Monday, February 2, 2015

Broken Mercies by Lucy Marker

Broken MerciesBroken Mercies by Lucy Marker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have never really considered myself to be a reader with a trigger. I may have read a few books in my time that made me uncomfortable initially or that I had to stop reading because I couldn’t stomach the content, but it’s been years since a book has elicited such a response. That said, I was not prepared for the subject matter that Broken Mercies covered because there was nothing in the blurb that indicated that the main characters were in rehab for addictions. The combination of their time in rehab and the level of abuse that Dan’s mother inflicted on her children actually caused me to put the book down and read another book before returning to it. While I don’t consider the subject matter a trigger for me per se, they are topics which require me to be in a certain mindset to read them. And now having finished the book, I am glad that I stopped reading it (instead of powering through), cleared my mind with another book, and had the chance to get myself in the right frame of mind to read it before I started it over because Broken Mercies is a wonderfully written book with a powerful message.

Daniel and Jeremy are indeed broken and the reader learns via their discussions in group therapy that they have very similar stories – an abusive childhood at the hands of a mentally ill parent. Daniel’s lapse that caused him to return to rehab actually was not his fault. A jealous acquaintance spiked his drink and by the time Daniel realized it, it was too late to stop the spiral that it caused. But Daniel is intent on making this his last time in rehab, so much so that he is willing to cut himself off from his family in an effort to avoid the painful memories of his childhood their presence causes. Daniel’s departure from rehab is only the start of a long, hard road back to recovery as his ex keeps trying to reinsert himself into Daniel’s life. With Jeremy and the Sobriety Squad’s help, he is intent on staying sober and living a life with fewer triggers. His and Jeremy’s struggles to build a relationship that is supportive without being controlling, while learning to avoid one another’s triggers is actually inspiring. Jeremy has a seemingly endless supply of patience and understanding, which Daniel really needs, but it is Jeremy’s guidance to forgiveness and acceptance that is the key to Daniel’s recovery.

Ms. Marker has written a very moving story that I ultimately enjoyed. The conflicts that Daniel faced – both internal and external – will make this a difficult read for some people, but one well worth it. Typically I do not enjoy books with a strong religious theme, but because Daniel’s faith is a fundamental part of who he is and part of the story focuses on the role it plays in his life I had no issue with it. On the contrary, I liked the way in which Daniel explained how he was able to maintain his faith despite its condemnation of his homosexuality. It also helps that the religious themes are not preachy. Broken Mercies is a beautiful story full of bigotry, acceptance, and love that gives a realistic view into the human condition and I am so glad I had the opportunity to read it.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Broken Mercies by Lucy Marker blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.

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