I like character based plots. The only way a plot like The Shape of Mercy can work is if it has character based plots. It does.
Lauren is a quiet English major living a typical life until she receives a job offer from Alice Boyles, a retired librarian. The job: transcribe a diary dating back to the 1600s. The writer of the diary: Mercy Hayworth, a woman who was accused of being a witch during the Salem witch trials. The author reveals each journal entry as Lauren transcribes them.
Lauren, Alice, and Mercy, the core characters, are the best. They should be. They are extremely believable and complex. There are also other good characters throughout the plot.
There are three romantic subplots: two in the past and one in the present. Two of them end well; the other is just average.
The main thing that keeps this book from being five stars is Meissner's extra plot "twists" at the end. One is pretty far-fetched, the others are just average.
All in all, this book was very interesting because Susan did a lot of research on the Salem witch trials. She didn't leave any holes.
She has come a long way as an author and is getting better with every book. I'm interested to see what she'll do next.
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