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100 Pages A Day...Stephanie's Book Reviews

I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way.  I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.

Mercy House

Mercy House - Alena Dillon
Nestled in the row houses of Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood is a house with an angel doorknocker.  Mercy House, a refuge for women is run by three aging nuns, Sister Evelyn, Sister Maria and Sister Josephine who don't exactly follow all the rules of the Catholic Church to a tee.  The Sister's have helped many women find safety, heal and succeed in life.  They have also helped women obtain abortions, calm by practicing Reiki and have never discriminated based on any of the women's preferences.  All of the good work that the Sisters of Mercy House have done is threatened when Bishop Hawkins arrives to audit their house.  Hawkins has a damaging history with Sister Evelyn and is set on closing the house and preserving his reputation.  Sister Evelyn would rather go down than see Mercy House close and when Hawkins does just that, Sister Evelyn dives deep into her past to reveal all in order to save Mercy House and herself.
Mercy House grabbed my attention with wonderfully thought out characters and an immersive plot.  From the beginning, I was amazed at how interesting a group of contemporary Nuns could be. Written mostly from Evelyn's point of view with flashbacks of her youth and interspersed with stories of the current residents of Mercy House, I felt like I got to know each of the characters well.  Thoroughly developed and distinct, the Nun's personalities and the young women's background's captured me.  Evelyn's story allowed me to empathize with her every step of the way and understand her motivations.  The story also focuses on contemporary Nuns and the issues of the Catholic Church.  It was great to see these Nuns portrayed in a very non-stereotypical way and have them be heroes for their residents as well as themselves.  These Nuns are portrayed as real people and some of the most caring and strong people around.  It was clear that these women created a community in Mercy House that extended throughout Bedford-Stuyvesant. Bishop Hawkins added a layer of suspense and an antagonist that I loved to hate. The tension he created with Mercy House and the secrets he tried to kept hidden was palpable in the atmosphere.  Overall, Mercy House is a unique contemporary fiction with amazing characters that focuses on the good and the bad that the world has to offer.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.