When Mercy Rains: A Novel

Paperback | October 7, 2014

byKim Vogel Sawyer

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She left, heavily weighted with secrets.
But God reveals all things, in His timing.
And He redeems them.
 
Suzanne Zimmerman was only seventeen and pregnant when her shamed mother quietly sent her away from their Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. With her old home, family, and first love firmly behind her, Suzanne moved to Indiana, became a nurse, and raised a daughter, Alexa, on her own.
 
Now, nearly twenty years later, an unexpected letter arrives from Kansas. Her brother asks her to bring her nursing abilities home and care for their ailing mother. His request requires that Suzanne face a family that may not have forgiven her and a strict faith community. It also means seeing Paul Aldrich, her first love.   
 
Paul, widowed with an eight-year-old son, is relieved to see Suzanne again, giving him the chance to beg her forgiveness for his past indiscretion. But when he meets Alexa, his guilt flickers in the glare of Suzanne’s prolonged secret—one that changes everything.
 
Suzanne had let go of any expectation for forgiveness long ago. Does she dare hope in mercy–and how will her uncovered past affect the people she loves the most?

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From the Publisher

She left, heavily weighted with secrets.But God reveals all things, in His timing. And He redeems them. Suzanne Zimmerman was only seventeen and pregnant when her shamed mother quietly sent her away from their Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. With her old home, family, and first love firmly behind her, Suzanne moved to Indiana,...

Kim Vogel Sawyer is a best-selling, award-winning author highly acclaimed for her gentle stories of hope. More than one million copies of her books are currently in print. She lives in central Kansas where she and her retired military husband, Don, enjoy spoiling their ten granddarlings.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.17 × 5.5 × 0.97 inPublished:October 7, 2014Publisher:The Crown Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307731316

ISBN - 13:9780307731319

Customer Reviews of When Mercy Rains: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartwarming story When Mercy Rains is the first book in Kim Vogel Sawyer’s Zimmerman Family Restoration Trilogy, and is a novel that came as a total surprise to me. Although I was sure I would enjoy it since its description completely captivated me, I never expected it to blow me away. But it did. With its captivating secrets and heartbreaking story, this novel pulled me in, touched my heart, and left me forever grateful I read it. I may have never imagined it would be such a blessing to me, but I am so glad it was. Let me just say, Suzanne is Superwoman. Literally Superwoman. Even after all she goes through, she is strong enough to raise Alexa all on her own, to become a nurse even while a single mom, and most importantly, to forgive. Clearly she has superhuman strength. And God. Her patience is limitless, her kindness knows no bounds, and yet she was just enough imperfect to be human. Finding her to be a relatable character I could look up to, I couldn’t help but love her. I cannot wait to see how her story ends. Now Alexa; Alexa is just like her mother. Although she may have different talents and looks, it was obvious who raised her. She is loving, caring, respectful, and patient, and she obviously loves her mother and Father (the Heavenly one I mean). Her passion and spirited nature made me love her immediately, and I know if we could, we would be fast friends. I could go on like this for really every character in this book. As I got farther and farther into the pages, I began to feel as if the Zimmermans were my family; as if I were a part of the story. I laughed with them, cried with them, and rejoiced for them when things went well. All in all, this heartwarming, touching story about family, faith, and God’s merciful rain will forever be one of my favorites. I give it all five bookshelves without any hesitation, and know that this is a novel I will read again and again.
Date published: 2015-07-29

Extra Content

Read from the Book

PrologueSuzanneSpring 1994The hiss of approaching tires on wet pavement broke the tense silence between the mother and daughter seated on the bus-stop bench. Suzy flicked a look at Mother and dared a timorous comment. “Here it comes.” Now that her leave-taking was upon her, would her mother’s disapproving demeanor soften?The lines of Mother’s mouth remained etched in a stern line, the furrows between her brows forming a V so deep it might never depart. Suzy hunched into her wool coat—a coat far too cloying for the damp May dawn but also too bulky to fit in her small cardboard suitcase. She’d be gone well into the winter months, and Mother insisted she’d need it so she should wear it. And she always did what her mother said.Well, almost always. Who knew one foolish mistake could hold such farreaching consequences? I’m so sorry, God.The bus groaned to a stop at the curb, and Mother curled her hand around Suzy’s elbow, forcing her to rise. Although Mother’s grip was hard, impersonal, Suzy welcomed it. Her ordinarily demonstrative mother hadn’t touched her even once in the past two weeks, as if fearful Suzy’s stains would rub off. So she pressed her elbow against her rib cage, needing to feel the pressure of Mother’s work-roughened fingers against her flesh. But the coat proved too thick a barrier. Suzy blinked rapidly.“Get your case.”The moment Suzy caught the handle of the old suitcase, Mother propelled her through the gray drizzle toward the bus. The slap of the soles of their matching black oxfords sent up dirty droplets from the rain-soaked sidewalk, peppering their tan hosiery. The dark spots reminded Suzy of the dark blotch now and forever on her soul. She pushed the thought aside and looked into the opening created by the unfolding of the bus door. The driver glanced from Mother to Suzy, seeming to focus on their white mesh caps and dangling ribbons—Mother’s black, Suzy’s white. Accustomed to curious looks from those outside her Mennonite faith, Suzy didn’t wince beneath the man’s puzzled scowl, but she battled the desire to melt into the damp concrete when Mother spoke in a strident tone.“I am Abigail Zimmerman, and this is my daughter. She is traveling oneway to Indianapolis.”One-way… Suzy swallowed hard.Mother gave her elbow a little shake. “Show him the ticket, Suzanne.”Suzanne. Not Suzy as she’d been tenderly called her entire life. She gulped again and drew the rumpled ticket from her pocket.The driver eased himself from the seat and plucked the rectangle of paper from Suzy’s icy fingers. He stared at it for a moment and then bobbed his head and waved a hand in invitation. “Come on aboard. Long drive ahead of you.”Suzy gritted her teeth to hold back a cry of agony. He didn’t realize how long. She turned to Mother, silently praying the mother who had dried her tears and bandaged her childhood scuffs would reappear, would read the fear in her eyes and offer a hug. A kind word. A hint of forgiveness.Mother leaned close, and Suzy’s heart leaped with hope. “The people at the…in Indianapolis know what to do. You do what they say.” Mother’s harsh whisper raised a slight cloud of condensation around her face, softening the fierce furrows of anger etched at her eyes and mouth“I will.” Questions Suzy had fearfully held inside pressed for release. What had Mother and Dad told Clete, Shelley, and little Sandra? Did the fellowship know she was leaving? Would she be allowed to call home?“Afterward you can come to Arborville again. It will be as though this never happened.” Mother took a step back, shoving her balled fists into the pockets of her lightweight trench coat.Tears flooded Suzy’s eyes, distorting her vision. The suitcase encumbered one arm, but she lifted the other, her fingers reaching fleetingly toward her mother. “Mother, I—”“At least you will be able to bless your cousin Andrew and his wife. God will redeem your sin. Now go, Suzanne.” Mother jerked her chin toward the rumbling bus. “Go and put this unpleasantness behind us.”Behind us… Suzy’s shame had spilled over and tainted her entire family. She bowed her head, the weight of her burden too much to bear.“I will see you afterward.”Mother’s words sealed Suzy’s fate. With a heavy heart, she climbed the stairs, the unwieldy suitcase and her trembling limbs making her clumsy. She trudged down the narrow, dim aisle past snoozing passengers to the very last bench and slid in. Hugging the suitcase to her aching chest—to her womb, which bore the evidence of her shame—she hung her head and toyed with the plastic handle of the suitcase rather than clearing a spot on the steam-clouded window to see if Mother might wave good-bye.The bus lurched forward, jolting Suzy in the seat. She closed her eyes tight as a wave of nausea rolled over her. Her thoughts screamed, Wait! Let me off! She didn’t want to go so far away. She needed her mother. She would miss her father and sisters and brother.And Paul.Her mother’s final comment echoed in her mind. “I will see you afterward.” After Suzy delivered this child and handed it to others to raise. The ache in her chest heightened until she could barely draw a breath. She leaned her forehead against the cool glass and allowed the long-held tears to slip quietly down her cheeks. She would leave her home in Kansas, and she would count the days until she could put this nightmare behind her and go back to being Mother and Dad’s Suzy again.

Editorial Reviews

“A compelling cast of authentic characters, heart-wrenching mistakes and responses, and love, redemption, and restoration make When Mercy Rains by Kim Vogel Sawyer a must-read masterpiece.” —Mona Hodgson, author of The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series, The Quilted Heart omnibus, and Prairie Song “Kim Vogel Sawyer paints characters with exquisite detail emotionally and physically, then sets them in a story that transports the reader into a world equally as appealing as the people who live there. A captivating read, leaving you wanting more.” —Lauraine Snelling, author of To Everything a Season in the Red River series, Wake the Dawn, and Heaven Sent Rain “When Mercy Rains takes readers on a remarkable journey into the lives of the Zimmermans, a Mennonite family whose secrets threaten to destroy them. With a compelling style, Kim Vogel Sawyer weaves a story of love, compassion, forgiveness, redemption, and a family determined to discover and accept the truth. This novel captivates and challenges—a wonderful read.” —Judith Miller, best-selling author of the Home to Amana Series “Perhaps you’ve heard the old phrase ‘You can’t go home again.’ Kim Vogel Sawyer proves it wrong in her beautifully written novel When Mercy Rains. Intriguing, tender, bittersweet…this heart-wrenching story took me to places I didn’t even realize I wanted to go. Highly recommended.” —Janice Hanna Thompson, author of Fools Rush In and The Dream Dress “When Mercy Rains is a beautiful testimony to the power of forgiveness. With three generations of characters to fall in love with, Kim Vogel Sawyer’s new novel kept me turning pages—and discovering surprises—to the very end. I especially enjoyed the Kansas setting and the restoration of a homestead that was a beautiful reflection of the restoration of hearts and minds.” —Deborah Raney, author of The Face of the Earth and the Chicory Inn Novels series