. Mrs. P. and her slave both having abusive husbands was an daily battle for these women. What they had to overcome can relate to the struggles of women in present day. Sylvia having all her children taken away and her longing to have them back. Dealing with that type of emptiness and living with an abusive husband made her an hero just being able to wake up and continue to live was awesome. I felt some anger towards Nella Jo because of her role as first lady and the way she decided that she was above the rest of the slaves. My heart filled with sorrow for Ida’s broken heart and soul after being forced to whip her only son. The Secrets of Mercy took me on a wonderful, emotional journey that I will not forget. I LOVE a book that pulls me pulls me in and leaves my breathless.
Tabitha Holloway, Concord NC

The Secrets of Mercy was simply amazing!! Once I was involved in the lives of these women, I was hooked! I loved getting to know them! My heart broke for them and their circumstances and then soared at their ability to rise from the ashes and find healing. This book is truly inspirational!!
– Ladda Gibson | Fort Worth, TX

Gifted Author Brook Blander paints an exquisite and bittersweet portrait of four women whose lives are forever dramatically interwoven during the deliverance of a long awaited liberation for the slaves of a southern town called Mercy. Ms. Blander’s exceptional depiction of this “slice of life” takes the reader through a myriad of emotions culminating in an electrifying conclusion making us examine the true meaning of the word ‘Freedom’. Absolutely a “MUST READ” !!!!
– Lynn Darmon | Southfield, MI

It is a strong emotional, heartfelt novel. Many of the chapters made you feel like you was right there watching, feeling, and partaking in some events. This novel was wonderfully written. Although times was terribly difficult for them, they found the strengh to keep going forward. They were not content with the way things were so with the help from God and their accepting changes, they were determined to break the destructive cycles. Yes! This novel motivates and encourages me to take time to learn how to find serenity while also accepting my life as it is. Life isn’t fair, predictable, or controllable, though it can be wonderfully rich in many ways.
– Margie Boles | Savannah, GA

Great Read
This book was an excellent read. Getting to know just enough about each character in order to relate to their pains, struggles and everyday life made this a page turner. The revealing of their individual stories gave more insight into their personalities and their actions!
Takiyah Gibbs, Savannah GA

The characters in this story were amazing. The women, their anguish, their pain, and their courage had me hooked from beginning to end. This author did a wonderful job in telling this story!
– Gia Styles | Atlanta, GA

Secrets of Mercy
The story is alive with original characters who are full of love, sadness and rage. It is sweet as it is bitter. Set in the South just after Emancipation. This story will press on your chest, make you happy and make you cry. The characters will not leave you until days after you’ve finished reading the book. To the author, thank you for an amazing read!
– Gayle Lee, Atlanta GA

Best book I read in 2013
This is a novel that makes the reader feel the full gamut of emotions in a seamless and comfortable way. There were times I talked out loud as I read, times I referred to certain characters in my daily conversation as though I truly knew them, and times I simply refused to put the book down. Brook Blander’s use of local color and poetically detailed descriptions bring the reader directly into the town of Mercy and into a connection with its residents. Read. This. Book. You can come back and thank me later ;)
– B. Ayers, Dallas, TX 


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