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Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker
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Mercy Snow

by Tiffany Baker

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I found this an interesting story. It takes place in a small paper town in Massachusetts. It revolves around two families, one wealthy, who owns the paper mill, and the other, 3 orphaned children, who seem to be the town pariahs. While the characters were not always likeable, they were well written and intriguing. ( )
  bnbookgirl | Jul 17, 2017 |
It may be destiny, it may be fate, but really, it’s an accident of birth. Some, like the McAllisters, are born to wealth and power, bestowed on them by the family’s paper mill. Others, like the Snows, are destined to lead a hard-scrabble life, living from hand to mouth. When their mother dies and Mercy Snow and her siblings return to Titan Falls, they discover their father is also dead. With nowhere else to go, they take up residence on the father’s land. Scorned and distrusted by the townsfolk, Mercy’s brother is blamed for a bus crash that kills a student. June McAllister becomes privy to evidence that might clear him, but it also might implicate someone close to her. Thus begins the connection between the most influential family in town and most despised. But it is not really the beginning of their connection; their history goes back to earlier generations. A well-crafted story, this tale takes as many turns as the river the paper mill is built on. Thought-provoking with in-depth characters, this tale will keep you turning pages, hoping for the best for the Snows, but fearing the worst. The story is gripping and bleak, and well worth reading. ( )
  Maydacat | Nov 28, 2016 |
From The Book Cover:

In the tiny town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire, the paper mill dictates a quiet, steady rhythm of life. But one day a tragic bus accident sets two families on a course toward destruction, irrevocably altering the lives of everyone in their wake.
June McAllister is the wife of the local mill owner and undisputed first lady in town. But the Snow family, a group of itinerant ne'er-do-wells who live on a decrepit and cursed property, have brought her--and the town--nothing but grief. June will do anything to cover up a dark secret she discovers after the crash, one that threatens to upend her picture-perfect life, even if it means driving the Snow family out of town. But she has never gone up against a force as fierce as the young Mercy Snow. Mercy is determined to protect her rebellious brother, whom the town blames for the accident, despite his innocence. And she has a secret of her own. When an old skeleton is discovered not far from the crash, it beckons Mercy to solve a mystery buried deep within the town's past.

My Thoughts:

It's not a really bad book...it just didn't do well at holding my interest. Maybe that was why it had been on my TBR list for a year and half. Titan Falls is a town worthy of a Stephen King novel but without the extreme creepiness. The town, and more importantly the Androscoggin River, become characters in and of themselves. In a place where the air and water are as poisonous as the attitudes, Mercy Snow and her family become embroiled in a secret wrapped in a mystery. The close-minded, close-lipped nature of the townspeople was very realistic as was the “hide your dirty laundry” beliefs of most of the characters. In a place where loyalty is often replaced by self-preservation, the deception runs as deep and pollutes as completely as the river itself. The semi-religious allusions gave the novel a darkness that permeated the characters as well. The writing was beautiful although a bit overdone at times, and I became buried in figurative language. In fact, the novel seemed to drag some, and I found myself wanting to just get on with the story line in the middle.
June was an interesting character; however, her martyr attitude became draining and frustrating. Her need to be the town paragon made her insipid to me, and while I enjoy omniscient POV most of the time, the switching narration was a bit confusing in the beginning as were the flashbacks. At one point, there was a flashback within a flashback, and I found myself wishing for a more forward progression. However...the book is smart and slightly dark with a driving need that matches that of the characters and will keep you reading.
( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Titan Falls, New Hampshire is home to the Titan Paper Mill on the banks of the Androscoggin River. The McAllister family owns the mill and most would say that they also own the town. The current McAllister's are Cal, his wife June, and their son Nate. Even though June is not from the area, Cal met her at college, she is the ruling grand dame of the town and, as a McAllister, she controls, or tries to control, the thoughts and actions of the citizens, most of whom are beholden to her husband for a job. The one exception to this has been the various members of the Snow family who have lived on a plot of land by the river for years.

When a school bus accident claims a victim and puts the bus driver in the hospital the coincidence of Zeke Snow's truck found crashed into a tree further down the road makes it clear to most that Zeke is likely the guilty party who forced the bus off the road, causing the fatal accident. Mercy and Hannah Snow, Zeke's sisters know he is innocent but it is nearly impossible to win the war of words and accusations that June has undertaken in the community. Zeke goes into hiding and his sister Mercy undertakes the nearly impossible task of clearing his name. But June has her own reasons to make sure Zeke is blamed for the accident.

Baker does an excellent job developing her characters. She describes them along with land and weather in Titan Falls with such a deft hand that they all, as well as the river, become characters in this giant-killing tale. For me Mercy Snow clearly shares more than a passing resemblance to a modern day folktale, with elements of a morality play. The basis for the story is a universal good versus evil, the little guy versus the big guy, with the down trodden Snows who have a mystical tie with the land are struggling to be treated fairly by the town controlled by the evil pollution-mongering McAllisters. It is also a novel of secrets. There are old secrets and new ones connecting everyone and not all of the secrets are known until the end.

While Baker's writing elevated Mercy Snow above the ordinary, I did keep thinking that this story has been told before, which detracted from my overall enjoyment. I'll also freely admit that the ending raised my original idea of what rating I would end up giving to Mercy Snow. Even though we know right from the start who caused the bus accident, there are a few other surprises awaiting patient readers.

Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker is very highly recommended.


Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Grand Central Publishing via Netgalley for review purposes. ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
Story set in New Hampshire about a 3 kids who are orphaned and return to a plot of land owned by family. the Snow family reputation precedes them and almost everyone in town wants nothing to do with them. There is a fatal bus accident and it is assumed the teen boy is responsible for it. It is up to his sister to prove his innocence while he goes into hiding in the woods. ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
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Grief teaches the steadiest minds to waver. - Sophocles, Antigone
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For Ned
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It was the beginning of winter, and except for the drone of the St. Bartholomew youth group's bus, Devil's Slide Road was empty, dark, and icy, the result of a late-November freeze.
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A tragic bus accident has devastating repercussions for two families from opposite sides of the tracks of a tiny New England paper milling town.

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