[Review] Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock
Author: Ann Tatlock
Publisher: Bethany House May 1, 2013
Genre: Fiction, Coming of age story, 1930s, Prohibition of alcohol, Great Depression, Gangsters, bootlegger,
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free copy from Bethany House/An Open Book.
Link @ Amazon for Kindle, $9.99.
Links for more information on Prohibition:
The History Channel
Prohibition/Ohio State University
From YouTube, CBS interview with Ken Burns who produced a documentary on Prohibition of alcohol.
Seventeen year old Eve, and her parents, are moving from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Ohio. Eve's father, lost his job at the Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant. He is able to secure a job working at his brother Cy's, Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge, located in Mercy, Ohio. Eve's, older sister Cassandra, and family, will remain living in St. Paul. Uncle Cy's wife is ill and living in a sanitarium in New York state. Her son Jones, continues to live at the Marryat, and work for Cy. Eve, meets a new friend named Marlene. Eve, is introduced to handsome Marcus. They have a few dates and Eve is smitten by his good looks. Eve, also meets a young man named Link, but because he is without a home and going nowhere in life, she is leery of him.
In the opening chapter, Eve, reminisces with her grandson, when she began telling the story of her life in Mercy, Ohio, the story backs up to 1931.
"Good and evil. Black and white. I wanted them to be separate. I didn't like gray." Page 122.My Thoughts:
Eve, is a personality that places people and events in either a "good" box, or a "bad" box.
But, what happens when a bad person does a good deed, or a good person does a bad deed?
Is it ever okay to lie? Cheat? Steal? Break the law? Is turning a "blind-eye" to crime wrong?
At Eve's age, friends and boyfriends, are the most important aspect of life; however, the prohibition law, the economy, her father's job loss, and a major move, add additional angst in her life.
Eve is faced with not only the normal growing pains of adolescence, but in seeing people for who they are---imperfect people in need of God's grace and mercy, and this includes herself.
I loved this story for several reasons:
1. Eve is a divided character. She's a character torn between right and wrong, and this gave the book a theme which all readers relate to.
2. The 1930s is an era when people made do with what they had (material possessions and money) and what they had was not much. The 1930s is when strong character was built, a building block for The Greatest Generation.
3. The author weaved into the story: learning disabilities, prejudice, poverty, illness, disease, and abuse.
4. A story I'd not heard on Al Capone.