Thursday, February 27, 2014
This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash - a very casual review and photos of Wiley's reading at Square Books
First things first . . . it's been almost a month since I read This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash. That can be a very, very bad thing but today I was hanging with my best friend and told her about how much I loved This Dark Road to Mercy -- so much that when I found out Wiley Cash was going to stop at Square Books in Oxford (2 1/2 hours north of us) and I didn't see Lemuria (20 minutes away) on his tour list, I planned a jaunt north. That's unusual, in case you're wondering.
So, naturally, Best Buddy asked me what the book is about. I told her it's about 2 girls who are sent to a home when their mother dies. Their daddy, who signed away all rights to them, wants them back but the law is against him so he kidnaps them. But, daddy Wade has done something exceptionally stupid. He's stolen some money and a Very Bad Man is after him. I told her the pages flew because of the tension. Will the Bad Man get them or will they survive? Will Easter and Ruby end up with their father or back in foster care? I didn't tell her about the baseball setting, nor did I mention what I loved most about the book -- the way the author brought back an element from the first of the book near the end, lending the story an unusual symmetry that made me actually suck in my breath -- but apparently none of that mattered.
Best Buddy said, "I will have to read that." I think she'll like it and I was pleased that I still remembered it well enough to spit out a capsule description. At any rate, I had a great time on the dash up to Oxford and I highly recommend This Dark Road to Mercy, which is well-written, suspenseful and touching.
As to the reading, t took quite a while for people to start trickling in but in the long run there was quite a nice crowd and I thought Wiley was an excellent speaker. Here he is, reading from This Dark Road to Mercy:
Authors Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly live in Oxford and they came out to show their support, which was fortuitous for me because I've read and enjoyed their co-written release, The Tilted World. I asked if there were copies of The Tilted World in the store as readings take place in Off-Square Books rather than the flagship store. There were none but someone dashed off to fetch a few copies from the main store. They were already signed but the authors very kindly inscribed one for me. Here are all three authors (left to right, Tom Franklin, Wiley Cash, Beth Ann Fennelly):
After the reading, I met up with husband and Kiddo and we went to eat Indian food with the professor my husband was in town to meet (skipped that story but Huzzybuns needed to meet up with someone and managed to arrange the meeting to coincide with the signing -- coolness). Supper was yet another delight as the professor just happens to be a fantastic storyteller and the food was fabulous.
Side note: I have a copy of Wiley's first book, A Land More Kind Than Home, but have not yet read it and had a sneaking suspicion I would not likely find it for a while because of the chaos that has been our last year, between moving and trying to get our old house ready to go on the market. I was wrong! Woot! Whilst loading shelves with books in our library on Tuesday, I glanced down at a stack (they're everywhere . . . cannot wait till I no longer have books on the floor) and noticed that my hardback copy of A Land More Kind Than Home was sticking out of the bottom shelf. Looks like a kitty helpfully pulled it partway off the shelf. So, now I know where to look when I'm ready to read it. Second woot!
I plunked my recommendation in the middle of this sort-of review so I'm just going to reiterate that I highly recommend This Dark Road to Mercy. There are some intense scenes of violence, so I've added a family warning for violence to my labels. I survived, though, and you know I'm prone to nightmares, right? Also, I highly recommend going to see Wiley if he's ever in your area.
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