Thursday, August 17, 2023

Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker

Mercy Snow
by Tiffany Baker
336 pages
Published January 2014 by Grand Central Publishing

Publisher's Summary: 
In the tiny town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire, the paper mill dictates a quiet, steady rhythm of life. But one day a tragic bus accident sets two families on a course toward destruction, irrevocably altering the lives of everyone in their wake. 

June McAllister is the wife of the local mill owner and undisputed first lady in town. But the Snow family, a group of itinerant ne'er-do-wells who live on a decrepit and cursed property, have brought her--and the town--nothing but grief. 

June will do anything to cover up a dark secret she discovers after the crash, one that threatens to upend her picture-perfect life, even if it means driving the Snow family out of town. But she has never gone up against a force as fierce as the young Mercy Snow. Mercy is determined to protect her rebellious brother, whom the town blames for the accident, despite his innocence. And she has a secret of her own. When an old skeleton is discovered not far from the crash, it beckons Mercy to solve a mystery buried deep within the town's past.

My Thoughts: 
Titan Falls, like so many small towns, is almost entirely reliant on one industry - Titan Mills, whose owners have ruled the town for generations. But the mill is struggling; environmental rules and foreign competition are taking their toll. The weight of that hangs heavy over the town and its residents. Still Cal and June McAllister are still allowed to lord over the town, despite the way the townsfolk feel about the mill layoffs and June's imperious attitude. Neither of them is about to give up what they've fought so hard for, so when the blame for the bus accident gets laid on Zeke Snow, they work to keep the pressure on to capture Zeke and to rid the area of the Snows. 

It turns out the McAllisters have secrets to keep hidden. Secrets that go back decades, secrets that aren't entirely hidden but townsfolk can only consider them rumor without proof. And none of them is about to push the McAllisters to find the truth. 

Mercy Snow is determined to protect both her brother and her little sister. While the accident threatens to undermine all of her efforts, it also offers her the chance to redeem her family name. The three Snow children work to stay alive and together, using their knowledge of the land and its bounty. It might just be enough to save them - if the McAllisters aren't able to turn the town against them at every turn, putting Zeke in jail and Hannah in protective custody. 

I'll admit that Baker uses too many similes for my taste and that always colors my opinion of a book. But Baker was also able to really create the feel of the weight of the town's desperation, heightened by the winter setting. She did a great job of pulling a cast of townsfolk to the fore and using them as pawns in the underlying battle between the McAllisters and the Snows. Sure, some of the people of the town were a little cliche, but there were enough really interesting characters to allow me to overlook that. 

Baker had a surprise for me just a few pages into the book that really drew me into the story. There were clues throughout the book to undercover the secrets that had been slowly being revealed and Baker pulled them together in the end. Although I felt certain that the book had to end with some sadness, I still didn't see how everything was going to end up. You know I loved that. I wasn't a fan of the final chapter of the book, with its focus on June; but, otherwise, I was very satisfied by the way everything ended. 

1 comment:

  1. I love books with plots based on secrets! Have a good week.