Published by HarperCollins on March 10, 2015
Genres/Lists: #30Authors, Fiction
Read synopsis on Goodreads
I received this book for free from Edelweiss.
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Oh, Mercy Louis – how I love you. You dribbled your way into my heart and I have so many feelings about you and your journey that I don’t know where to start. I suppose I’ll start with a quick synopsis about this wonderful book by Keija Parssinen. It’s about a small refinery left reeling from an environmental incident and their golden girl basketball star, Mercy Louis. Mercy is the quintessential good girl living – smart, talented, and with an incredible worth ethic. Oh, and she lives with her extremely religious grandmother who is sure the end of the world is only a few months away (cue Y2K panic). But perfection can only last so long and Mercy’s final year of high school brings with it the trials and tribulations of being 17. This is where the book really gains momentum and we get to go along for the ride to witness her unraveling.
It should come as no surprise that a book set in rural Texas would include elements of superstition, especially given Mercy’s grandmother’s reputation, but the undercurrent of religion in this book is both subtle and obvious if you know what to look for. I’m left with the impression that it would take a few re-reads to fully identify the multiple layers that exist, for the true story of Mercy Louis and her hometown of Port Sabine lurks below the surface.Perhaps Parssinen's greatest success is her ability to make even the unlikable characters likable. Click To Tweet
Perhaps Parssinen’s greatest success is her ability to make even the unlikable characters likable, evoking a sympathy for them that I didn’t expect to have. Even more so, she has created a world within a world that very likely exists, for small refinery towns steeped in tradition and religion are not hard to come by in the South. In a way, The Unraveling of Mercy Louis reminds me of Ruby by Cynthia Bond, the latest Oprah book club pick (and #30Authors contributor). This isn’t because the stories are in any way similar, but because both authors delicately handle religious superstitions in a small southern town and leave you falling in love with their flawed characters.
Recommended for: Everyone. Last week I said that Our Endless Numbered Days was going to be a hit and I’m predicting this one will be, too. If these two book are any indication of what’s to come in 2015, then I know it’s going to be a great year!