Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Prohibition….Gangsters….Bootleggers….Al Capone….and a 17-year-old girl named Eve Marryat who, in the tumultuous summer of 1931, learns the meaning of….

Sweet Mercy

Sweet Mercy
Sweet Mercy
by Ann Tatlock
Paperback, 400 pages
Expected publication: May 1 2013 by Bethany House Publishers


When Eve Marryat’s father is laid off from the Ford Motor Company in 1931, he is forced to support his family by leaving St. Paul, Minnesota, and moving back to his Ohio roots. Eve’s uncle Cyrus has invited the family to live and work at his Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge. 

St. Paul seemed like a haven for gangsters, and Eve had grown fearful of living there. At seventeen, she considers her family to be “good people.” They aren’t lawbreakers and criminals like so many people in her old neighborhood. Thrilled to be moving to a “safe haven,” Eve is blissfully unaware that her uncle’s lodge is a transfer station for illegal liquor smuggled from Canada.

Eve settles in to work and makes new friends, including an enigmatic but affecting young man. But when the reality of her situation finally becomes clear, Eve is faced with a dilemma. How can she ignore what is happening right under their very noses? Yet can she risk everything by condemning the man whose love and generosity is keeping her and her family from ruin?

Review of Sweet Mercy

As I flipped through the first pages of Ann Tatlock's Sweet Mercy, hitting the ten percent mark, and the twenty, and then the thirty, dread snaked its way into my heart. This is the very first book I have reviewed for a tour, and I was miserable with the thought it would have to be negative. Halfway through the book, I was relieved to find my interest increasing, and by the end I was as content as hot summer days spent drinking sweet tea on the porch.

The problem with Sweet Mercy lay in the Prologue. As so many romantic stories begin, we meet Eve as an old woman, leading her grandson through a place of her past. She's searching for a box of trinkets, one of which the boy's grandfather gave her before they were married. The story of a grand love affair is obviously the next step, but my expectations would be wrong. The story of Sweet Mercy is not about seventeen-year-old Eve's romance with her future husband, but rather about all the people she meets who help her grow into the woman she becomes. Had the Prologue captured that essence instead of making me guess who Eve's mysterious sweetheart would turn out to be, I would have started enjoying the book much sooner.

Ann Tatlock's biggest strength as a writer is her ability to distinguish each character with only a few short lines. Even Cecil, a man introduced only twice in the book, was so profoundly real to me. There's a boy being beat by his bootlegging father, a girl whose only dream is to marry that boy, the shy suitor who's off to college in the fall, an angry albino who learns to care for a lonely girl, a bum searching for alcohol in the days of prohibition, and of course Eve. I was not fond of Eve to begin with. She was preachy, judgmental, and incredibly naïve. But as these characters surrounded and taught her, my feelings grew and changed. I began to understand why such an innocent soul would rebel against the very idea that good could coincide with bad.

I can't deny my disappointment at not having enjoyed Sweet Mercy as much as I could have, but the end gave me hope I might take to a second read. The history is rich, the characters fascinating, and the outcome beautiful. If you're someone who likes a good coming of age story, you might want to take a peek inside Sweet Mercy and decide for yourself if you like the gangster-ridden cities of the thirties.

Ann TatlockAnn Tatlock is the author of the Christy Award-winning novel Promises to Keep. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for both All the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon.Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina.

On this Tour... test your 1930's Gangster knowledge with our trivia quiz, a different question on every post!


2 Winners, USA only: Print copy of Sweet Mercy, Ghirardelli chocolate, book themed pen & notepad.

2 Winners, world-wide: eCopy of Sweet Mercy

Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced on Rafflecopter and Grand Finale posts as well as emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Burgandy Ice @ Colorimetry and Prism Book Tours and sponsored by Bethany House Publishers and Ann Tatlock. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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On Tour with Prism Book Tours 
April 15 - May 3, 2013:

15 – Launch!
16 – I Am a Reader, Not a Writer - What was Prohibition?
17 – JoJo’s Corner – Review
18 – Letters to the Cosmos – Review
19 – The Broke Book Bank – Guest Post Meet the Lawmen

21 – The Wonderings of One Person – Molls and other Dolls
 - Books Mystify – Review
22 – Tressa’s Wishful Endings – ReviewThe Setting behind the Setting
-  Momma Bear’s Book Blog – Review, Meet the Cast
23 – CTF Devourer – Review
 - Christy’s Cozy Corner – Fun Facts About 1931   
24 – ADD Librarian - Review
25 – Worthy 2 Read – Review
26 – Green Mountain Couple – Just a Taste (to wet your whistle)

28 – Backing Books – Review
29 – Celtic Lady’s Reviews  Four Famous Gangsters
30 – A Year of Jubilee Reviews – Review
1 – The Jack’s Junk Drawer – Review
2 – Living a Goddess Life – Review, Recipe
3 – Grand Finale

1 comment :

  1. This was my first question that I answered and I surprisingly guessed correctly :)


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