Readers' Favorite

February 13, 2020

Mercy House by Alena Dillon ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"Mercy House was a safe haven for victims of domestic violence, founded and operated by Sister Evelyn, Sister Josephine and Sister Maria, nuns of the order of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Mercy.  Their five bedroom, hundred year old row house in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn was almost always at capacity.  As Evelyn said,  Good for Mercy, bad for Humanity." (p 3)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

February 2020; William Morrow; 978-0062914804
audio, ebook, print (384 pages); women's fiction
This compassionate novel is about a group of nuns who start a shelter for women who are victims of domestic violence.  We get a look into the lives of the residents as well as the nuns who run the house.  Much of the story is told by Sister Evelyn who has been a nun for over 50 years.  She is a strong and compassionate woman who wants to protect everyone -  the residents, her neighbors, and her friends.  She is feisty and will stand up to anyone - muggers, drug dealers or anyone who tries to take advantage of other people.  She is bitter about her family and the reasons that she went into the convent but she loves her life at Mercy House.  There is a bishop that she has a history with who has decided to shut down Mercy House and she does her best to keep it from happening.  It's a toss-up over who will win this battle because they both have secrets about each other.  Sister Evelyn is also very funny and in parts had me laughing out loud.  She is a character who will not soon be forgotten.

All of the residents are there to escape from the person who is abusing them and find healing in their lives.  There is a chapter by each one of the residents and even though they are difficult to read, they give a good depiction of the cycle of abuse.

There is a lot of criticism of the Catholic Church - the way the nuns have been treated over the years, the sexual abuse scandal and the reluctance of the church to make changes.  However, the criticism is of the church hierarchy NOT Catholicism.  The author has done her research to the point that the criticism is already out in the open and there are no unsubstantiated secrets that are there for shock value - the truth is shocking enough.

Evelyn will do anything to protect Mercy House and the vibrant, diverse women it serves—confront gang members, challenge her beliefs, even face her past. As she fights to defend all that she loves, she discovers the extraordinary power of mercy and the grace it grants, not just to those who receive it, but to those strong enough to bestow it

Buy Mercy House at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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  1. I can't wait to read this, these characters sound FANTASTIC! Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours