Maybe God still moves and speaks in mysterious ways—some even stranger than we might ever expect.
Jamie Blaine’s life isn’t exactly going as planned. When a twist of fate places the late-night psychiatric crisis guy on 24/7 call, his insomnia ramps up to desperate stages as he veers closer to becoming the very kind of person he’s trying to save.
After a well-meaning colleague offers a workbook promising “the divine secret of life,” Blaine throws himself into the stereotypical journey of self-discovery with hilarious and heartbreaking conclusions that are anything but clichéd.
Jamie travels time to untangle his own story of God through the wilderness, battling alligators, acrophobia, anaphylactic shock, Christian tricksters, Christmas, insomnia zombies, hymn-singing bridge jumpers, preteen bullies, paranoid ER patients armed with knives, hatchet-wielding housewives, septuagenarian pugilists, locust swarms, and ghosts of the present, future, and past.
If you’ve ever felt lost and stumbling, like you’ll never find your way to purpose, plans, or the promised land, Mercy Never Sleeps is a traveling companion, a field guide to making peace with your own rambling path home.
(excerpt from back of book)
Jaimie's books are filled with things you don't typically find in Christian literature: mental health crisis, spiritual doubts, sad stories with unknown endings and yet the presence of these topics adds a layer of truth and honesty that allows Jaimie to connect with his readers in a way that is so much more satisfying. While Mercy Never Sleeps lends itself to a darker and jumpier tone that its predecessor Midnight Jesus there are still wonderful nuggets of truth when you look past the tension of the utter chaos and the overlooked mundane. Jaimie's books reflect life in all its messiness and I love having the privilege of journeying along on those pages.
As I mentioned those familiar with Blaine's work may find Mercy Never Sleeps to have a more jarring tone than his previous work as Blaine's own struggles with insomnia and what feels like compassion fatigue hold a more central role in the narrative. In the context of both books it helps illustrate how thin the line between helper and helped can be and just how equal we all are. However, reading Midnight Jesus first may help readers gain a greater understanding of the author (though both books can be read on their own).
That said, even with the darker and more inward focus of the book, Blaine hasn't lost any of his ability to tell a story. Mercy Never Sleeps still has the power to hold a reader's story as Blaine's ability to share both the heart and detail of a recollection allow readers to enter into the story and feel like they're in the story themselves. His narratives ebb and flow as the story demands adding in bouts of humour, reflection, and oddity that can only come from "life on a mission".
4 out of 5 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.