Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mercy Come Morning by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Krista's mother was dying...but only physically. That's what she told herself when she received the call from the Alzheimer care facility. They wanted her to visit. There was still time, they said. Time for what? For conversation? In Krista's mind, her mother had died a long time ago.
And if she went to visit her mother, she'd have to face her high school flame, Dane. He had conceived of and ran the facility that did everything possible to make the last years of Alzheimer patients as pleasant as possible. She'd have to go back home to Taos after deliberately staying away all these years.
But Dane talked her into it. She took leave from her teaching and made the drive.

As the novel progresses, we learn that Krista was born late in her mother's life and Krista was only college age when her mother needed extra care because of the memory loss. We also find out that Krista's youth was difficult with her mother often gone to bars and her father totally absent.
There is much Krista must face before her mother dies. A book was found in which Krista's mother had kept a journal of sorts. As Krista reads the entries and realizes her mother's struggles, she begins to heal the distance between them. Even as her mother has forgotten so much, Krista begins to remember.
Dane still loves Krista, after all these years. But can she overcome the hurt she suffered from one of her mother's boyfriends?

This is a character driven novel. We get to know Krista and she how she has made a life for herself, but at an emotional cost. There is a protective wall from past hurts that must be breached if Krista is to be reconciled to her mother. And there must also be forgiveness.
We learn about the Alzheimer facility and how rooms and walkways have been created especially for their patients' well-being. We also learn a bit about the Indians of the area and their Christmas customs.

This is a slow moving book but is worth the read in the end. It is the reprint of Christmas Every Morning which was released in 2002.

WaterBrook Multnomah, 240 pages.  Publisher product information.

I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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