Masterfully told: My review of "Sweet Mercy" by Ann Tatlock

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about the book...

Stunning coming-of-age drama set during the Great Depression and Prohibition

When Eve Marryat's father is laid off from the Ford Motor Company in 1931, he is forced to support his family by leaving St. Paul, Minnesota, and moving back to his Ohio roots. Eve's uncle Cyrus has invited the family to live and work at his Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge.

Eve can't wait to leave St. Paul, a notorious haven for gangsters. At seventeen, she considers her family to be "good people," not lawbreakers like so many in her neighborhood. Thrilled to be moving to a "safe haven," Eve soon forms an unlikely friendship with a strange young man named Link, blissfully unaware that her uncle's lodge is anything but what it seems.

When the reality of her situation finally becomes clear, Eve is faced with a dilemma. Does she dare risk everything by exposing the man whose love and generosity is keeping her family from ruin? And when things turn dangerous, can she trust Link in spite of appearances?

my review....

"Our eyes locked. I'm not sure either one of us could quite believe what we were doing. We had just agreed to break the law. And so, in those few quiet words of complicity, Daddy and I became felons".

Ann Tatlock has long impressed me with her ability to create compelling, artfully told stories, and Sweet Mercy is another winner. Eve Marryat is one of those characters who grabs hold of your heart and draws you deep into her story. I love how Tatlock depicts Eve in her state of relative innocence and naivete, and then draws her into a world where white and black are not always so clear, where the way things appear on the surface may not be reality at all. The setting of the story in the era of the prohibition provides a fascinating backdrop for the story and for an exploration of morality as a whole. Sweet Mercy celebrates the importance of family and faith and the acceptance of those who are different, but it also explores the difficult choices we are often faced with in life. I loved the unexpected twists and turns in the story, and found this to be a swift-moving drama that will absolutely appeal to fiction lovers of all varieties.

As with her other books, Sweet Mercy is masterfully told, written with impeccable prose and featuring characters you will be sad to leave behind when you turn the last page. It is easy to see why Ann Tatlock is a Christy Award winner. I award this story my highest recommendation and 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

about the author...

Ann Tatlock
Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy Award-winning novel All the Way Home. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for bothAll the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon. Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal andPublishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina. Visit