Released earlier this month!
Thanks to William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for the free early copy in exchange for my honest review and tour spot
MERCY HOUSE – Alena Dillon (Released February 11th, 2020)
“Never underestimate the power of a group of women. Fierce, thoughtful and dramatic—this is a story of true courage.” —Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author
She would stop at nothing to protect the women under her care.
Inside a century-old row house in Brooklyn, renegade Sister Evelyn and her fellow nuns preside over a safe haven for the abused and abandoned. Gruff and indomitable on the surface, warm and wry underneath, little daunts Evelyn, until she receives word that Mercy House will be investigated by Bishop Hawkins, a man with whom she shares a dark history. In order to protect everything they’ve built, the nuns must conceal many of their methods, which are forbidden by the Catholic Church.
Evelyn will go to great lengths to defend all that she loves. She confronts a gang member, defies the church, challenges her own beliefs, and faces her past. She is bolstered by the other nuns and the vibrant, diverse residents of the shelter—Lucia, Mei-Li, Desiree, Esther, and Katrina—whose differences are outweighed by what unites them: they’ve all been broken by men but are determined to rebuild.
Amidst her fight, Evelyn discovers the extraordinary power of mercy and the grace it grants, not just to those who receive it, but to those strong enough to bestow it.
My Thoughts: 3/5 stars
This wasn’t what I was expecting it to be. I had seen reviews on both ends of the spectrum – some readers deciding to set it down and others giving is rave 5 star reviews. I’ve always loved these books because it’s always fun when there’s the differing thoughts and discussions. As someone that has little to no knowledge on the Catholic Church I think that this didn’t have quite the same affect on me as it did other readers.
I really enjoyed the characters and the author’s writing style. This is definitely what kept me flipping the pages. The characters felt very believable and easy to relate to – the issue I do see with this book is how it depicts the Catholic Church. I know that was what a few other reviewers had issues with when it came to this book. I feel like I’m talking in circles but it’s because I can’t really determine how this book made me feel. That being said, this does show that the author put together a great story and is definitely one that will keep you thinking/reflecting after you put it down.
Overall, I want to check out more from Alena Dillon in the future. This was a heartwarming story with great characters. There were some depictions of sexual assault and some definite stereotypes that might be problematic for some readers when it comes to the Catholic Church. Otherwise, it had a great pacing to it and I do recommend picking it up to see where you fall!
Photo by Debasmit Banerjee
About the Author:
Alena Dillon’s work has appeared in Slice Magazine, The Rumpus, and Seventh Wave, among others. She earned her MFA from Fairfield University. Mercy House is her debut novel. She lives on the north shore of Boston with her husband, son, and their black labrador, Penny.
Where to Purchase a Copy: