Saturday, September 7, 2013

Shades Of Mercy-Anita Lustrea and Caryn Dahlstrand

Shades Of Mercy

Anita Lustrea and Caryn Dahlstrand

River North, Sep 1 2013, $14.99

ISBN: 9780802409683

In 1954 in Watsonville, Maine, fifteen year old Mercy Millar works on the family farm doing manual labor rarely done by a farmer’s daughter. Mercy relishes working in the field because that enables her to spend time with her beloved Mick of the Maliseet tribe; which otherwise would be forbidden by her family. However, her toiling also means not dressing like the frilly female she wants to be and looks like her Mick. Her dream is to one day soon to leave as Mick’s wife; a hope he wants too but doubts will ever occur as their love is a major local taboo.

When a murder occurs, the law arrests Mick. Fearing for Mick’s life since the white townsfolk demand his blood; Mercy loses hope for the future as she gives up on God and family for the tribulations each wrought towards Mick and her. Yet inside her heart remains her dream of being with Mick forever.

Shades of Mercy is a terrific historical that looks deeply at 1950s racism in The Pine Tree State. The key to this strong drama is the insight into the Maliseet tribe and what they endure in Watsonville during the Eisenhower Era. Character-driven by a strong cast starting with the interracial couple, readers will find despair and hope competing as a forbidden love shakes the moral foundations of everyone.

Harriet Klausner

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