When unimaginable calamities strike, Mercy Carver, a poor London woman, wonders what she has done to deserve such immeasurable suffering. It is only when she faces imminent death in the snow and ice-encrusted Virginia wilderness that she finally understands the power of destiny.
After escaping from sadistic criminals, she crosses an ocean with Jacob Stone, a plantation owner determined to fight Abraham Lincoln and his government.
Mercy is passionate. She loves and hates in equal measure. Can love and hatred give her the strength she needs now to reach a Northern state and free a runaway slave wanted for murders she committed?
America and her people are strangled in an uncompromising political stalemate. Southern states have seceded from the Union, and a civil war is imminent.
Mercy Carver: her journey is just beginning.
Readers’ Favorite, 2016 Silver Medal for Historical Fiction.
Readers’ Favorite Review
|Ohhh, long sigh. That is what I did when I finished reading Dark Shadows, the first book in the Mercy Carver series by author Jana Petken. A stunning work of historical fiction, the book is heartbreaking and ultimately a story of redemption. Follow the story of Mercy Carver, a young woman whose mother dies in childbirth and whose father kills himself due to grief shortly thereafter. Mercy is raised in poverty by both sets of her grandparents, and is promised in marriage at the young age of fourteen to an unsavory, older and more prosperous man, and will be married off to him when she turns eighteen. But when she’s being fitted for her wedding dress, she convinces the women there to allow her to leave so that she enjoys one day of freedom. And that’s where the adventure really starts.
I enjoyed Dark Shadows to no end. Author Jana Petken has done a wonderful job at creating a lovely and sympathetic character in Mercy Carver; she’s a character that the reader will truly feel connected to, and will hope for the very best for her. Jana Petken has also written with an authenticity and real knowledge for the time period and that adds to the very realistic feeling of the book. Dark Shadows would be enjoyed by anyone who loves historical fiction, action, adventure, or just a great work of fiction. I am happy to highly recommend Dark Shadows and am very excited to continue reading this promising series as soon as possible!
“Mercy Carver: Dark Shadows, by Jana Petken, is a compelling read. The book’s prologue, in which we learn the circumstances of the protagonist’s birth, is riveting. We are fully aware that as we read further, Mercy Carver is going to have a life that will be anything but merciful. “Mercy”, it seems, is a mockery of the destiny in store for her. Evidently, she has been born to suffer.”
“Her writing is exceptional and her story telling superb.”
“The plot is riveting and the characters well developed.This book reads like an epic adventure, only the main character is female instead of the traditional male. I loved it! The book ends by saying…Mercy Carver: her journey is just beginning. I can’t wait until Part 2 is released in December 2014.”
Listen to Chapter 63