Book Review: Sweet Mercy is sweet and heavy on mercy …

Book Review: Sweet Mercy is sweet and heavy on mercy …

A little different post from me, today … a book review … of another sort!

Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock

I received Sweet Mercy as an ARC from BethanyHouse for my review. If you don’t already know what an ARC is, well, it’s a not-yet-finished books and the book is out, so the minor little errors I found are surely to be fixed. Not that they did anything to hinder my read. Just giving you a little background.

The story starts off as Eve is taking her Grandson (who, I’m sorry, does not sound young and who’s voice is all over the place. Sometimes he sounds like he’s 30 and other times like he’s 6) to the Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge to retrieve an item. Now here’s the first place I stopped and went ‘really’? This building is about to be torn down. It indicates or makes me feel, in the story, that this is literally moments from happening, like it’s tomorrow or the next day, not weeks away. And she’s going to climb to the attic to get stuff.

When the people moved out, the last owners that is, would they really have left important treasures, or for that matter, anything in the attic? Do people really do that? Wouldn’t they have cleared everything out to storage? Now, granted the timeframe is 1981, so maybe it was different, but this bugged me the whole story because it didn’t seem ‘real’ to me.

Anyway, as she’s taking her walk down memory lane, and on what is page 3 in my copy, we are flashed back to 193x something and here is where the story really is. It’s when Eve was 17 and it’s about her summer at the Lodge and everything that happened.

There’s a whole host of characters including her dad, mom and sister the reformed floozy. There’s Marcus and Link who both have significant roles for different reasons. And there’s the bums of the prohibition era as well as the bootleggers. Then the Lodge owner (Eve’s uncle) among other characters.

What I found was that I never really connected with any of them. There was very little character development. No one really had a conflict from which they changed and the twist to the story with a certain character I won’t name, I guessed pretty early on. That was okay, though, because I was rooting for that character (I know that’s vague!) from the moment we meet him.

And the story continues until we return to ‘present day 1981’ as Eve finishes her search for her treasure in the old Lodge.

Here’s the thing about Sweet Mercy. It’s not a bad book. It’s simple. It’s just ‘a story’ without all the action, tension and driving, mind numbing mix-ups that come with my normal genre … paranormal. This one, is just a good, wholesome story about a girl with extremely high morals who isn’t going to back down on her beliefs, her faith and her standards.

And she NEVER does. While that’s a little irritating at first, I came to realize, that’s Eve. That’s who she is and how she was brought up and it’s what gets her through what happens at the end. Her character didn’t need to ‘grow’ per se, because this was a story about her character right then. It was just a good, solid, wonderful story about Eve, like the grandmother that she is, sharing with a grandson whom she loves dearly.

That’s why I say this is a little different than my norm, but if you don’t know, BethanyHouse isn’t a paranormal genre publisher. This is a Christian focused book and keeping that in mind, the timeframe and overall expectations, this is a solid read with a picture into prohibition-era U.S.A. from a girl just trying to keep her faith.

Congratulations, Ann!

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