The Crooked Heart of Mercy
Author: Billie Livingston
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Release Date: Jan 5. 2016
No. of Pages: Hardcover
Synopsis & Review:
Contemporary has been my favorite genre for the past year and The Crooked Heart of Mercy just reminds me of how great this genre can be. Fantasy and sci-fi may provide great ways in escaping the world but nothing beats the warm and fuzzy feeling that contemporary novels bring.
The Crooked Heart of Mercy follows the stories of three misfits and illustrates how they help each other survive the brutal world simply by just being there. The novel is told from the three main protagonists’ points of view and this ties the story together wonderfully. From a father who is locked in a psychiatric ward due to him not coping with his son’s sudden death, to his wife who is trying everything to move forward, to his brother-in-law’s own personal struggle in staying a sober and celibate priest.
The writing style is highly brilliant, particularly with the father Ben’s point of view. For sections written in his POV, Billie Livingston took special care to demonstrate his chaotic state of mind. His chapters are written in a completely different style than the other two characters’ and it makes his chapters pop out.
It is also very heartwarming to read about how the characters support and help each other out. Even though none of them is living the perfect life and they can’t even save themselves, they can somehow heal others. My favorite thing about The Crooked Heart of Mercy is definitely the care that Billie Livingston has given her characters. Every character is very lively and vivid. Moreover, the characters are also very diverse in terms of their background. They are very different and definitely represent people from all parts of the society. Furthermore, the author also successfully made every character lovable, even the drunk priest whom I thought I would dislike at first. She shows that everyone has redeeming qualities and that we should never judge someone too quickly.
Overall, this is a wonderful and brilliant novel that I cannot wait for all readers to get their hands on. The Crooked Heart of Mercy will evoke a lot of emotions in readers and this is what makes it such a great novel.