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Love Mercy

by Earlene Fowler


Love Mercy Johnson has had much happiness in her life as well as her fair share of sorrow and grief.  Having survived her first year as a widow, she is on a relatively even keel in both her personal life and her business life.  She lives in the same home where she and her late husband, Cy, always lived. She is a partner in the local café, as well as a photographer and monthly columnist for a local magazine.  In addition to the loss of her husband, their only son had died several years before.  The only family Love has is her husband's elderly parents, and the three daughters her son left behind.  Due to a falling out with the girls' mother, Love has not seen or heard from them in nearly fourteen years.  The middle girl, Rett, has suddenly appeared in town and Love hopes against hope that they can have a joyous reunion.  What will a retired grandmother and a rebellious eighteen-year-old find for common ground?

Set in beautiful Morro Bay, California, Love Mercy eloquently describes the scenery, leaving the reader feeling as if they can see and hear the sights and sounds as well as catch a whiff of the ocean.  The traditions of Christmas in Morro Bay and the family's own traditions are richly explored.

The novel is character driven and the entwining stories blend together through the use of personal history and present day challenges.  Within the novel the uncertainties of life play out in characters' memories of marriages, births, illnesses and death.  There are separations of distance and emotions which beg to be resolved.  Although there is an air of mystery regarding the past of one of the primary characters, this book is more about family and friendship and what the future may have in store for Love Mercy.  It differs from Earlene Fowler's usual mystery genre, although the interactions in this book with Benni Harper and her family may tempt you to read their series as well.  This is a book with a wide appeal to most readers and is the first of a trilogy.

The Book

Penguin Group
March 3, 2009
Hardcover from Uncorrected Proof
Literary Fiction
More at
NOTE: Holiday read: Christmas

The Reviewer

Laura Hinds
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Laura Hinds is an experienced freelance writer whose first novel, Are You Gonna Eat That Banana, just came out in 2009.
© 2009