I’m so excited for this event! Last year my friend Allison from The Book Wheel launched an event called #30Authors and this year I’m joining in as a host for author Jason Mott in his review of This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash.
As I mentioned in a few of my previous posts I’ve been in a bit of a book rut lately so this is so exciting for me. Not only do I love the books by Jason Mott but his thoughts on This Dark Road to Mercy make me want to pick it up too. Actually, it was his reference to, “baseball has-beens” that piqued my interest. I love baseball (and all of its has-beens).
#30Authors is an annual event connecting readers, authors, and bloggers. Throughout the month of September, 30 authors review their favorite books on 30 blogs in 30 days. The event has been met with incredible support from and success within the literary community. In the six months following the event’s inaugural launch, the concept was published as an anthology by Velvet Morning Press (Legacy: An Anthology). Started by The Book Wheel, #30Authors remains active throughout the year and you can join in the fun by following along on Twitter at @30Authors, using the hashtag, #30Authors, or purchasing the anthology.
To learn more about the event and to see the full schedule, please click here.
About Author Jason Mott
Jason Mott is the New York Times bestselling author of THE RETURNED and THE WONDER OF ALL THINGS. He lives in southeastern North Carolina.
Jason Mott on This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash
Kidnapped daughters, stolen money, and baseball has-beens. These are the central components of Wiley Cash’s fast-paced sophomore novel This Dark Road to Mercy. Sophomore novels, much like sophomore albums, are inherently tricky affairs. The artist wants to show that they weren’t “one hit wonders” and the artist’s fan want to feel that same excitement and mystery that comes from discovering something new. And yet, at the same time, there’s a desire, from both the artist and their audience, to remain familiar to what they have known. “Change without changing.” That is the conundrum of the sophomore effort. Which brings us to:
This Dark Road to Mercy centers around three central characters: Twelve-year-old Easter Quillby, her estranged father, Wade Chesterfield who promptly proceeds to kidnap his two daughters and take them across country and, finally, Brady Weller, a former cop and Easter’s court-appointed guardian. The story hits the ground running when Wade promptly kidnaps his daughters and is pursued by Brady and another, wildly violent figure from Wade’s past named Pruitt. Wade is a man without a plan, a gambler playing things by ear and hoping for the best, even in light of the fact that his life had tended to reflect the fact that things rarely work out for the best for him. As they travel across country, Easter, the moral compass of the story, and her sister come to terms with the reality of their father juxtaposed against the few memories of him.
That’s the plot. So how is the execution? Solid. Surprisingly solid. Cash takes on the sophomore jinx with clear eyes. Fans of A Land More Kind Than Home will find familiarity here—evident in the three narrators reminiscent of Cash’s debut novel. Yet, at the same time, the characters involved aren’t clones of Cash’s other characters. There’s a lot of plot in this small novel, but Cash’s direct language and mastery of narrative rhythm keeps the pages turning. There were, perhaps, a few overlooked opportunities for the language to slow down and for important or scenic moments in the characters’ journey to be stretched out, to have depth and to let the reader see familiar things through new eyes. But these aren’t deal breakers in the least. The fact of the matter is This Dark Road to Mercy is a book that deserves to be read. And that’s saying a lot for any book, not just for a follow-up effort.
This Dark Road to Mercy
- What do you think of Jason Mott’s review of This Dark Road to Mercy?
- What books would you recommend to help me break out of this book rut?