The critically acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller A Land More Kind Than Home—hailed as "a powerfully moving debut that reads as if Cormac McCarthy decided to rewrite Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird" (Richmond Times Dispatch)—returns with a resonant novel of love and atonement, blood and vengeance, set in western North Carolina, involving two young sisters, a wayward father, and an enemy determined to see him pay for his sins.
After their mother's unexpected death, twelve-year-old Easter and her six-year-old sister Ruby are adjusting to life in foster care when their errant father, Wade, suddenly appears. Since Wade signed away his legal rights, the only way he can get his daughters back is to steal them away in the night.
Brady Weller, the girls' court-appointed guardian, begins looking for Wade, and he quickly turns up unsettling information linking Wade to a recent armoured car heist, one with a whopping $14.5 million missing. But Brady Weller isn't the only one hunting the desperate father. Robert Pruitt, a shady and mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, is also determined to find Wade and claim his due.
Narrated by a trio of alternating voices, This Dark Road to Mercy is a story about the indelible power of family and the primal desire to outrun a past that refuses to let go.
The author’s debut novel – A Land Less Kind Than Home – is something I have had on my TBR pile for around a year or so. I was hoping to get to it sometime last year, but hey, I was going to read a lot of things, but never did. When Cash’s second novel popped up on Net Galley, I couldn’t resist. I will probably re-visit the author’s debut for my USA state reading challenge.
Cash kept my attention throughout. Two sisters, in foster care, fearful of adoption by their maternal grandparents in Alaska, who they have never seen. Wary of their father, who years after apparently abandoning them, comes to recognise his parental duty. A father who may just have committed the most stupid act of his feckless life and may have compounded it by stealing away with his daughters.
This was absolutely fantastic, trying to see Wade connect and form an emotional bond with his daughters, all the while pursued by the authorities and a ruthless bounty hunter, with his own personal score to settle.
Played out against a back-drop of an exciting climax to the 1998 baseball season when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa went head to head chasing a years old home run record. (I understand next to nothing about the game and I was hooked by this tangent!)
Loss, family, abandonment, foster care, adoption, Alaska, teenage love, baseball, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, bank robbery, beach, the sea, amusement pitches, secrets, pursuit, death, guardianship, responsibility, forgiveness, love.............all figure to a greater or lesser degree.
A wonderful, satisfying, scary but rewarding read to almost finish a great year’s reading with.
5 from 5
Accessed via Net Galley, I believe this is published later this month.