As far as contemporary novels go, Lisa Bergren has always been one of my favorite authors. I love her laid-back, yet interesting, style of writing that has just enough romantic tension to fulfill my occasional romance novel fix. Mercy Come Morning was such a book, and while it was originally released as Christmas Every Morning (a title I'd read long ago, but had forgotten), I was glad to have had the opportunity to reread it.
This is not a novel for everyone...let me just say that up front. The main character, Krista, has some deep emotional scars as a result of her relationship with her mother, and as her mother is reaching death's door after a long Alzheimer's illness, she struggles to find a way to set everything to rights before it's too late. If not for a book full of Christmas carols filled with hastily scratched notes from her mother, Krista might have never known why the relationship between her and her mother failed.
I found the imagery of "Christmas every morning" the perfect backdrop for this story. Sometimes, during the Christmas season, we hear so many of the same songs over and over again, but may not allow the words to penetrate our hearts. I know I'm certainly guilty of that. "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and "Oh, Holy Night" now have a new meaning to me personally because of their inclusion in this story.
For those wanting to read Mercy Come Morning, be sure to have a box of tissues handy. Lisa penned some truly beautiful scenes between Krista and her mother that had me tearing up more than once. I have no doubt that this novel has ministered to many people both in the original release and the re-release--those dealing with a family member with Alzheimer's, or even those dealing with a recent death. It was a difficult story to begin, but one that has a bittersweet, yet joyous, conclusion.
Mercy Come Morning by Lisa Tawn Bergren, is a wonderful story of family healing and finding peace at the end of life. Krista is called to her mothers bedside as her life nears the end, but it is with a heavy heart that Krista makes the trip from Colorado to Taos, New Mexico. Mother has Alzheimers disease and Krista had to place her in a care facility years ago. As Krista travels she remembers much of her life with her mother and many all the feelings that go with those memories.
In Taos, she not only has to see her mother in congestive heart failure but also again meets Dane, her high school sweetheart, and more memories are brought forth. Through the wonderful care Dane provided for patients, like Kristas mother, in Cimmeron Care Center, Krista is able to see how peaceful Mothers last years have been. Dane shares a book of Christmas songs that Kristas mother used as a sort of journal over the years, and Krista sees a side of her mother that she never knew.
This book is a rerelease of the 2002 Christmas Every Morning. And while the story takes place primarily in December, it was fun to read it on December 1. There is a lot of insight into the Alzheimer patient and family in this story, and the suffering that accompanies the disease. But Bergren also shares the wonderful story of forgiveness found only through Jesus Christ. It is easy to read, although if you are struggling with a friend or family member with Alzheimers, it may bring up painful memories. I particularly enjoyed the description of the Cimmeron Care Center and hope that there really are places like that for people who need constant care.
Disclaimer: I received this book as a member of the waterbrook press blogging for books club. All opinioins expressed are my own.
In Colorado, history professor Krista Mueller awaits news of her mother's death. It has been more than a decade since Alzheimer's disease first claimed a part of Charlotte Mueller's mind and memories. But Krista cannot forget the pain of her childhood. Nor can she face the dying woman who has-despite Krista's desperate attempts to gain her love-always been far beyond her daughter's reach.
Then a call from New Mexico launches Krista on a dramatic journey of discovery-a journey that helps her being to finally understand her estranged mother and allow the lost love of her youth back into her life. But Krista struggles to seize her final opportunity for forgiveness-and love-even when she knows that such a step is not for her mother's sake any longer but for her own.
Very, very good story about a woman dealing with her Mother's Alzheimer's Disease.