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The Merciful Scar

Format: Paperback

Availability: In stock

Quick Overview:

Kirsten has spent her life trying to forget. But mercy begs her to remember.


Kirsten has spent her life trying to forget. But mercy begs her to remember.

When she was in high school, a terrible accident fractured her family, and the only relief Kirsten could find was carving tiny lines into her skin, burying her pain in her flesh. The pain she caused herself was neat and manageable compared to the emotional pain that raged inside.

She was coping. Or so she thought.

But then, eight years later, on the night she expects her long-time boyfriend to propose, Kirsten learns he’s been secretly seeing her best friend. Desperate to escape her feelings, she reaches for the one thing that gives her a sense of control in the midst of chaos.

But this time the cut isn’t so tiny, and it lands her in the psych hospital. Within hours of being there she knows she can’t stay—she isn’t crazy, after all. But she can’t go back to the life she knew before either.

So when her pastor mentions a treatment program on a working ranch, Kirsten decides to take him up on the offer and get away from it all. But the one thing she can’t escape is herself—and her shame.

The ranch is home to a motley crew, each with a lesson to teach. Ever so slowly, Kirsten opens herself to embrace healing—even the scarred places that hurt the most. Mercy begs her to remember the past . . . showing her there’s nothing that cannot be redeemed.

“[St. James and Rue] tackle a tough topic with sensitivity and forthrightness in an intense novel about self-injury, self-esteem, and the numerous shades of love. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal, starred review

Contributor(s) Rebecca St. James , Nancy N. Rue
About the Contributor(s) Rebecca St. James

Rebecca St. James, an Australian born Christian recording artist, is both a Grammy Award winner and multiple Dove Award recipient. She is also the bestselling author of  Wait for Me, SHE Teen, and What Is He Thinking. She has appeared in the film Sarah’s Choice and provided a voice in VeggieTales An Easter Story.


Nancy N. Rue

Nancy Rue has written over 100 books for girls, is the editor of the Faithgirlz Bible, and is a popular speaker and radio guest with her expertise in tween and teen issues. She and husband, Jim, have raised a daughter of their own and now live in Tennessee.

ISBN-10 1401689221
ISBN-13 9781401689223
Release Date Sep 10, 2013
Weight (lbs) 0.7400
Height 8.38
Width 5.50
Length 368
Length Unit Pages
Publisher Thomas Nelson
Price $15.99
Format Paperback
Language English

Customer Reviews

Review by Susanne
Overall Rating
I loved this story. Right from the beginning I was drawn into Kirsten's story. It tells a very powerful story that stuck with me for days afterward. Through the assortment of characters, the reader is shown a variety of attempts they use at hiding deep pain within their lives. The main character is a very likeable young woman with secrets she has tried to hide since her youth. The only release she finds is through self injury. She is very careful to keep her secret but when an event occurs that causes her "accident" to be misinterpreted, the self injury is no longer a secret. Faced with having to do something about it, Kirsten chooses to go to a sheep ranch in Montana at the recommendation of her pastor. It is here, from the loving and accepting ex-nun, Sister Frankie, and the honest work of a sheep ranch that Kirsten starts to finally face the guilt, pain and anger that have so long been buried inside of her. Though the story is built on her, there are other characters introduced that allow the reader to relate to any one of them in how they, themselves might deal with the painful things in our lives. Theirs is a long and difficult journey that I felt invested emotionally in as the story continued. The novel is really well paced and always give just information that kept me glued to the book to find out what all the secrets were and if they would ever find healing and be able to handle life. And though the characters all had different types anger and hurt and different ways of dealing with it, their path to recovery and healing all pointed to hearing God for themselves. The foundations of the book are Christian and hearing God for themselves is a main point of recovery the book was never "preachy" to the point of taking over the story. It was presented "naturally" and, I thought, beautifully to the reader. The characters and situations are very believeable. I think the book is directed mostly to young adults but it really is a great read for any age, especially if you have young people in your life. I'm passing this book onto my girls (ages 18 and 23) to read.

Thanks to Booksneeze for sending me a free copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to give a positive review. (Posted on 11/20/2013)

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