Sydney Henderson is a truly great man. As a young man, Sydney, believing he has accidentally killed a friend, makes a pact with God, promising never to harm another if the boy's life is spared. In the years that follow, the almost pathologically gentle Sydney holds true to his promise - at terrible cost to himself and his family. Stunningly beautiful and haunting, scenes from this magisterial novel will remain etched in the mind forever.
In Mercy Among the Children author David Adams Richards creates a small contingent of fully realized fictional characters. After endangering a friend, young Sidney vows a life of pacifism if his friend survives. Sidney keeps his vow even though his small-town neighbors take advantage of his gentleness. Much of the meanness in this rural enclave is caused by the fact of poverty. The sad shadow of poverty is cast here with sensitivity. Sidney’s son Lyle tries to defend his father, acting out when Sidney is blamed for a young boy’s death. The novel is told through Lyle’s soulful eyes. Bernard Clark’s poignant narration will make listeners return many times to this solemn novel.
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