Review: Mercy of the Moon by Jennifer Taylor http://jennifertaylorwrites.com/
Mercy of the Moon, Jennifer Taylor’s elegant, engrossing novel of a midwife in eighteenth century England, compels the reader to turn page after page.
Maggie Wilson, who the townspeople of King’s Harbour consider a spinster workhorse, cares for the women of the town as they labor and deliver, always putting their needs ahead of her own. However, when her pregnant sister’s time comes, Maggie is away and cannot return in time to assist with the delivery. When she comes home, she learns of tragedy—her sister died during childbirth. Maggie visits her grave and encounters an intriguing man, whose mournful singing reduces her to grief-stricken sobs.
Ian Pierce has returned to England from a trip abroad, only to discover his brother, the town apothecary, died during his absence. When he sings a lament for his brother at the cemetery, he meets Maggie, who soothes his compulsions with her presence. He walks her home and cannot stop thinking of her.
Mercy of the Moon is an enchanting historical romance with a hint of paranormal, which adds a fascinating layer to the tale. Ms. Taylor does a magnificent job of bringing the place and time to life, incorporating eighteenth century terms into her lyrical style of writing, so the reader feels transported to the time and place, and sees, hears, smells and tastes what it must have been like. She also presents an accurate medical picture of Ian’s “affliction” and the treatment for it. I picked up this book while dealing with an episode of insomnia. Reading about Ian’s struggle with his condition, which included insomnia, helped me pass the long, dark, hours. I felt like I had a companion to share my misery. I couldn’t put it down, even if I had been sleepy. Be warned: read Mercy of the Moon in the daytime, or risk staying up all night.