A Matter of Mercy
By Lynne Hugo
(Blank Slate Press, Paperback, 9780985808617, 278pp.)
The Short of It:
Mistakes can destroy you or change you for the better, but the choice is yours.
The Rest of It:
One fateful night, while driving under the influence, Caroline Marcum crashes into another car, killing a special needs child. Sent to prison and filled with guilt, she serves her time quietly but once out, leaves her home of Wellfleet Harbor. Her marriage is over and all she can think of is leaving the past behind her. However, when her mother falls terminally ill, she is forced to return to the Cape to face all of the things she’s been avoiding for quite a long time.
This story will appeal to lots of readers for many reasons. The story is set in Cape Cod and centers not only around Caroline’s story but also the story of the local aquaculturists who make their living farming oysters. As Caroline tends to her mother, she is reacquainted with a friend from school, Ridley Neal who happens to be one of the oyster farmers farming the beach right below her mother’s home. There is a little bit of romance, a lot of strife, a touch of mystery and of course, the fascinating tidbits surrounding oyster farming and what it entails. I found these bits especially enjoyable.
What I noticed right away while reading, is how quickly I was pulled into the story. Knowing absolutely nothing about oyster farming, I had no problem picking up the terminology. However, there were two moments where I wasn’t sure which direction the author was going in. These two moments did take me out of the narrative a little, but not enough to make me like the book any less. One, involves a law suit against the aquaculturists (which happens to be inspired by a real-life lawsuit) and the other involves stalking and revenge. The latter seemed a little out-of-place to me.
Regardless, I was surprised at how absorbed I was while reading. I had a long stint over the holidays where I was unable to read anything and then here comes this book and I blow though it in just a couple of sittings. The main characters are riddled with flaws, which readers here know, makes my heart sing. The story wasn’t predictable, even though a couple of things seemed a little out-of-place and choosing to build a story around oyster farming…well, I’ve never read anything about oyster farming so that was very different and unique to me. I think I would have liked a little more redemption in the end but overall, I enjoyed the book quite a bit.
If you like a book to be a lot of things, A Matter of Mercy would be a good choice for you. Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours, I have a copy to giveaway! See below for details.
This giveaway is for one copy of A Matter of Mercy and is open to the US and Canada. A winner will be chosen randomly by me. The book will come directly from the publisher. Only one entry per person. Giveaway closes on Friday, January 23, 2015 (pacific). I will contact the winner for his/her mailing address. The winner will have 5 days to respond or another winner will be chosen.