Book Reviews · Contemporary Fiction · Fiction · Historical Fiction · Non-Fiction

A Tangled Mercy – Review

So guys, you and I both know that you can always tell when I REALLY like a book. There’s no beating around the bush, I basically force my love for it onto you ask nicely, until you give in and read it. And then you thank me later and we all recognize that I am the queen of recommending books. Kiddingg……………………


A Tangled Mercy looks very intimidating. It is not a small book, coming in at 433 pages. Now, I’m not a huge fan of ginormous books, they scare me and I’m always worried that I will lose interest but since I’m no quitter, I will have to plow through 300 more pages of things I am not interested in. THIS WAS NOT THE CASE HERE.


This book is split between 2 time periods (y’all know how I love that) 1822 and 2015, both in Charleston, SC, lovingly referred to as “The Low Country” or “The Deep South”. Due to the split in narratives and time periods, it didn’t feel like a 433 page book. There are many stories woven in and it comes together magnificently.

Yall. It hurt my heart. Instead of going on and on about how it made me feel, (because we could be here for a while if I go down that road) here’s a list of adjectives describing A Tangled Mercy.

  • heartbreaking
  • painful
  • eye-opening
  • informative
  • haunting
  • encouraging
  • heartwarming
  • significant
  • compelling

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In 2015, we meet Kate Drayton, who has recently lost both of her parents. Kate is studying the history of Charleston at Harvard, but has recently had a breakdown and fled to the south to try and unlock her mother’s secretive past. Now, it did all work out perfectly for Kate-she meets a cute kid, a rich old lady and a potential love interest, all in her first day in town. BUT this part didn’t bother me, as there wasn’t any time really wasted on her floundering around Charleston and we could get to the meat of the story.

Flipping to 1822, the author drops us in the middle of Denmark Vesay’s planned slave rebellion. Jordan-Lake tells the story of Tom Russell, the slave blacksmith, who has been recruited to make weapons for the revolt. The author does a wonderful job of portraying the evil and ignorance that defined the South during this time period. It wasn’t easy reading, but it shouldn’t be and I felt that it was presented fairly and accurately depending on the historical knowledge of the time.



I have many quotes that struck a chord in me while are a few of my favorites.


“A life worth living is one of compassion. And a life of compassion will include many tears.”


“This is a work of fiction, which, contrary to what any reader paying attention to recent events might assume, I began writing more than twenty years before its publication. It has been a most unusual journey. Before I tell—briefly—the story behind this novel and the remarkable people who inspired it, let me add that while this novel does feature some real people, places, and pivotal events, they are handled in a fictional manner. My intent is not only to tell a story worth reading but equally—or, to be honest, more importantly—to honor the memory of those in nineteenth- and twenty-first-century Charleston who have set an example of courage, conviction, and a spirit of love far stronger than”


“Understand now, I’m not making light of love at eighteen-not the intensity of it. But the true intimacy-how wide and how long and how deep. There’s a beauty, and there’s a strength, you k now, that grows only in a long walk together in the same direction.”



Joy Jordan-Lake has written an incredibly important story that I believe should be required reading in schools these days. It never ceases to amaze me how a book can touch your soul and ignite emotions and reactions in it’s readers. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to EVERYONE. Read more about Joy Jordan-Lake here on her website and buy A Tangled Mercy here!




PLEASE let me know if you have read this book OR if you decide to, because I desperately need other people to understand how fantastic it was! What is a book that struck to straight into your heart and gave you something to chew on for a bit? Let me know in the comments ORRRR head over to our insta and chat there!

k, bye!


2 thoughts on “A Tangled Mercy – Review

    1. Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me, more than you know. It was a wonderful pleasure to read 🙂

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