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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Mercies...Review

About the book:
Natchez, Mississippi, in 1933 is a place suspended in time. The silver and china is still dented and cracked from Yankee invaders. And the houses have names...and memories. Nora Bondurant is running away--from her husband's death, from his secrets, and from the ghosts that dog her every step. When she receives a telegram informing her that she has an inheritance, Nora suddenly has somewhere to run to: a house named Avoca in Natchez, Mississippi. Now, she's learning that the lure of Natchez runs deep, and that, along with Avoca, she's inherited a mystery. Nora's aunt Amalia Bondurant was killed in a murder/suicide, and the locals are saying nothing more--except in hushed, honeyed tones. As Nora becomes more and more enmeshed in the community and in her family's history, she learns surprising things about the life and death of her aunt: kinship isn't always what it seems, loyalty can be as fierce as blood relations, and every day we are given new mercies to heal the pain of loss and love.

I liked this, although I didn't enjoy it as much as I have the other Sandra Dallas books I've read. The 1933 Natchez, Mississippi setting is, from a historical aspect, fascinating. Having never been to Natchez, and having had minimal southern exposure, I enjoyed the history lesson more than the plot. The glimpse into southern history and society is entertaining and downright funny at times. The author captures the essence of the class and race distinctions that continued even after the war ended.

Of the two plot twists, one was surprising, and, I don't think completely necessary to the story, but it did add another Dallas-style emotional dimension. Overall, an interesting book.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.

* * *
3/5 Stars

Read 1/08

1 comment:

  1. I just love Sandra Dallas! I own all of her books and I want to read them all again this summer. Yes, I have to wait 6 mths before I have time to read them again. College.

    I just started a new book this morning. Death Comes for the Archbishop by W. Cather. Hope its good.

    I'm more in the mood for Sandra Dallas. I hope SD is still writing!

    I agree with you that this book, New Mercies, isn't my favorite of hers but very enjoyable. Like you said, its a dip into the southern life. And if a person likes this one, the rest of her works are sure to please!