Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by Bethany House Publishers
ISBN 0764210467 (ISBN13: 9780764210464)
Eve's father is part of the downsizing at Ford Motor during the depression. Unsure of how to make ends meet, they accept an offer from Eve's Uncle Cy to come back to Mercy and help him with his lodge. At the lodge, Eve finds herself falling in love and being among those who don't obey the law. She discovers that life isn't all that she thought it would be in Mercy.
I'm not really sure where to begin with this book. I thought it was interesting that it was a reflection back to a certain time of Eve's life that she was sharing with her grandson. I'm not sure if I didn't care for Eve or I couldn't connect with the time the book was set in. I saw all the 4 star ratings and have previously read Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock, so I thought for sure I would just love this book, but I didn't. However, I won't say it was bad either.
Let me begin with Eve. She is just 17 years old and thinks a little too highly of herself. "If we were all so bad, why did I find it so easy to be good?" The whole story is told from her point of view, her memories, and her perspective. At points she seems a little too high and mighty, almost above reproach. Granted, this may be just an age difference here and I couldn't connect with her.
You ever know someone is doing something wrong and then think, well, they'll have to learn the hard way? You can't be the moral police for everyone? Many times throughout the story, Eve felt like that was exactly what she was supposed to be. She wanted everything and everyone to be in accordance to all the laws. For me, while I believe in doing what's right, it's not my place to judge those that decide not to live within the confines of the law. This could have also been another reason I didn't care for Eve.
While I didn't care for most of Eve's character, I did think her "first" love and whom she married was, in my opinion, the best part of the story. She was not afraid to share her feelings and she didn't take everyone's opinions of others too seriously, yet she was a bit judgmental herself. Her personal interactions with family, friends, even strangers was very admirable. Her interactions with Jones and Link was another bright spot in the story for me. She didn't take the "town gossip" as fact, she wanted to know for herself and so she sought out the truth, or at least her own opinion.
As far as the writing for the setting, it was absolutely beautiful. Ann did a great job of researching and weaving facts and "real" names into the story to make it seem more real. Who knew Al Capone had a heart to care for an injured little girl? Very interesting imagining how prohibition could have affected so many people and what life must have been like during the great depression. Though, for Eve and her family, they were blessed, or were they? Well, you'll just have to read for yourself and see what you think. If you like stories set in memorable moments of history, then you should definitely check this one out.
I was graciously provided a free digital copy of this book from Bethany House in partnership with NetGalley to review it. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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