The Shape of Mercy
The Shape of Mercy is a novel by Susan Meissner.
It is the story of three women—twenty year old Lauren Durough takes a part-time job from eight-three year old Abigail Boyles. Abigail asks Lauren to transcribe the journal entries of her ancestor Mercy Hayworth, a victim of the Salem witch trials.
Lauren quickly finds herself drawn to Mercy, who became trapped, unable to defend herself against the overwhelming superstitions and judgments spreading like wildfire through her community. As Lauren struggles with Abigail’s request to not read any accounts of the Salem witch trials, she realises that Abigail also has her own secrets, and is also forced to take a new look at her own life and relationships.
Tropes used in The Shape of Mercy include:
- Diary: Mercy’s story is told through her diary.
- Driven to Suicide: Mercy.
- Historical Domain Characters: While Mercy herself is fictional, many of the characters appearing in her narrative were real people involved in the Salem witch trials.
- Witch Hunt: Mercy's story is set during the Salem Witch Trials.
- World War II