Sweet Mercy / by Ann Tatlock. 6/17/2013

Sweet Mercy / by Ann Tatlock

Adult  (HS) Rating: 4

Christy Award winner Ann Tatlock presents the story of a seventeen year old during the Prohibition (1930s) who discovers life isn’t black-and-white, and mercy is something we all need.

Sweet Mercy opens with Eve, a grandmother, returning to the Marryat Lodge in 1978 with her grandson to locate a box left in the attic years ago. She tells him how she moved to Mercy, Ohio in 1931 when she was seventeen and her father lost his job with the Ford Motor Company.

Her family moves back home to work and live in the Marryat Lodge run by her Uncle Cyrus. She makes new friends, including a summer romance. Eve is glad to leave behind the evils she has seen on the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota (including a murder).

Eve thinks she is leaving behind the lawbreakers and criminals of St.Paul. But not everything is what is seems to be on the surface. There are secrets in the small town of Mercy. Once they surface, they threaten to destroy the peace Eve thinks she has found.

Talock’s novel reads like a glass of sweet tea on a hot summer day, best enjoyed by sitting back and taking one’s time to savor it. The book moves slowly at first.  But eventually one is caught up in the light romance, intrigue, family relationships, and spiritual crises.

The characters are flawed, endearing and realistic. Mercy is central to the overall theme of the book. Eve struggles with this until she faces the secret her uncle hides. Will she turn him in when he has been so generous to her family?

Sweet Mercy is recommended as a clean read, one that older teens and adults can enjoy.

Carol R. Gehringer


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