A Severe Mercy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
     A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken is the heartbreaking tale of his marriage to Jean Davis, or Davy, as most call her. The book starts at the end of the story, after Davy has died and Vanauken is left with his thoughts and God. He is not bitter, simply broken. His years with Davy were the best of his life, and he has to accept that she is now with God, not him.

The book is a celebration of their marriage and the awe-inspiring extent to which they go to ensure their love. Early in their relationship, they decide to have a love unlike others and dedicate themselves to each other and to the "shining barrier" that will protect their love.

The story takes the reader from West Virginia to Oxford, with a stop at the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The couple has a life beyond anything one could hope for. The pages flow as you read about the months they spend alone together on a schooner and the summer walks that make them fall even more in love.

But it all comes to an end when Davy suffers a drawn-out death from liver failure. As Vanauken drives to the hospital after finally getting the dreaded call, one cannot blame him for wanting his car to drift into a side rail. He doesn't end his life though, because of his second love: God. Vanauken and Davy never intended to be Christians, but their intense love for each other and for those around them drew them to it.

This is by far one of the most moving books I have ever read, so approach it with the knowledge that there are going to be some very sad parts. As Vanauken learns though, the good more than makes up for the bad.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

. said...
Oct. 20, 2009 at 1:50 pm
This is one of my absolute favorite books. I would recommend it to anyone. :)
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback