A Tangled Mercy by Joy Jordan-Lake

A Tangled Mercy

Told in alternating tales at once haunting and redemptive, A Tangled Mercy is a quintessentially American epic rooted in heartbreaking true events examining the harrowing depths of human brutality and betrayal, and our enduring hope for freedom and forgiveness. After the sudden death of her troubled mother, struggling Harvard grad student Kate Drayton walks out on her lecture—and her entire New England life. Haunted by unanswered questions and ...


Details A Tangled Mercy

TitleA Tangled Mercy
Author
Release DateNov 1st, 2017
PublisherLake Union Publishing
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction
Rating

Reviews A Tangled Mercy

  • Anne Bogel
    1970-01-01
    I've been excited about this one for a long time! The backstory of how this book came to be what it is is really incredible, and I hope Joy tells it publicly one day. The story itself is timely and engaging, and perfect for fans of historical fiction that flips back and forth in time, like you'd see in the works of Kate Morton or Susan Meissner.
  • Deanne Patterson
    1970-01-01
    A haunting book, A Tangled Mercy held my attention gripped in it's claws from the first page. A time slip book it contains alternating chapters taking place in the modern time of 2015 and the past time of 1822. Based on true facts of what really happened in Charleston, South Carolina. The author has done an absolutely amazing job of research and presenting facts in this book.The writing though is not stiff and boring it flows and keeps you wantin...
  • Beth Jackson-jordan
    1970-01-01
    I was captivated by this story from beginning to end. The characters in this story are not perfect - they struggle with courage, conviction and self-doubt - which makes them very relatable. The tragic history of slavery that still haunts our society in the form of institutionalized racism is addressed with honesty and insight. I was impressed by the depth of research on historical as well as contemporary events woven into this story. Having visit...
  • Suzanne Robertson
    1970-01-01
    These characters are so well-drawn that weeks after finishing the book I am still catching myself wondering how Kate, Gabe, Rose and the others are getting along. Jordan-Lake's quiet descriptions -- eyes the color of a gray glint of a blade; like a whispered apology; the (beautiful) sky was such a liar -- are so real and subtle you are placed in the moment without even realizing it. Clues are hidden throughout like Easter eggs -- an old leather g...
  • Pam Lehman
    1970-01-01
    This is a wonderful book that kept me engrossed right from the beginning. I had to find out what happened to Kate Drayton and what her mother hadn't told her about her past life in Charleston, South Carolina.I love the city of Charleston. It is a city with a wonderful, rich history, a history that unfortunately included slavery. I know the basic history of that terrible era but like many of you I was never aware of the Denmark Vesey Revolt of 182...
  • Laura Simmons
    1970-01-01
    As stories by Southern women about Southern women are a staple in my literary diet, I expected to be entertained by this one. Boy, did I underestimate how it would make me feel. Most people say they could not put a good book down. I must confess that I kept putting this one down. Sometimes because I knew from history that the approaching scenes would be hard to read. But most often because I didn't want the beautiful prose to end. Every detail of...
  • M.K.
    1970-01-01
    A must-read novel for today. Weaving the story of a slave uprising in 1822 Charleston with one set during the 2015 massacre at Charleston’s AME Church, A Tangled Mercy reminds us of yesterday’s atrocities and today’s ongoing racial travesties. Throughout the novel, author Joy Jordan-Lake offers readers compelling characters, evocative writing, and an engrossing and appalling look at time past and time present. This important story will help...
  • Cyndi Pollard
    1970-01-01
    A Tangled Mercy by Joy Jordan Lake is a fascinating story that engulfs you from beginning to end. The Story is set in Charleston almost 200 years apart going back to 1822 and forward to 2015. It’s so well written each Chapter leaves you wanting more as your go between the two eras seeing small flickers of connections that bring you from brutality of slavery and darkness into the light of freedom and hope for us all. This is applicable today tha...
  • Brenda Bradley
    1970-01-01
    A captivating mix of history and mystery, Joy Jordan-Lake's latest book, A Tangled Mercy, is a magnificent work of art about the potentially transformative, healing, and unifying power of secrets uncovered. In her background on the writing of this book, Jordan-Lake says that the racial landscape of America is "painful, often raw, yet also living proof of real transformation and hope and a hard-fought, still-in-progress unity." With superb charact...
  • Sharyn Dowd
    1970-01-01
    Jordan-Lake's new novel is a gripping story of relationships, loyalty, betrayal, terror and triumph of spirit set in Charleston, South Carolina. The characters are two groups of Charlestonians. One set of characters are those involved in and touched by the slave rebellion planned by Denmark Vesey in 1822 but aborted when terrified associates leaked the plan to the white men of the city. The other group of characters lived in the Charleston of 201...
  • Warren Webb
    1970-01-01
    Charleston is the setting of this story, and Charleston and its low country are the linchpin of the old South. Here, in 1822, it seemed that all was going well. But this was very wrong. A slave rebellion was being planned and prepared for - prepared for with recruitment throughout the area and by the secret crafting of weapons by a slave blacksmith. The revolt failed and the rebels were hanged. A few white sympathizers were pained, but perforce k...
  • David Jordan
    1970-01-01
    I loved this book. Going alternately from present day Charleston and back to the slave revolt was well done and effective. The history felt authentic and not forced and her use of the current tension, tragedy and redemption was quite moving. I highly recommend A Tangled Mercy for a great end of summer read as well as a fine source of inspiration!
  • Irmgard
    1970-01-01
    Reading this beautiful book, A Tangled Mercy, by Joy Jordan-Lake, invigorated my mind and my heart as I tried to glimpse each character's personality in the alternating chapters and times two hundred years apart. The events her characters faced portrayed the anguished price of freedom.Finding the emotional risks to survive in 1822 or in 2015, were revealed well in the unforgettable characters. I felt I knew them as they were painted by words or b...
  • Katherine Kennon
    1970-01-01
    An enjoyable and captivating read. Jordan-Lake intertwines the past and the present stories and timelines and their characters beautifully …. you look forward to each chapter to see how the alternate timeline fits in. And, she paints the backdrop of Charleston as the intriguing place that it is - a city that itself exists in the delicate balance of reverence for its history and its modern existence. I would recommend this book to anyone who app...
  • Diane O.
    1970-01-01
    I've never read a better book! I could hardly put it down, and the vivid descriptions, intrigue, history, romance, and inspiration drew me in, made me want to go to Charleston, and challenged me to let the past better inform my future. This is a must-read book on so many levels and for so many different reasons. It will open up discussions and be a positive influence as well as being a great book to just read.
  • Amanda Callendrier
    1970-01-01
    Beautiful writing. In some ways, reminiscent of Allegra Goodman and the skill with which research is combined with suspense. We learn something from this novel, but it connects through the heart. The characters are finely drawn, and the story is satisfying and gripping all at once. *I received an advance copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
  • Todd Lake
    1970-01-01
    This book is lyrical and passionate, and so desperately needed at a time when the fact that "those who forget history are doomed to repeat it" is more true than ever. The author has given us all a book for the ages--one that gives novelistic expression to the tragedy of the past, the horror of the present, and yet despite it all a hope for the future.
  • Joyce Owen
    1970-01-01
    This book was hard to put down and I was a little bit sad to finish because I will miss these characters. The double timeline in the same setting really held my interest. It illustrates how the past will not always stay in the past.
  • Diane O.
    1970-01-01
    I've never read a better book! From the first page I was enthralled, and soon i could hardly put it down. The history, intrigue, vivid descriptions, character development, romance - all of it captured me and held me until the end, when I found tears running down my cheeks from the sheer power and beauty of the story with its amazing outcome. This is a must-read!
  • Terri Roth
    1970-01-01
    This book was captivating from the very start and the characters hooked you into their lives. I had never heard anything about the slave revolt in Charleston so that piece of history was fascinating and how the 2 different time periods were woven together was great. It kept me wanting to read until late in the night.
  • Carey R.
    1970-01-01
    Denmark Vesey, a freed slave, plotted a rebellion against the Charleston white establishment in 1822. This book is an account of that tumultuous and tragic era. It is not the first description of such a desperate effort by blacks held in bondage in the South, of course. William Styron’s The Confessions of Nat Turner reports on a slave uprising occurring in Virginia nine years later. But that is pretty much where the similarities of the two book...
  • The Rev.
    1970-01-01
    Page L. D. CreachTake Shakespeare's, What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive, and the American hymn, Amazing Grace, and you have a sense of Joy Jordan-Lake's rich new novel, A Tangled Mercy. In 2015, the shadows of Kate Drayton's past threaten to take her over in grad school, until she takes a big risk, dropping fragile pieces that hold her life together in New England, to return to Charleston, SC, on a search for her freedo...
  • Jen
    1970-01-01
    I loved this book! It's an engaging story, but more than that - there are some beautiful one-liners, descriptions of the scene or observations on life, that just make you stop and re-read them. For example, "Spanish moss like gauzy gray scarves draped from the bend of each joint - reaching as if there were something they wanted, desperately wanted" and "There were no stars, as if some lamplighter, lazy or drunk, had neglected to light them."I hav...
  • Beverly Schneller
    1970-01-01
    Jordan-Lake has accomplished much in this finely crafted novel of Charleston, SC in 1822 and 2015. She expertly braided what amounts to three stories of the past, the then present, and the city around the lives, loves, and losses of a well-developed cast of characters. She creates a multilayered emotional connection for the readers with the main characters, but is careful to fully develop those who play less sustained roles as well, such as the a...
  • Robbie Pinter
    1970-01-01
    This is the book we need now, as a nation and as teachers and as readers. In a well-crafted story, I can hear the cries of mothers, fathers, sons, daughters—cries that need to be heard now—across time but still rooted in place and issues of race.First and foremost, this is a good read. I couldn’t stop turning the page. When I ended each chapter, I found myself wanting more. I stayed up late reading and I kept having the urge to update my hu...
  • Jerrie
    1970-01-01
    Joy Jordan-Lake agrees with William Faulkner: “the past is never dead.” And A Tangled Mercy is her historically rich search for the connections between the illusive past of 1822 and the inexplicable present of 2015. Her characters search for order in their worlds: Kate, descendant of Charleston aristocrats, sketches scene after scene to “sort the chaos of life one line at a time”, and Gabe, descendant of Charleston slaves, tries to match ...
  • Chip Dobbs-Allsopp
    1970-01-01
    In the Author's Note, Joy Jordan-Lake explains that her ambition for A Tangled Mercy was "not only to tell a story worth reading" but "more importantly" "to honor the memory" of the nineteenth- and twenty-first-century communities in Charleston, South Carolina that feature at the heart of her novel. The desire one senses is genuine. Of course, for a story to do such work of honoring it must do so as story, and thus must be "worth reading." A Tang...
  • Rick Sams
    1970-01-01
    A book 20 years in the making, Joy Jordan-Lake's, A Tangled Mercy, is a must read for anyone interested in race relations in America, past or present. With the skill of an accomplished historian and the grace of a gifted writer, Jordan-Lake takes us on parallel journeys set in antebellum and contemporary Charleston, masterly weaving the two stories into a seamless history. Her story makes me want to visit the city with its rich and checkered hist...