The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I ordered this newest Keyes from the Book Depository in England because I didn't want to wait for it to come out in the US in April. It was an interesting read--much better than "Brightest Star in the Sky," which had a lame "woo-woo" premise and simply wasn't much of a story. Mercy Close is a long book and it took me quite a while to read it, often in 15 minutes chunks before bed, so I needed to step back a little to evaluate it, and a reread might be the fairest way to do it as I'd have a better complete view. However, once again Keyes has chosen a serious topic to address--depression--and her depiction is pretty darn unflinching. Since I get her newsletter, I know she has struggled intensely with depression, and that adds a layer of reality to the book that makes it poignant, and the honesty of the message (you just have to do your best and ask for help, essentially) is both healthy and helpful.
My quibbles: 1. the plot doesn't zip along. Maybe this is due to my piecemeal reading, but I do feel it could've been shorter by about 100 pages and have been a more absorbing read.
2. What IS it with Helen? Helen can get and be annoying. This improves as the story goes on, but at first it takes some soldiering on.
3. There is not a lot of humor (yeah, I know it's about depression. This Charming Man is about abuse, and it's funny!) and not much happens in the plot itself. Once again, Keyes uses the untold plot effect (the guy who hires her and Helen have some kind of history; what happened to her friendship with Bronagh?) so the story feels a little disjointed. Things come together better and with a few entertaining zingers in the last 50 pages or so, so I guess this points me back to my quibble #1.
However, I would rate this one a "good" versus the "poor" that I remember "Brightest Star" earning. I'm glad I paid the EIGHTEEN CENTS "international currency charge" and got it ! Nice way to keep reading through November.
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Well I am collapsed on the couch after a busy Sat. morning (after a high energy, positive, exhausting week): up around 7:20, putz around, run around 9, shower, go to parade to see Nate on the Morton's Moo float singing Christmas songs with "moo" instead of words; VERY VERY COLD PARADE; go to church fair to try to spend $10 and get some great books, some cute jewelry, and an incredibly ugly hat for Andy; home; take a thawing-out Nate out to lunch at Sylvia's (Walk there); go to Craft Barn for yarn for L's fingerless gloves; walk home; sort and hang out laundry on rack; head to church for Advent candle supplies; G'hopper for better quality candles for this year; to health food store and then the Moo for salted caramel hot chocolate, THEN HOME. WHEW! But what a great town we live in and how nicely we try to take care of each other.
AND my class has raised over $350 through our lobster raffle to buy toys for the Emmaus Center Adopt-a-Family program, and we're going on Thursday to buy the toys (unf. from Walmart due to time constraints), deliver them to the Center and then eat out for b'fast--preferably at Sylvia's as a local and affordable spot. My heart is warm.
And I am sleepy! I think I'll retire to the futon with one of my bargain books from the church sale today. . . . and happy birthday to my sister in law Ellyn!