Released January, 2014
Bottom Line: Read it.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon
Following their mother’s death, twelve year old Easter and her younger sister, Ruby, are “taken” from foster care by their absentee father and pursued by various parties with their own agendas.
Prior to reading This Dark Road to Mercy, I was not familiar with Wiley Cash. I’m so glad I gave him a shot (mostly due to Beth Fish Reads’ fantastic review of this book) because I’m always looking for new Southern fiction writers – and Cash is a great addition!
This is one of those books that I really just enjoyed reading without stopping much to take notes – which is now making this review somewhat tricky to write! Cash’s writing flowed easily and the story built steam slowly, mostly because it starts out as a coming-of-age story before turning into a suspenseful page turner. I loved this blend of coming-of-age story and page turner – they are two of my favorite types of books and Cash managed to blend them seamlessly (which I imagine is hard to do well!).
The first part – the coming of age story – focuses on Easter and Ruby’s reaction to their mother’s death, their move into foster care, and their memories of their absentee father (Wade). Easter’s voice really comes through here – it was sweet and diligent and served as the rational counterpoint to other, shall we say, less rational characters that emerge later in the story. Later in the book, Easter, Ruby, and Wade are pulled into an unsolved crime that adds the “page turner” element. Though I enjoyed the entire book, I really couldn’t put it down once I hit the 60% mark (can you tell I’m a Kindle reader?!).
Finally, the way this story ends really makes you think about what is morally “right” versus deemed “right” in the eyes of the law. I loved the ending and the fact that it still has me thinking.
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