Wednesday, July 25, 2012

House of Mercy by Erin Healy

When Beth’s world falls apart, can she ever be whole again?

Beth has a gift of healing—which is why she wants to become a vet and help her family run their fifth-generation cattle ranch. Her father’s dream of helping men in trouble and giving them a second chance is her dream too. But it only takes one foolish decision for Beth to destroy it all.

Beth scrambles to redeem her mistake, pleading with God for help, even as a mystery complicates her life. But the repercussions grow more unbearable—a lawsuit, a death, a divided family, and the looming loss of everything she cares about. Beth’s only hope is to find the grandfather she never knew and beg for his help. Confused, grieving, but determined to make amends, she embarks on a horseback journey across the mountains, guided by a wild, unpredictable wolf who may or may not be real.

Set in the stunningly rugged terrain of Southern Colorado, House of Mercy follows Beth through the valley of the shadow of death into the unfathomable miracles of God’s goodness and mercy.

House of Mercy by Erin Healy was a captivating read that really captured need we have for God's mercy and grace and how He gives it to us freely, even when we run from His love. The plot line flowed well and filled with moments of sorrow, joy, tribulation, and hope. The novel was interesting and kept me glued to the pages. The literal yet symbolic nature of many of the scenes in House of Mercy were intriguing and helped drive home the points Erin was making in her novel. House of Mercy was certainly a unique novel. There were many instances that seemed very unrealistic and maybe even crazy, but they all flowed together to create a powerful story that revealed what true love, mercy and acceptance are. I would have liked if there had been some mention of Jesus in the story. God was mentioned often, but some times in a more mystical light than what is reflected through the Bible. I think that mentioning at some point any character's belief in Christ as God's ultimate gift of mercy would have added to the story. I have read all of Erin Healy's novels, and I really enjoy her choices of both description and language.

The character development in House of Mercy was excellent as well. Beth was a deep and interesting character, filled with both strengths and weaknesses.  I did not really like Beth at first as she was immature and not concerned for how her actions would affect her family and those she loved. I enjoyed seeing her growth as a person as she traveled and experienced the mercy and love of her Heavenly Father. The other characters were individual and captivating as well. One of the antagonists in the plot had a very unique psyche, and it was horrifyingly interesting to see her thought processes and to watch her actions. The men who worked on the ranch were exciting and filled with surprises themselves. I was happy to see a surprising romance even develop in the midst of the pain and uncertainty.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. Its plot, tone, language, and character development were all created well and helped me experience House of Mercy to the fullest. The book ended in a very satisfying if not tantalizing manner. I wonder if there might be a sequel .....  if not, I will have to simply let my imagination run free in imagining what awaits for the characters.

I received this novel for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Terrific review. I also enjoyed this book. While it didn't mention Jesus, I think it would still be a great book to give someone who is not yet a believer. The author explores the subtle differences between true and false religion, in a way that would make a seeker want to know more. Sometimes I think a book that leads you to ask important questions is more powerful than a book that just feeds you answers. And I think House of Mercy would cause seekers to ask all the right questions. Hey, one other thing--as you know, the author is holding a weekly drawing to give away copies of this book on her facebook page, at

    1. Thanks. I is still an excellent book, with many deep references to God. I was thinking that mentioning Jesus as God's ultimate gift of mercy might give a more complete picture of God's overwhelming mercy. But, yes, I totally agree...this book will definitely point those who are seeking toward God, His mercy, and ultimately to the answer in Jesus.