Is the grass ever greener on the other side of the fence? Seventeen-year-old Eve thinks so. Things aren’t going so well in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her dad’s been laid off from the Ford factory because of the depression, there are few jobs, bootlegging is one of the few profitable businesses left, and crime is on the rise. When a gangster is shot right in plain sight while the family is out for a walk, they decide somewhere else will be safer.
Eve and her parents relocate to Ohio, where they help Uncle Cy run a hotel/lodge for vacationers. At first things seem great. There’s enough business for a decent income, Uncle Cy and Eve’s father seem to have patched up whatever disagreement they had years ago, and Eve gains some good friends. But it’s an illusion. Folks in the little town of Mercy have just as many problems as their old neighbors in St. Paul.
The author did a great job of creating interesting characters, from secretive Uncle Cyrus to hobo Link who hangs around for food handouts, to albino cousin Jones. They interact well with Eve, and move the story along at a good pace.
This novel illustrates the moral dilemma we will all face at some point, if we haven’t already: what to do when we find ourselves in a situation with no good solutions. We can think we know the answers, that the issue is black and white. But when we get there, we discover that there is no perfect answer. Sometimes all we can do is pray and make the best choice we can, asking God to cover our flawed decision-making with His sweet mercy.