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When their mother dies unexpectedly, twelve-year-old Easter Quillby and her six-year-old sister, Ruby, are shuffled into the foster care system in Gastonia, North Carolina, a little town not far from the Appalachian Mountains. But just as they settle into their new life, their errant father, Wade, an ex-minor-league baseball player whom they haven't seen in years, suddenly reappears and steals them away in the middle of the night.
Brady Weller, the girls' court-appointed guardian, begins looking for Wade, and quickly turns up unsettling information linking him to a multimillion-dollar robbery. But Brady isn't the only one hunting him. Also on the trail is Robert Pruitt, a mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, a man determined to find Wade and claim what he believes he is owed.
The combination of Cash's evocative and intimate Southern voice and those of the alternating narrators, Easter, Brady, and Pruitt, brings this soulful story vividly to life. At once captivating and heartbreaking, This Dark Road to Mercy is a testament to the unbreakable bonds of family and the primal desire to outrun a past that refuses to let go.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By W Perry Hall on 01-31-14
Easter offers chance at redemption; but no spark
Set around the 1998 HR record chase by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa (now stained by steroids) and traveling from the foothills of NC to St. Louis, this short novel is enjoyable but not nearly as deep a character study, with as complex a texture or as dark as what I consider the best novel to come out of the South in 20 years, "A Land More Kind Than Home," by the author, Wiley Cash.
The story keeps you interested, though it lags toward the end. The protagonist, Easter, is well-developed and realistic as a 12-year-old whose mom died of a drug overdose and whose father "Wade" is a ne'er-do-well former baseball minor leaguer. Repairing his relationship with Easter offers Wade a chance at redemption. One thing that was not explained enough was the antagonistic relationship between Wade and his pursuer Pruitt and the relationship between the other character Brady (the 2 girls' guardian ad litem) and his daughter could have been more developed and tied into the story.
The novel is worthy of a read/listen, particularly if you enjoyed "More Kind than Home," but I can't highly recommend it.
I must say though that it may be worth the purchase if for nothing more than to hear Jenna Lamia's spectacular rendition of the 12-year-old Easter, the novel's protagonist. Ms. Lamia brings Easter to life as a teenybopper, highly nuanced in tone, accent and spunk.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
By Benjamin on 05-31-14
A very fine book
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes: Gripping story, with complex, imperfect characters.
What other book might you compare This Dark Road to Mercy to and why?
A land more kind than home, Mr. Cash's first book: A book about failed fatherhood told from multiple first person narrators.
What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
The female reader for the female protagonist lends nice tone and subtlety.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Any additional comments?
Nice work again from Mr. Cash. A very fine book.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful