Monday, March 23, 2015

Mercy Snow - Book Review

There is a tragic accident on the dangerous and windy Devil's Slide Road. The bus driver is in a coma and one teenage girl is dead. June McAllister is grateful that her son is still alive but haunted by the death of her son's friend and the possibility that her husband, the owner of the mill, had something to do with the crash.

Zeke, Mercy and their little sister Hannah, ragged and trouble, have recently moved to their deceased father's property near Devil's Slide Road. The town is already uneasy with their reputation and when Zeke's truck is found crashed into a tree near the site of the bus accident, it is easy to place the blame squarely on his shoulders. But when the authorities go to apprehend him, he disappears into the woods.

Mercy is left alone to care for Hannah; scrounge for money and food and try to clear Zeke's name. June McAllister, trying to make sure that her husband's indiscretions and careless behavior stays hidden, becomes Mercy's greatest foe in the small town still reeling from the accident.

Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker takes place in the tiny mill town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire. In the 1990s the mills along the Androscoggin were experiencing losses now that production was moving to cheaper sources and the government was more carefully regulating pollution levels in the river. Titan Falls was wrapped up in concern for their livelihoods when the devastating accident shook the people in the small community.

It's easiest to be wary and suspecting of the newest members in town and everyone is nervous of Mercy. Mercy is a fascinating main character. Strong and capable, she's also tender and vulnerable. Her now-deceased mother had led her children on a nomadic life in the northern woods where she taught Mercy the healing arts. Using these skills, Mercy is attempts to heal the wounds of Titan Falls while protecting her siblings. Mercy is a character that it's easy to sympathize with and to champion.

I enjoyed the beautiful and haunting story. I love New Hampshire and I appreciated the details of the town and the surrounding woods, as well as the struggling river. The novel is well plotted--rather than flowing rapidly like a rushing river, it sort of meanders at a steady gentle pace allowing the reader to get to know the eccentric and unique people in town.

Mercy Snow is one of the She Reads Books of Winter. Since most of the book occurs during the freezing months of ice and snow, it was an appropriate winter choice. It's the story of a dying town; a woman who has lost herself and a young girl strong enough to show everyone the truth.

Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker is published by Grand Central Publishing and released in January 2015.

**I received a copy from the publisher, through the She Reads Book Club. All opinions are my own.**

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