Mercy Snow: A Novel

Mercy Snow: A Novel

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by Tiffany Baker

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In the tiny town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire, the paper mill dictates a quiet, steady rhythm of life. But one day a tragic bus accident sets two families on a course toward destruction, irrevocably altering the lives of everyone in their wake.

June McAllister is the wife of the local mill owner and undisputed first lady in town. But the Snow family, a group of


In the tiny town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire, the paper mill dictates a quiet, steady rhythm of life. But one day a tragic bus accident sets two families on a course toward destruction, irrevocably altering the lives of everyone in their wake.

June McAllister is the wife of the local mill owner and undisputed first lady in town. But the Snow family, a group of itinerant ne'er-do-wells who live on a decrepit and cursed property, have brought her--and the town--nothing but grief.

June will do anything to cover up a dark secret she discovers after the crash, one that threatens to upend her picture-perfect life, even if it means driving the Snow family out of town. But she has never gone up against a force as fierce as the young Mercy Snow. Mercy is determined to protect her rebellious brother, whom the town blames for the accident, despite his innocence. And she has a secret of her own. When an old skeleton is discovered not far from the crash, it beckons Mercy to solve a mystery buried deep within the town's past.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
New York Times bestselling author Baker (The Little Giant of Aberdeen County) shines once again in her third novel, like its predecessors set in smalltown America. This time, the scene is Titan Falls, N.H., in the mid-1990s—a paper mill town on the brink of economic collapse. Nineteen-year-old Mercy Snow has returned to her family’s plot of land in Titan Falls with her older brother, Zeke, and younger sister, Hannah. The Snow siblings have nothing but a rusted-out RV and a reputation for trouble that they owe to their parents and grandparents. One night, a bus returning from a high school trip is run off the road, killing a local girl. Locals blame Zeke, whose crashed car was found not far from the bus. But Mercy knows it wasn’t Zeke’s fault and is determined to clear her brother’s name. The McAllisters, who own the paper mill and therefore run the town, are just as determined to stop Mercy before her quest uncovers the family’s long-buried secrets. Baker slowly but confidently unravels a gripping tale of love, justice, and redemption, set in a town where all three seem just a little out of reach. Agent: Dan Lazar, Writers House. (Jan.)
Sarah Addison Allen
"Hauntingly beautiful, wrapped in a lush, cold atmosphere, Mercy Snow is a ghostly, magical, psychological tale of redemption and, yes, mercy. I was spellbound. Tiffany Baker spirits us away."
Jennifer McMahon
"I was completely swept away in this gothic tale of three women linked by secrets, some long buried, some far more recent. From the opening scene to the final page, Tiffany Baker kept me entranced in a novel so richly atmospheric that when I closed the cover, I was sure I could smell the paper mill on my clothes and hair, and hear the churn of the filthy Androscoggin River outside my door. Mercy Snow is a testament to the dark power of secrets; a power that can bind us together, or drive us apart."
San Jose Mercury News
"As the families' secrets come pouring out, Baker deftly balances personal grievances with broader concerns about pollution, economic justice and corporate responsibility in small-town America."
Family Circle
"Baker is masterful at creating elegantly flawed characters who are both believably ordinary and extraordinary."
Kirkus Reviews
A tiny New Hampshire river town, whose main industry is a paper mill, is rocked by a tragic accident. By the mid-1990s, small American manufacturing operations are already losing ground, and jobs, to foreign competitors. However, Titan Falls, teetering on the steep banks of the polluted Androscoggin River, is still dependent on the Titan Mill, which converts lumber into paper and has been owned since time immemorial by the McAllister family. The mill employs most of the men, and June, spouse of the mill's current scion, Cal McAllister, rules the wives--membership in her knitting circle is de rigueur. The orphaned, nomadic Snow children, Zeke and his fey sisters, Mercy and Hannah, have arrived in a rickety RV to claim the plot of land vacated by their late father, Pruitt. Hannah senses that the ghost of ancestor Gert Snow, a recluse who died under suspicious circumstances, hovers nearby, making mischief. Gert's worst intervention is the event that launches the main plot--on the night before Thanksgiving, a church youth-group bus skids off a cliff while rounding an icy hairpin turn. Nate, June and Cal's teenage son, and other passengers sustain only minor injuries, but Nate's childhood best friend and secret love, Suzie, is killed. The bus driver, Fergus, husband of local sheepherder Hazel, hovers, comatose, on life support. (The skeletal remains of Gert are ominously recovered during the crash investigation.) The accident is pinned on Zeke, whose battered pickup is found nearby, crumpled against a tree. But what was one of Suzie's bright red mittens, knitted from Hazel's artisanal dyed yarn, doing in Cal's pocket, June wonders. From such minutiae, Baker crafts her appealing, occasionally cloying mélange of magic realism, mystery and social commentary. Baker (The Gilly Salt Sisters, 2012, etc.) has managed to carve out her own niche in this rocky North Woods terrain, largely due to her deeply flawed but likable characters.
From the Publisher
"Strength and quiet beauty mark Baker's writing. . . . Her style perfectly suits the mood, time and place of this tale. Though it tells an old story that extends back at least to Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," MERCY SNOW provides an authentic universe of damaged souls and a fantastical heroine."—Anita Shreve, Washington Post"

Tiffany Baker's raw and powerful writing almost reads like a screenplay in its simplicity, suspense and dialogue that jumps off the page...The town, the woods, the river, the blood of humans and beasts: they're all characters in Baker's novel, as important as any of its living women. That's what makes her writing so gripping. It's an experience that haunts long after the final page has been turned."—Toronto Star"

Tiffany Baker excels at creating offbeat characters with big hearts who live in difficult circumstances. Nineteen-year-old Mercy is unforgettable as she ekes out a living in the harshest of circumstances while caring for a young sister and battling the town's wrath. This third great novel, following "The Little Giant of Aberdeen County" and "The Gilly Salt Sisters," clinches Baker's place on the "must-read" list."—Judy Romanowich Smith, Minneapolis Star Tribune"

As the families' secrets come pouring out, Baker deftly balances personal grievances with broader concerns about pollution, economic justice and corporate responsibility in small-town America."—San Jose Mercury News"

A gripping tale of love, justice, and redemption, set in a town where all three seem just a little out of reach. . . . Baker shines once again."—Publishers Weekly"

Appealing. . . Baker has managed to carve out her own niche in this rocky North Woods terrain, largely due to her deeply flawed but likable characters."—Kirkus Reviews"

Mercy Snow . . . limn[s] tensions between two disparate families in Titan Falls, NH, while adding the dark, gothic feel of a decades-old mystery."—Library Journal"

I was completely swept away in this gothic tale of three women linked by secrets, some long buried, some far more recent. From the opening scene to the final page, Tiffany Baker kept me entranced in a novel so richly atmospheric that when I closed the cover, I was sure I could smell the paper mill on my clothes and hair, and hear the churn of the filthy Androscoggin River outside my door. Mercy Snow is a testament to the dark power of secrets; a power that can bind us together, or drive us apart."—Jennifer McMahon, author of The One I Left Behind and Island of Lost Girls"

Hauntingly beautiful, wrapped in a lush, cold atmosphere, Mercy Snow is a ghostly, magical, psychological tale of redemption and, yes, mercy. I was spellbound. Tiffany Baker spirits us away."—-Sarah Addison Allen, author of The Peach Keeper

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
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6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

Mercy Snow

By Tiffany Baker

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2014 Tiffany Baker
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4555-1273-7


At the time of the accident in the mid-1990s, when the area's string of paper towns first began to wither and die, Titan Falls wasn't yet a hollowed-out settlement stuck at the wrong end of nowhere, but it wasn't a far cry from that either. While it was true that the sulfurous, stinking waters of the Androscoggin were running much clearer than they had decades before, the village was still only just full enough of wood pulp, buzz saws, and good honest muscle to be barely tipped to the correct side of profitable. Now and then it struck June McAllister—the mill owner's wife—that Titan Falls was nothing more than a drunken jumble of timber and human grit, an accidental collision of industry and nature, but she was careful never to voice that thought out loud, especially not to her husband and most especially not to the other mill wives. To them she appeared to believe in the singularity of the town's fate with the same blind assurance her fingers took on during the sewing circle she hosted. At first, June had found the custom archaic, a throwback to her mother-in-law's time, but, as with everything else in her life, she soon learned that personal will was no match for force of habit where the women of Titan Falls were concerned.

"The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away," she found herself chirping week after week, doling out advice like she was serving up neat pats of iced butter. It was an old wives' saying she'd often heard growing up and had hoped by now to have escaped. The ladies around her would pause, then shrug and bob their heads. One of them might snip a thread from her pile of sewing with a bare front tooth. Another would slide a new row of stitches across the cool steel of a knitting needle. It was fine and well for June McAllister to sit there and orate in her own house, of course. The Lord did give and then take away. The problem—and the truth that none of them ever dared to utter—was that in a town like Titan Falls, smeared up flush along the river and frequently pummeled by it, it was often difficult to tell which was which.

It wasn't that the other women didn't like June (although in truth they didn't), it was just that they didn't trust her very much. She wasn't, after all, a natural-born daughter of the place. Instead she'd struggled to become one over twenty years of marriage to Cal, the fourth-generation owner of the Titan Paper Mill and, really, the sole lifeblood of the town. At first, as a scholarship girl fresh out of the ranks of Smith College and totally unfamiliar with the mores and means of the North Woods, June had found the geography of Titan Falls shocking in its stony glory. She'd been raised in a shaky-jointed, not-very- prosperous town on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The architecture of June's childhood had been sandy and loose-slatted, all tin roofs and concrete blocks, peeling shutters and slow-twirling ceiling fans. The smell of sea salt had corroded everything all the time, clattering insects had made the sticky air vibrate, and colors were either vibrant and urgent—bougainvillea, birds- of-paradise opening on their stalks—or buffeted and past their prime.

Until Smith, June hadn't known that air could turn so crisp it was like getting a first kiss, that a tree could burst into the color of fire and then change again into a skeleton of itself and then yet again, in the spring, haze into unexpected blossoms. She learned to drink tea hot from a silver pot instead of sweet and iced, saved up for and bought herself a camel-hair coat, and dreamed of becoming a literature professor so that she would never, ever have to leave this new and glorious world of leaded windows, mahogany library shelves, needlepoint cushions, and cathedral towers.

And then she met Cal on a weekend jaunt to Boston. She was at a house party hosted by her roommate, Janey, who knew Cal's best friend from summers spent on Nantucket.

"He's a senior at Dartmouth, and I hear he's a mill man," Janey had whispered in her parents' well-appointed living room, eyeing Cal's chiseled jaw and strong shoulders with appreciation as she handed June a warm beer. At first June had misunderstood. Her heart had skipped to think that finally, after almost two and a half years up north, she was meeting another soul like her, another working stiff accepted into this rarefied world of college and summer houses but yet not of it.

"No, silly," Janey had said with a laugh, correcting June. "His family owns the mill." One of the very oldest in the East, it turned out, and June's cheeks had flamed like the autumn trees around her. She spilled some of her beer onto her skirt, but Cal didn't seem to notice, or if he did, he liked what he saw.

"Hello," he said, stepping right up to her and cupping her thin hand in his generous palm. "You're Janey's roommate at Smith, aren't you? What are you studying?"

"Literature," June had answered without hesitation, and Cal had nodded thoughtfully. She held her breath, waiting to see what he would say.

"You know, Whitman wrote Leaves of Grass on paper made by my family's mill."

June gaped at him. It had never occurred to her to consider the physical provenances of the works she pored over day after day. That this wide-necked, blue-eyed boy would be able to lay such casual claim to what June considered mythic amazed her. When he offered to fetch a second drink for her, she let him, and when he asked, one year later, for her hand, she said yes right away, egged on by her girlfriends, who assured her that she was trading up—books for real life, an unfinished education for a giddy leap up the social ladder.

But Titan Falls, it turned out, was nothing like the New England of Smith or, indeed, of the literature she'd studied so ardently and written so many essays about: the blooming lilac bushes of Whitman, the pin-straight woods of Thoreau. Instead the world of Titan Falls reminded her a little of her old life in Florida, but on a much vaster scale. If she went five minutes out of town in three directions, she found herself enveloped by a swath of forest so great it was like stepping out of time. The river cut along the fourth face of the village, forming a line of currents, sludge, and rogue logs. June learned quickly that in Titan Falls the wilderness was a bounty, yes, but that it could also turn around and swallow a man whole in a heartbeat.

The Androscoggin, June also discovered over time, came with its own problematic history. It was a long-troubled stretch of water, beautiful on the surface but poisoned underneath, like a ruined woman who'd kept up her face but let the rest of herself fall to hell. Sulfur dioxide still escaped from the mills, and in the summer the town sometimes had to put out bubblers to aerate the water enough to keep the fish alive. In spite of that, clumps of algae continued to bloom like roses every August, spreading a tangy phosphate odor across the back of June's tongue. During her first year in Titan Falls, she'd found the stench overwhelming, but her mother-in-law, Hetty, had assured her that she would get used to it.

"This is nothing. When I was a bride," she said, twisting her dented wedding ring for emphasis, a ring so worn that June pitied her for it, little imagining the coming stretch of years that would rub her own ring to dullness, "we used to say the river was too thick to paddle and too thin to plow. Mud would turn yellow, and the paint on all the houses would peel. Kids used to bounce quarters off the scum that floated down here." Her expression soured. "Now we're so regulated, fish can barely piss in the river. Not that it stops the damn town from blaming the mill for every last thing. You'll find that out, too."

Hetty died from liver cancer a short year after June was married, and a heart attack claimed Henry, Cal's father, soon after, and though June never said so, she often wondered how much the pollution from the river had to do with their demises, just as she wondered if it was the cause for the occasional flotillas of dead trout that popped up or even the babies sometimes born in the area with stunted fingers, cleft palates, or tongues so stubbed they couldn't suck their mothers' milk. When she found out that she would be unable to bear any more children after the birth of her son, Nate, she spent hours pacing along the banks of the waterway, staring at the swirling muck, a misgiving building inside her that she knew she could never voice.

For that was part of the deal she'd made by coming to live in Titan Falls—a private bargain she'd struck in the deep tissue of her heart. As long as the town spared her its eternal suspicion and took her in as one of its own, she vowed, she would turn a blind eye to the soot clinging to roots of the place. She would do as her mother-in-law suggested and ignore the little details of decay that snagged along the corners of her gaze, letting the dark surface of the river ripple in peace, the way it had for generations.

Over time June proved to be an apt pupil of Titan Falls. Even the other women couldn't begrudge her that. In a blizzard her pantry was the best stocked, and she was always ready to share. She possessed a whole cupboard of muffin tins molded for various holidays: bunnies for Easter, trees and stars for Christmas, jack-o'-lanterns for Halloween. Following in Hetty's civic footsteps, June oversaw improvements to the library, handpicking the leather chairs and the globed reading lights as if she were outfitting a fancy gentleman's club. On the Fourth of July, she helped festoon the tiny main street in patriotic bunting before handing out ice cream with the other Acorn Association ladies.

The parts of Titan Falls to which she couldn't turn a blind eye, she simply avoided. The derelict mill cottages, for instance, down by the river, where her son used to love to play in the summer when teenagers weren't carousing in them. The mill itself, since it was a largely male domain except for Gracie, Cal's phlegmatic secretary, and the quiet woman who came in on Friday night to clean the office. And most of all, the old homestead out on Devil's Slide Road, where the river folded back in a crook and stewed in such foulness that no one was very surprised when a lone woman named Gert Snow went missing out there in the early 1950s.

As a very young child, gossip had it, Gert had been waspish and sour-faced, but as a young woman she'd grown into a great beauty—so lovely, in fact, that it was rumored she'd even turned the acquisitive eye of Henry McAllister. Fire broke out in the family home and killed her parents during the great drought of '42, when the river stank so hard that all the silverware in town tarnished overnight and even the flies out that way dropped dead. People said Gert survived the disaster out of pure spite. Some folks even suggested she might have been the one to light the blaze, but absolutely everyone agreed that the girl's behavior after the tragedy was not right. Instead of accepting the baskets of vittles and wares people left for her on the edge of Devil's Slide Road, Gert hurled them into the ravine with curses, then proceeded to build herself a shack barely fit for livestock. She stalked the woods of her family land with a rifle and perfect aim, bringing back the corpses of deer and hares, skinning them and leaving their remains hanging in the trees as a warning to intruders. The chimney of the little smokehouse, untouched by the conflagration, belched at all hours of the day and night, and people assumed that Gert must be living on the hardest foods imaginable: smoked jerky, roots, and the bitter berries of the North Woods.

A halfhearted search party tramped up and down Devil's Slide Road when she disappeared a decade later, but not much effort was made and she was never found. In truth, no one would even have known how to bury the likes of Gert. Since she was godless to her guts, it wouldn't have been right to mix her bones up with the town's good Protestant ones. The other Snows had always been laid to rest elsewhere by their kin—no one was sure where—but there wasn't a soul left in the immediate family to do that now, and no need anyway. The townsfolk simply bowed their heads that week at prayer and then let a slow tide of moss and rot pull the empty shack back down to the earth for the next twenty years, when a distant relative of Gert's, a man named Pruitt, showed up to claim the place. People tended to drive slow past the Snow stretch, even in all sorts of weather, and they were wise. The river cut a notch deep down to the bottom of a ravine there, and the mud oozed a peculiar yellow color. "Brimstone," the locals called it, and knew enough to take it easy on those patches.

"Let the river lie," was Hetty's advice on the matter the first time June asked about Gert's history, shortly after her marriage. When June pointed out that she'd been talking about a woman and not the Androscoggin, Hetty simply smiled. "In Titan Falls," she said, "everything begins and ends with the damn river. You'll see. If you're smart, my dear, you'll stay clean out of all of it."

Cal had put it another way. "What you don't know can't hurt you," he'd said, and for many years—right up until the crash that changed everything—June chose to believe this.

She was mixing the batter for a cranberry cake on the evening when it happened. Thanksgiving was tomorrow, and the recipe was one of the deceased Hetty's holiday specials, a combination of sweet and sour that perfectly recalled her disposition. Later it would occur to June that perhaps this casual whisking and stirring was what ended up muddling her future, but eventually she decided that couldn't possibly be. After all, providence wasn't something you could stick a spoon into and mix to your own devices. If it were, June would have done so long ago. Any woman in Titan Falls would have.

She was alone. Cal was leaving straight from the mill for the lake cabin, where they always spent Thanksgiving if the road wasn't snowed in yet. She was supposed to wait for her seventeen-year-old son, Nate, to return from a trip with the church youth group to the movies in Berlin, then head out to the cabin with him, where she would finish baking her cake, infusing the air with a bittersweet haze before she finally slept. All around her on the counter, neatly boxed, were the trappings for their holiday feast—the plump turkey, legs folded like those of a portly gentleman taking his ease, a sack of dusty yams, a bag of marshmallows, and a stalk of brussels sprouts. Two cans of pumpkin. A tin of lard. Cream and pearl onions and white bread already cubed and mixed with sage for the stuffing. June could name the contents with her eyes closed. Too much for three people, and certainly too much for June to load into the car with no help, but tradition called.

She ran her hands over her hips, ruing how square they were growing. Nothing helped. Every year there was just the littlest bit more of her. June's mother had been a wide-set woman, too, and it was one of the things June had sworn she wouldn't repeat in her life, even if it required ever-increasing severity. She baked cakes and cookies. She grilled steaks, and she creamed potatoes, and she buttered bowls of peas, but she rarely ate any of it. Maybe that was why, more and more frequently, she felt like an observer when it came to her own life.

In the earlier years of their marriage, Cal used to come home early from the mill and help her carry the Thanksgiving items out to the car, fitting boxes in the trunk like he was doing a puzzle, laughing and trying to grab June's hips when she swished past him for another load. But that was before—back when Nate was still in elementary school, when the mill could barely keep up with orders, and most definitely before Cal returned from a business weekend in Boston with another woman's bra rolled inside one of his dirty shirts.


Excerpted from Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker. Copyright © 2014 Tiffany Baker. Excerpted by permission of Grand Central Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Tiffany Baker is the author of The Gilly Salt Sisters and The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, which was a New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. She holds an MFA (creative writing) and a PhD (Victorian Literature) from UC Irvine, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children.

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Mercy Snow: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Humbee More than 1 year ago
feel I've been on a very fortunate trip having just finished "Mercy Snow." It's one of those books that puts the heart back into reading. I felt such a loss of reading material that excited me over the holidays...and since that time, "Burial Rites" and "Mercy Snow" have both resurrected my belief in good books and fantastic authors. Tiffany Baker, in particular, is a gifted writer whose work is just captivating. I fell in love with her as an author when she wrote "The Gilly Salt Sisters," but I have to say that this book really rivals that one! This is a haunting and gorgeously written book. There is much to be said about the workings of the characters. Their psychology leaves their outward appearance secondary as we become absorbed in their thought processes and machinations. As June, the mill owner's wife, spins her web catching herself up in it as well as the townswomen, we are reminded of how easy it is to fall in our own folly. We become desperate and hungry with Mercy and Hannah. And, we look with frustration at a situation that is both hateful and unfair from the goldfish bowl of the Gods...far above the action of the novel. This is a magical and meaningful book. Mystical and mythological bits and pieces dot the storyline reminding us that all that we see in the world may not be all there is to it. It's a story that draws you in and keeps the pages turning. There's more than one moral to this story. The mystery at the center of the novel keeps dancing at the edges of every chapter, leaving us grasping at it like a willow-the-wisp. While we are given a good deal of the actual mystery at the onset, the deeper ones are withheld from us, and we know it! This gives depth and richness to the storyline. I loved this book. It was one of those I wished would never end. I could happily have gone on reading about these characters... This is one of those books you just have to read this winter. It's a show-stopper of a novel. I highly recommend it! 5 stars Deborah/TheBookishDame
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
Mercy Snow was an interesting book.  I felt like it started slow and I struggled some.   Then, about 70 pages in, it took off.   I was totally hooked and could not put it down.   The who done it was given away early, yet the clues kept coming and many more secrets were shared.   It is amazing how in a small town where everyone knows everyone that the degree of separation is incredibly small.   As each part of the story was revealed, I was more and more involved with the characters.   I wanted everyone to get their happy ending.  Some did, some did not.    This is a unique story.  I would love to know more about how the characters moved on with their lives and if they recovered from the trauma’s and decisions that were made.   Tiffany Baker was able to write a story that had me caring for the characters and wanting them to be happy and safe.    The  ending made me sad since I was hoping for a different ending but I did feel satisfied that the story had an ending.   The reader is not left hanging to guess what happen to the characters.   I will recommend this, just have some patience through the first few chapters, it is definitely worth finishing.     
Anonymous 11 months ago
I was really surprised how much I enjoyed this book. It was beautifully written with truly engaging characters.
MrsO More than 1 year ago
All of the characters fit so well together to make this heartfelt and mysterious story.  I found myself picking the book up throughout the day and first thing in the morning because in each chapter there was something interesting going on.  A very good book that I would recommend to friends.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book! Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite I was first introduced the talented Tiffany Baker in her book The Gilly Salt Sisters. Her latest book is Mercy Snow. The plot takes place in a small town in Titan Falls, home of the Titan Paper Mill. The paper mill was owned by the McAllister family. The Snows had just moved into the area. They lived in an old RV on land they inherited from their father. The Snows lived a primitive life out of necessity; often they did not have enough food to eat. Zeke had been in trouble a lot. When Zeke’s truck was found off the road close to a fatal bus wreck, the townspeople suspected he was responsible. Zeke was hiding while Mercy tried to provide for and take care of her little sister Hannah.  Mercy Snow is a fascinating read. Mercy Snow is a strong character undertaking a near impossible task. Hannah was lovable and naive. The townspeople clearly demonstrated the lack of tolerance for those different from them and considered outsiders. I immensely enjoyed this tale. I was shocked at part of the ending, but not everyone has a happy ending. The author compares a river spoiled by pollution from the local paper mill to the polluted means of the townspeople. They had the perfect opportunity to reach out to the Snows in love, but instead preferred to further sully their name and do physical harm to them. This book has 328 pages and the audio format is 11 hours and 23 minutes.  Christine Lakin lends her voice to this exciting tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author has a gift for beautiful and poetic phrasing, somewhat reminiscent of Alice Hoffman/s magical writing, but for some reason, I could not sustain interest in the story line or characters. The plot line dragged, lost in too much mundane detail, and the dark , dreary background made it a depressing read. I had trouble forming an attachment to the characters and had little sympathy for their situations. I rarely give up on a book, but half way thorough, I gave up on this one.....and did not feel guilty like I normally would. I wanted to like this book and but found it lacking and depressing. Try Alice Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen, and Ann Patchette. They keep your interest with endearing characters and themes and beautiful writing.
lg22 More than 1 year ago
Good story and great narrator!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She sleeps cozy here