My Review of “A Tangled Mercy” by Joy Jordan-Lake

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“A Tangled Mercy” by Joy Jordan-Lake combines the genres of History with Fiction, and  Kudos to the author for the vivid descriptions of the charm, spirit, and architecture of Charleston, South Carolina. There are so many contrasts to Charleston in the past and in the present. The timeline of the novel is basically divided into two,  weaving the story of the 1822 slave uprising and the 2015 Massacre at Charleston’s at AME Church. This is a very heavy and significant read.
The characters in this novel in both past and present are complex and complicated. Somehow the contrast between good and evil, betrayal and loyalty,love and hate, freedom and oppression seem to be evident in both timelines
 Kate Drayton had come to Charleston after her mother’s death to seek answers her mother never gave her. In the process Kate is looking to discover herself. Kate’s mother was obsessed with the 1822 slave revolt and a blacksmith named Tom Russell, a slave. Kate meets a colorful cast of characters, each adding some information for the unanswered  questions she is seeking. Kate is a graduate student seeking similar information as her mother to the slave uprising.
We see in the past when Tom Russell was a gifted blacksmith, and how slavery was a part of Charleston’s history. Although Charleston was a port that welcomed people of different religions , it was a tremendous port for slavery. We meet characters that are loyal and those that are betrayers. During this time period there are complicated and conflicted personalities.
Both timelines merge as secrets are discovered and history is revealed. The topic of DNA is brought up and the significance of the research of it. The author shows us that despite hatred and fear, love, hope, trust, and faith is what keeps Charleston. and the people together. In the end, Love, forgiveness, hope and faith will survive. The author also discusses the importance of family, friends, and love.
I recommend this novel for those readers that appreciate  fictional characters based on historical facts. I received an Advanced Reading Copy for my honest review.

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