Mercies and Miracles
The Fairhaven Chronicles
by Sharon Downing Jarvis
“Welcome back to Fairhaven, Alabama,” from Bishop Shepherd, his wife, Trish, and family of 3 children. Don’t forget the cat, Samantha, the spoiled Siamese that belongs to the youngest child, Mallory. It is fall and everyone is gearing up for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Bishop Shepherd is as busy as always as he runs his grocery store and tries to help the members of his church.
The characters from the first volume return in this book. The Jernigans remain as paranoid as ever, to the point that Ralph makes himself the one man security detail checking the parking lot for suspicious characters during a ward dinner.
Melody Padgett and her abusive husband have separated and their daughter has been taken by Child Protective Services. This sends Melody into a tailspin. Will she get Andrea back? How long will it take? Will the bishop be able to influence the Court’s decision?
Buddy shuffles uneasily between his alcoholic father and his mother and her unkind boyfriend. Buddy actually is a gifted artist and the bishop tries to build his self-esteem. He is often locked out of both “homes” because neither so-called parents give him a house key.
Trish’s best friend, Muzzie, is the perfect woman. Even in high school, Bishop Shepherd was intimidated by her. Now she shows up on their doorstep with her children in tow. Muzzie’s life is not so perfect. In fact, it is coming apart at the seams. The Shepherd home seems to have become an inn as they take in Buddy, Muzzie, and her children.
Though it sounds like Fairhaven is about to implode, all is not doom and gloom. Remember, the title of the book 2 is Mercies and Miracles. With a lot of faith, prayer, and love mixed together, miracles can happen.
Some people may think the books are a bit preachy and this could be a turnoff for some readers. I know the books are set in “Alabamy” and one would expect the characters to have a southern accent, but I have to admit the spelling of words in that accent are kind of driving me nuts. I like to hear folks from the south speak, but reading it is so frustrating. (What can I say? I am a grammar and spelling fanatic.) I liked this book better than the first. I would rate this book as a 3.5 out of 5 stars whereas the first volume I gave a rating of 3 stars out of 5.
I am have finished reading book 3 of this 4 book series. I have entered a challenge to read and complete a book series in the month of June.