Mercy Among the Children: A Novelby David Adams Richards
At the age of twelve, Sidney Henderson, in a moment of anger, pushes his friend Connie Devlin off the roof of a local church. Looking down on Connie’s motionless body, Sidney believes he is dead. Let Connie live and I will never harm another soul, Sidney vows. At that moment, Connie stands up and, laughing, walks away. In the years that follow, the/i>… See more details below
At the age of twelve, Sidney Henderson, in a moment of anger, pushes his friend Connie Devlin off the roof of a local church. Looking down on Connie’s motionless body, Sidney believes he is dead. Let Connie live and I will never harm another soul, Sidney vows. At that moment, Connie stands up and, laughing, walks away. In the years that follow, the brilliant, self-educated, ever-gentle Sidney keeps his promise, even in the face of the hatred and persecution of his insular, rural community, which sees his pacifism as an opportunity to exploit and abuse him. Sidney’s son Lyle, however, witnessing his family’s suffering with growing resentment and anger, comes to reject both God and his father and assumes an increasingly aggressive stance in defense of his family.
When a small boy is killed in a tragic accident and Sidney is blamed, Lyle takes matters into his own, violent hands in an effort to protect the only people he loves: his beautiful and fragile mother, Elly; his gifted sister, Autumn; and his innocent, beatific brother, Percy. In the end, no one but Lyle can determine the legacy his family’s tragedy will hold. Written with abiding compassion and profound wisdom, and imbued with a luminous grace that is as haunting as it is precisely controlled, Mercy Among the Children is epic storytelling at its absolute finest, populated with richly drawn characters who walk off the pages and into history. With a never-failing elegance and humane moral vision that call to mind Joseph Conrad and Thomas Hardy, David Adams Richards has crafted a magnificent, heartbreaking novel whose towering ambition is matched only by the level of its achievement.
- Arcade Publishing
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- 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Meet the Author
David Adams Richards has won numerous awards for his fiction and nonfiction. He lives in Toronto with his wife, Peggy, and their sons, John Thomas and Anton.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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What a novel. I'm almost at the end and I'm sad because I don't want it to end. I've become so engrossed with the characters I can almost feel their sorrow. Can't wait for this author to publish more!!!!!!!!!!
Set around a poverty-stricken New Brunswick family, Mercy Among the Children moved me to tears more than one time. Yet it is not anything like the conventionally emotional novel: this piece of work uses real life and real images to evoke empathy in the reader. I found it a wee bit lengthy at times, but I do suspect that may be because I was so impatient to see what the outcome of the Henderson family's trials would be.
My family is getting tired of hearing the patter of my feet at night as I lay awake waiting for them to fall asleep; gliding to the couch with my flashlight and Mercy Among the Children to pick up where I left off. Stark yes but colorful in a grey sort of way. Unforgettable characters built with few words through deeds alone. Very good. Satisfying after some of the mediocrity I have endured.
Absent of the cheeky junk that dominates the shelves, this book depends instead on a strong storyline, a solid (if heavily drawn) cast of characters, and an irresistible family of poverty-stricken misfits. Far from sentimental, Mercy Among the Children still manages to elicit a powerful reaction from everyone I pass it on to. One man cried on the NYC subway!