First Line Friday — Waves of Mercy

24 Jan

Happy Friday! I am again sharing first lines from books that have been on my TBR shelves way too long. Today’s worthy book is Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin. I know, I know, I really need to read this book. I think it may make an appearance as a surprise selection on my book club’s schedule. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone. 😉

Have you read Waves of Mercy?

What did you think?

For other great first lines, head over to Hoarding Books.


Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from the Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she’s asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions hidden all these years, including the story of her one true love.

At the nearby Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of a broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after a violent storm aboard a steamship stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.

Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.

For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband’s work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she’d earned at Hope College and Southern Connecticut State University to work as a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother, and daughter concerning the change in women’s roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve’s Daughters.

Along with reading, two of Lynn’s lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published 27 novels. Eight of her historical novels have won Christy Awards for excellence in Christian Fiction: Hidden Places (2001), Candle in the Darkness (2002), Fire by Night (2003), A Proper Pursuit (2007), Until We Reach Home (2008), Though Waters Roar (2009), While We’re Far Apart (2010), and Wonderland Creek (2011). She was inducted into the Christy Award Hall of Fame in 2013. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn’s novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.


11 Responses to “First Line Friday — Waves of Mercy”

  1. MrsDMVH January 24, 2020 at 8:35 am #

    Well that line sure grabs your attention! Happy Friday!!

  2. bellesmoma16 January 24, 2020 at 10:58 am #

    Happy Friday!
    Today on my blog I am sharing the first line from More Than We Remember by Christina Suzann Nelson: It’s definitely an emotional read! I’m currently on chapter 16, so I will share the first line from there.
    “‘Are you kidding me?’ Emilia slammed down the phone.”

    I hope you have an excellent weekend filled with fun reading time!

    • rbclibrary January 27, 2020 at 7:00 am #

      That one is on my TBR list.

  3. BeautyInTheBinding (@BeautyInTheBind) January 24, 2020 at 7:11 pm #

    Happy Friday! Today I’m sharing the first line from Lake Season by Denise Hunter: “The house was eerily silent.”

    • rbclibrary January 27, 2020 at 7:00 am #

      I’ve heard great things about that book.

  4. Yvette - Bookworlder January 24, 2020 at 11:16 pm #

    Happy Friday! I’m sharing from Walkabout, by James Vance Marshall on my blog today. Here is the first line from chapter 2:

    “The advance guard of sunlight filtered into the gully, turning the night to powdery opaqueness.”

    • rbclibrary January 27, 2020 at 6:59 am #

      Thanks for sharing!

  5. thebeccafiles January 25, 2020 at 12:16 am #

    I haven’t read this one yet but I want to! It’s currently sitting on my bookshelf staring at me lol.
    The book I shared on my blog this week is Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green but the book I’m just about to start is The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay so I’ll share that first line here: “People parted around us in the courtyard.” Hope you have a wonderful weekend with plenty of quality reading time! 🙂

    • rbclibrary January 27, 2020 at 6:59 am #

      I really liked Reay’s book. I need to catch up on her others.

  6. Paula Shreckhise January 26, 2020 at 7:51 pm #

    That is one sitting on my shelf that needs to be read along with a few others of Lynn’s

    My first line is from End Game by Rachel Dylan:
    “I think they may be keeping dead bodies in their condo.”

    • rbclibrary January 27, 2020 at 6:58 am #

      Such a great line and a great book!

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