That’s the question 17-year-old Eve Marryat has to come to terms with in Ann Tatlock’s latest novel releasing this week. Sweet Mercy is a wonderful, coming-of-age novel set against the backdrop of Prohibition. Eve is incredibly refreshing in today’s age of jaded, worldly teens. She has a very black and white idea of right and wrong and aims to always come down on the side of right. Which gives the reader a reason to both admire her and anticipate how this potential flaw is going to impact her life. Really? Is she that good?
When Eve’s family moves from St. Paul, MN, to the Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge in Ohio, Eve believes she’s escaping all the evils of the big city filled with notorious gangsters. But the apparent peace and tranquility of her uncle’s lodge holds dark secrets of its own.
Eventually, Eve learns that people sometimes do bad things for good reasons. and she’ll have to learn to allow for shades of grey in her new life. Helping her learn that lesson are several young men–suitors and one special friend–who help her see people aren’t always what they seem.
Ann Tatlock–a two-time Christy winner–does a beautiful job of exploring good vs. evil and why life is often too complex for simple answers. Eve is a character you can root for as she grows out of her over-simplified view of life and develops a richer, deeper understanding of why good people sometimes do bad things and why bad people sometimes do good.