About the Author
Jill McCorkle is a Dos Passos Prize–winning novelist and short story writer and the author of Life after Life.
What People are Saying About This
Elizabeth Cox writes straight from the gut with passion and compassion, but her characters are carefully wrought and her artful structure creates gathering suspense until the very end. A Question of Mercy is Cox's finest novel yet, and one of the finest I have ever read. This beautiful novel rests in the heart long after the final page.
A Question of Mercy by Elizabeth Cox is a tightly written story of the emotional links between a teen-aged girl and her mentally challenged stepbrother. With elements of a mystery and a cast of sympathetic characters the book is a rare and touching look at the fate of one family's struggle with a tragic family member.
With echoes of The Sound and the Fury, this novel is a thrilling story of compassion and adventure, of a desperate journey in quest of home and family. Like all great stories, it concerns a conflict of loyalties, not good versus evil, but one good versus another, heart versus the laws of society. It is also a mystery, a narrative of haunting secrets, told in a polyphony of viewpoints, and a celebration of unconditional love.
Elizabeth Cox's stunning new novel, A Question of Mercy, is steeped in Faulknerian virtues: love, honor, compassion, sacrifice. But Cox's riveting narrative is utterly original, a tale spun of wishes and sorrows that only these charactersthe teenaged runaway, Jess Booker, her mentally handicapped step-brother, Adam, and their parentscan bear.
This novel places the reader right in the heart of an ethical situation, weighing out right from wrongthe human heart and the laws of society in conflict with each other. It is about extreme practices and ethical questions in the broadest sense, but it is also about trust and faith and compassionthe guiding factors that tend to lead Elizabeth Cox's characters forward. There is romantic love. There is familial love. There is humor. There is grief. Ultimately, it is a novel about mercy and a level of love and devotion worthy of sacrifice.
A Question of Mercy presents an unflinching view of mental-health treatment in 1950's America, but in Jess, the novel's heroine, Elizabeth Cox has created a character whose courage and humanity remind us that there are always individuals who will fight injustice. This superb novel further confirms that Cox is one of our most profound and gifted novelist.