Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sweet Mercy - Ann Tatlock

Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock is a well written novel about a young lady in the midst of entering adulthood.  Eve is faced with the knowledge that someone she loves is a criminal and not turning him would make her a criminal, too.  As an adolescent, she sees everything in black and white.  The grayness of the situation confuses her, and she is forced to re-evaluate everything she has believed about right and wrong.
As I read this novel I saw quite a bit of myself in Eve.  I could relate to her journey from a black-and-white, judgmental mentality to a more empathetic, understanding being.  This is a difficult journey for one who wishes to be empathetic to others without compromising their own personal convictions.
On the back of the book the description begins by saying that this is a "stunning coming-of-age drama set during the Great Depression and prohibition."  I found this to be a very accurate statement.  I was drawn back to my own coming of age days as an adolescent constantly trying to determine where she stands on a multitude of subjects.  I don't think this novel could have been better written.  I am a better person for having read it.
There is some romance in the book, but very little as compared to the Christian fiction romance genre.  I would consider this to be in a slightly broader, historical fiction genre.  It is a deeper read than most of the books published by Bethany House, but the quality of the writing and plot is consistent with the Bethany House reputation.
In my opinion, Ann Tatlock's experience is reflected in this novel, as I am sure it is in her over twenty other novels already released.  Ann won the 2012 Christy Award for the Contemporary/Standalone category.
This book was a free gift from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.

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