Book Review Thursday: This Dark Road to Mercy

This Dark Road to MercyThis is the second book authored by Wiley Cash, set in North Carolina where Cash was raised.  From the title, I wondered if it might have been written in a similar vein as his first (excellent) book, A Land More Kind Than Home.  But, this one was quite different, although his storytelling method was basically the same – the narration alternating between three different characters to tell the story.

Easter and Ruby Quillby are two sisters who have been orphaned when their mother died unexpectedly… except they aren’t really orphaned, as in no parents.  They have a father who had legally given up his parental rights – a minor league baseball pitcher who suddenly wants to be back in his children’s lives.

Easter is the primary story narrator and protector of her little sister Ruby.  Even though it would mean having the chance to have a home with family, she isn’t too crazy about her father, Wade Chesterfield, and his attempts to make his way back into their lives.  The other two narrators are another ex-baseball player with a grudge against Wade, and Easter and Ruby’s court-appointed guardian, Brady Weller.

When Wade decides the only way to get his children back is to take them away in the middle of the night, the search for him ensues.  As it turns out, however, Wade is involved in another incident for which the consequences could turn deadly for both him and his two daughters.  Not only are the police searching for Wade, but Wade’s ex-competitor with a grudge is also searching for him – to kill him.

The story is set in the fall of 1998 when first baseman Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals and Sammy Sosa, right fielder for the Chicago Cubs, were locked in a home-run battle to see who would break Roger Maris’ long-held record of 61 home runs in a single season.  References to the race for the record are included throughout the story, a fitting background with regard to Wade’s minor league baseball history.

The story, as it turns out, is about both vengeance and redemption.  Wade hadn’t always made the best decisions, and one decision he had recently made would put both him and his family, including his estranged mother, in danger.

I enjoyed the book, but not quite as much as the author’s first book.  Still, it is a book worthy of a read – Wiley Cash is definitely an author to follow in the years to come.

Rating:  ★★★★

Have a GREAT day . . . someday it will be HISTORY!

© Sharon Hall (Digging History), 201r.


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