Sweet Mercy Blog Tour Review by Ann Tatlock

Sweet Mercy Review

Blurb: Set during the Great Depression and Prohibition
When Eve Marryat's father is laid off from the Ford Motor Company in 1931, he is forced to support his family by leaving St. Paul, Minnesota, and moving back to his Ohio roots. Eve's uncle Cyrus has invited the family to live and work at his Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge.
Eve can't wait to leave St. Paul, a notorious haven for gangsters. At seventeen, she considers her family to be "good people," not lawbreakers like so many in her neighborhood. Thrilled to be moving to a "safe haven," Eve soon forms an unlikely friendship with a strange young man named Link, blissfully unaware that her uncle's lodge is anything but what it seems.
When the reality of her situation finally becomes clear, Eve is faced with a dilemma. Does she dare risk everything by exposing the man whose love and generosity is keeping her family from ruin? And when things turn dangerous, can she trust Link in spite of appearances?

Review: Sweet Mercy is a book my fourteen year old self would have devoured years ago if it came out way back when. I would have kept that book on my keeper shelf and today I'm happy to add it right there. I'm a huge 1930s/40s fan from way back when and there years when I did nothing but projects related to the gangsters, style, clothing, music and way of life of the eras. I was excited to dive into author Ann Tatlock's coming of age tale set during the Prohibition era. The story definitely didn't disappoint.
The story begins in 1981 with an older Eve Marryat returning to the lodge of her youth owned by her Uncle Cyrus (aka Uncle Cy). She is on a search for an old music box in the attic, a sentimental piece that ties into her youth and her story. Her grandson wishes to hear about that summer and soon we are whisked back to a seventeen year old Eve returning back to Mercy, Ohio after a harrowing life in St. Paul. Mercy's quiet, laid back slower moving town appears to Eve's young mind in contrast to St. Paul's gangster laden haven. Eve meets many different characters working at the lodge from the starry eyed, happy-go-lucky Marlene and her intended named Jimmy, the handsome Marcus with whom she shares the pangs of first love, the "red eyed devil" named Jones who is a more complex person than she is lead to believe, the mysterious yet street smart "bum" named Link and the variety of lodge workers, visitors, movers and shakers. It's a sweet story with an innocent narrator who slowly begins to see the world around her is more grey than she imagined.

I love the prose of this story and how Miss Tatlock gave a voice to each character. Each has their own personality and background which made me feel like I was right there meeting them along with Eve. I couldn't help but be sucked into the writing and story. This is one of those books I will definitely be visiting in the future.
Recommended for YA fans both young and old who love 1930s historicals and sweet coming of age stories.