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This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

This Dark Road to Mercy (2014)

by Wiley Cash

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4085937,258 (3.84)63



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Well written, quick noir-ish thriller lite. Will make a good movie! ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
In 1998, baseball fans (and some of the rest of us) were caught up in a contest between Sammy Sosa and Mark McQwire to see who might break Roger Maris's home-run record. Against that background, Wiley Cash has set a suspenseful road-trip featuring 12-year-old Easter Quilby, her 7-year-old sister Ruby, and their ne'er-do-well father, Wade, a former baseball player himself. The girls haven't seen their father in several years, but suddenly he has re-appeared, determined to be a Dad, starting by kidnapping them from the foster home where they have been placed following their mother's death from a drug overdose. Easter is relatively fearless, old for her years, and protective of her little sister. Her memories of her father are colored by her mother's disdain for him since he's been gone, but she is still trying hard to form her own opinion---is he a loser, as she's come to think of him, or can he be trusted? Who is the guy that seems to be looking for Wade, and what is in that heavy black bag Wade is so attached to? The story evolves through multiple narrators---Easter, herself; the man Pruitt who is following them across the country with clearly evil intentions; and Brady Weller, a former cop who is now the girls' guardian ad litem and who has drawn some conclusions about just how much trouble Wade may have got himself into. There are dark moments, but Cash does not overdo the grim bits, and even when the devil takes a round, we are never led to fear he will win in the end. Reviewers have compared Easter to Scout Finch, and Cash to Cormac McCarthy. I think both associations are off base. I see way more of Addie Pray than of Scout in Easter--in fact there are a lot of similarities in the story lines of [This Dark Road] and [Paper Moon]. And Cash's outlook is never so bleak as McCarthy's. This is not quite a terrific as [A Land More Kind Than Home], but it's pretty fine. ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Jul 8, 2018 |
This Dark Road to Mercy is the story of two sisters, twelve year old Easter and six year old Ruby, who lose their mother to a drug overdose. Years earlier their father has signed away his rights to the girls so they end up in a foster home in North Carolina once their mother passes away. Wade, their father, was a former professional baseball player, shows up at the foster home and kidnaps the girls. The social worker on their case goes looking for the girls and Wade and turns up information on a big robbery that Wade had been involved in. Other more dangerous fellas are on the look out for Wade as well since he ran off with their money. The story is told from alternating narrators and is quite suspenseful. In the end, the girls are returned back to foster care and their relationship with their estranged father is on the mend. ( )
  KatherineGregg | Feb 12, 2018 |
I had high expectations for This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash after having been so impressed with his debut novel, A Land More Kind Than Home and, for the most part, the author came through. This is a story of family, forgiveness and making the right choices interwoven with a darker tale of stolen money and revenge.

Wade Chesterfield has a history of failure. He failed as a professional baseball player and he failed as a husband and father. At his lowest point, he signed away his parental rights to his two daughters. Those daughters, Easter and Ruby, are living in foster care as their mother recently died. Wade, enabled by his finding money seeks to find redemption with his daughters and lured them away one night. The found money is from an armoured car heist and the crime boss from whom the money was taken, wants it back. He puts Robert Pruitt on Wade’s trail. Pruitt hates Wade, blaming him for ruining his life. He intends to make Wade and his girls suffer. Brady Weller, an ex-police detective and now the girls’ court appointed guardian has put most of the pieces together and realizes that someone needs to save these two young girls.

The story unfolds through three voices, that of Easter, the twelve year old daughter, Pruitt the violent ex-con after them and Brady Weller, who sees the authorities are paying more attention to reclaiming the money than to care about the lives of the three people in danger. Although this was a familiar “cat and mouse” style story, I was glued to the pages and eager to find out what was going to happen. I especially like the voice of Easter. A self-sufficient, resolute and determined twelve year old who comes to realize the loyalty of blood ties and that although many mistakes have been made, there is hope for her family. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Nov 6, 2017 |
My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Mar 7, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
But despite its juicy elements — abandonment, mystery, a cross-country police chase — set against the all-American backdrop of baseball, the novel fails to deliver on its most promising theme: a renewed bond between father and daughter....Cash has a knack for flow and dialogue, and his spare, simple prose keeps the story moving steadily. What's missing, though, are the details that could make the characters and places come to life. Scenes are sketched lightly...And despite a rich premise, Cash fails to let the emotional turmoil of the girls' circumstances fully resonate. The story rushes from scene to scene, raising more questions than it answers.
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Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to was never there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it. Where is there a place for you to be? No place  . . . Nothing outside you can give you any place . . . In yourself right now is all the place you've got.
— Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
For families of all kinds
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Wade disappeared on us when I was nine years old, and then he showed up out of nowhere the year I turned twelve.
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from back of book cover as per Amazon :Wiley Cash's debut, hailed as "mesmerizing" (New York Times Book Review) and "as if Cormac McCarthy decided to rewrite To Kill a Mockingbird" (Richmond Times-Dispatch), made him a literary sensation. His new novel is a tale of love and atonement, a story of two sisters, a wayward father, and an enemy determined to see him pay.

When their mother dies unexpectedly, twelve-year-old Easter and six-year-old Ruby are shuffled into foster care. But just as they settle into their new life, their errant father, Wade, reappears and steals the girls away.

Now two men are on their trail but for very different reasons—one, a former detective and the girls' court-appointed guardian, who has linked Wade to a multimillion-dollar robbery and the other, a mercurial, angry man who is determined to claim his due. Narrated in alternating voices that are at once captivating and heartbreaking, This Dark Road to Mercy is a soulful story about the ­emo-tional pull of family and the primal desire to outrun a past that refuses to let go.
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"A resonant new novel about a father's efforts to rescue his young daughters by the critically-acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller A Land More Kind Than Home"--

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