Monday, February 10, 2014

Julie's Review: A Dark Road to Mercy

Author: Wiley Cash
Series: No
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 240
Obtained: TLC Book Tours
Genre: contemporary fiction
Rating:  3.5/5
Bottom Line:  Predictable ending and needs less loose ends
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Just get it at the library 
Summary: Hailed as "mesmerizing" (New York Times Book Review) and "as if Cormac McCarthy decided to rewrite Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird" (Richmond Times-Dispatch), A Land More Kind Than Home made Wiley Cash an instant literary sensation. His resonant new novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, is a tale of love and atonement, blood and vengeance, a story that involves two young sisters, a wayward father, and an enemy determined to see him pay for his sins. When their mother dies unexpectedly, twelve-year-old Easter Quillby and her six-year-old sister, Ruby, are shuffled into the foster care system in Gastonia, North Carolina, a little town not far from the Appalachian Mountains. But just as they settle into their new life, their errant father, Wade, an ex-minor league baseball player whom they haven't seen in years, suddenly reappears and steals them away in the middle of the night. Brady Weller, the girls' court-appointed guardian, begins looking for Wade, and quickly turns up unsettling information linking him to a multimillion-dollar robbery. But Brady isn't the only one hunting him. Also on the trail is Robert Pruitt, a mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, a man determined to find Wade and claim what he believes he is owed. The combination of Cash's evocative and intimate Southern voice and those of the alternating narrators, Easter, Brady, and Pruitt, brings this soulful story vividly to life. At once captivating and heartbreaking, This Dark Road to Mercy is a testament to the unbreakable bonds of family and the primal desire to outrun a past that refuses to let go.

Review: I went into this novel with high hopes because so many people had raved about his debut novel, A Land More Kind Than Home, but this one fell short for me.The novel takes place during the 2001 home run contest between Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa. It is an interesting backdrop considering that Wade used to be a ballplayer and Easter has quite the arm on her. I enjoyed the relationship between Ruby and Easter. I loved how Easter protected and cared for her younger sister but I also felt sorry for her that she was in that position.

Years before their dad had let them down and more recently their mother let them down as well. They have learned at a young age that some adults aren't worth trusting. Wade, is a loser. He's made a lot of wrong and bad choices but does he deserve to be fully cut out of his kids' lives? I'm not so sure. Other than making one more colossal mistake that leaves a wake of destruction, he does seem genuine about wanting to be there for the girls. Unfortunately, there are some people out there that wish to see Wade come to an end.

What bothered me were the loose ends that were left in the end. What exactly happened between Pruitt and Wade? Why was Pruitt so hell bent on revenge? What exactly happened to Pruitt's eyes? He wasn't blind because he could drive, so what was it? He also touches on an important topic in sports, especially baseball, but never fully explores it.

Mr. Cash has an easy way of telling a story. He paints a vivid picture of not only the characters but of the places they visit along their route. It's his subtle way of telling the story that touches you. It's obvious that he's a gifted storyteller.  What he wants us to think about is "what makes a family"? Should a dead-beat father be given a 2nd/3rd chance to do right by his daughters? Is he better than the grandparents that want to adopt them? Can he really change and be there for them? Every reader will come away with different answers and that is due to our own experiences in life.

I have A Land More Kind Than Home in my pile and will be interested to see how that one differs and compares to this one. 

We are merely one stop on a TLC tour for This Dark Road to Mercy. Below is the tour schedule:

Tuesday, January 28th: Book-alicious Mama
Wednesday, January 29th: River City Reading
Thursday, January 30th: Knowing the Difference
Monday, February 3rd: cupcake's book cupboard
Tuesday, February 4th: Sara's Organized Chaos
Wednesday, February 5th: she treads softly
Thursday, February 6th: Turn the Page
Monday, February 10th: Girls Just Reading
Tuesday, February 11th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, February 12th: BookNAround
Thursday, February 13th: Kritters Ramblings
Monday, February 17th: BoundbyWords
Tuesday, February 18th: Tutu's Two Cents



Heather J @ TLC Book Tours February 16, 2014 at 6:06 PM  

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.

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