Sweet Mercy was a sweet beachside or airplane read type of book. It's a coming of age for Eve, the main character- primarily centered on her growing understanding that the world isn't black and white. I liked her naivete, which seemed genuine and stemmed from experience and her age-appropriate following of her father's opinion. I also liked that not every male was her romantic interest, and that her "first love" was really just a crush (again, believable).
Stylistically, and tonally, this book was very sweet, complete, and well put-together. I did struggle with the "instalove" that is brought into play (which is ridiculously unbelievable, even for the 1920s), and with the hard-nosed "Al Capone sought forgiveness" heavily-Christian rhetoric in the epilogue.
Things were wrapped up too neatly for me, with everyone reaping what they sow and all of Eve's expectations met. We all know that real life isn't like that; struggling with the grey areas of life includes struggling with the reality that good isn't rewarded and evil isn't punished and we have to learn to change our opinions about things.
I felt like we were brought into Eve's world on the cusp of change, but that somehow she wrenched that change into a fairy tale for herself...simply by being good and obedient, I suppose. Personally, I was more interested in her sister's story, and some of the Greek Chorus folks who were more function than character.
I would recommend this for anyone needing a sweet story on a plane trip or vacation, anyone interested in Prohibition and classic gangsters, fans of coming of age stories, and those who enjoy fiction geared toward both adults and teenagers.
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