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Monday, July 8, 2013

Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock

Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock
Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0764210464
Published May 1, 2013
Trade Paperback, 320 pages

This is the second book I read by Ann Tatlock, and once again I really enjoyed her storytelling. It's a great summer read.

Sweet Mercy is a coming-of-age story set during the Great Depression and Prohibition. When Eve Marryat's father loses his job, they move away from crime-ridden St. Paul, Minnesota and move back to where her father grew up in Ohio. Eve's Uncle Cyrus has invited her family to live and work at his Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge, where Eve and her family have spent past summers. She has good memories of this idylic summer retreat and loves it the moment they arrive. During that memorable summer Eve discovers the stirrings of first love, meets a homeless young man named Link, and faces a dilemma when she realizes that things are not what they seem at the Lodge.

Eve is an interesting character. She is forthright and a little self-righteous. She also has a good sense of justice and is sensitive, kind and generous. The story is told from her first-person point-of-view and I enjoyed seeing her blossom. We see things from her perspective, her naive and innocent perspective, which was refreshing. Although at times, she came across as being much younger than her seventeen years. I found it interesting that Tatlock chose for Eve to have a very close relationship with her father. Her mother seemed absent to me. She was loving but seemed oblivious to her daughter's emotional feelings.

The historical setting really made this story memorable with the contrast of a beautiful summer vacation spot with the suit-clad, fedora-wearing gangsters that proliferated during Prohibition. Tatlock showed us the human side to these men and why some chose to break the law. She also showed us how the Depression changed people's lives. Link would often appear at the Logde along with other men who knew they would be given a free meal, and I truly liked how Eve came to develop a relationship with him.

This book was such a pleasure to read. It was clean and well-written. I am now a fan of Ann Tatlock's novels and look forward to reading Travelers Rest. If you like Christian fiction that isn't preachy, I would recommend this one.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read. V= violence (mild) for one scene with gun shooting and killing.

Reviewed by Laura 

Disclosure: This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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