The Shape of Mercy

by Susan Meissner
Published by Christian Audio
Inspirational Fiction

2010 Audie Finalist for Inspirational Fiction

Narrator Tavia Gilbert’s clear, youthful diction adds appeal to her portrayal of college student Lauren Durough. She captures Lauren’s determination to be independent, even though she relies on her parents for her college tuition. With empathy Gilbert portrays Lauren’s job interview with octogenarian Abigail Boyle. Abigail agrees to hire Lauren to transcribe the journal of one of her ancestors, Mercy Hayworth. Mercy was tried and convicted of witchcraft in the seventeenth-century Salem witch trials—her journal is a firsthand account of the event. Gilbert maintains a high emotional pitch as listeners learn how Mercy reaches from the past to the present to transform this contemporary young woman. AudioFile Magazine


College student Lauren Durough takes a part-time job transcribing the diary of Mercy Hayworth, a victim of the Salem witch trials. Lauren soon finds herself captivated by the life of a girl who lived four centuries ago and whose hopes and dreams were similar to Lauren’s. As Lauren unravels the diary, she discovers that she, like Mercy, faces decisions that require hard choices and sacrifice. Gilbert’s sensitive reading makes Lauren’s indecisiveness and self-doubt seem natural; she provides a nice contrast between Lauren and her straight-talking “get-over-yourself” roommate. She is equally adept with the male and Hispanic characters, especially a wannabe boyfriend. Gilbert captures life during the witch hunt madness and uses soft, caressing tones to tell of Mercy’s growing affection for a young man and a flat, expressionless voice when Mercy grieves for her father. Gilbert reveals many facets of this doomed, brave girl in this fine inspirational title. Booklist