Official Review: Mercy by Rebecca Chianese

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ReadingRebecca
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Official Review: Mercy by Rebecca Chianese

Post by ReadingRebecca » 09 May 2018, 16:54

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Mercy" by Rebecca Chianese.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Mercy by Rebecca Chianese is a story about a 49-year-old woman who has just gone through a divorce. As Carly navigates these waters, she meets Michael, to whom she has a strong attraction, deals with her own grown children’s response to the divorce, and goes on a journey of her own childhood memories. Carly had grown up with a father who was constantly coming and going. He was a rising country music star but left Carly’s mom for another woman. As different as Carly’s adult life is from the one her mother lived, Carly is surprised to find her own marriage ending in divorce just as her mother’s had. As Carly struggles to process her past, her divorce, and the possibility of a new man in her life, she begins to paint again, finding an outlet to express the many emotions rushing through her. As she paints poignant scenes from her past, Carly’s finds a way to begin a journey to her present, a new present with a new man and a new acceptance of her problematic family.

Some of my favorite parts in this book are the descriptions of Carly trying to get the mix of her paint colors just right. I appreciated the work and intensity the character put into her creativity.

The tone of Carly’s narration throughout the book is one of wry humor, similar to what I’ve read in some “chick lit” genres. It works well with the story, especially since much of the book has either a sad or serious nature. The humor made the book palatable in my opinion. It certainly kept it from becoming a crying fest or a dark, depressing drama. The author did a good job in keeping a balance. This balance allowed me to focus on Carly’s history as, piece by piece, it is revealed and connected to her current situation.

I did find some minor spelling and punctuation mistakes, but overall, I would say the book was edited well.

If I had to choose something I didn’t like about the book, it would be the description of how Carly’s childhood memories were triggered. The fact of a smell or a physical sensation triggering a memory makes sense. It is the transition from her present day life to the childhood memory that felt a bit clunky. Each time I was pulled momentarily out of the story.

In spite of these awkward transitions, I still highly recommend this book. It was enjoyable to read. I especially liked following Carly’s childhood story and getting to know her more deeply that way. I also enjoyed the ending. While the story comes to a firm conclusion, I couldn’t help wishing there was a sequel so I could follow these characters a while longer.

I would recommend Mercy for readers who like some real life situations, such as dealing with divorce or the reappearance of an absent father, mixed in with their women’s fiction. I found the real life elements refreshing and realistic without being downers. I also found Carly’s new romance to have that same touch of realism. While there are some fairy tale moments (of romance, and a few modestly steamy scenes!) there is also a realness about Carly’s fear to accept Michael. I appreciated the way their relationship had the same turbulence that any real relationship would have.

Those who like pure romantic comedies may be disappointed with this book. Also, those who are strictly opposed to any kind of sex scenes may want to avoid Mercy. I, myself, do not go for overtly sexual scenes. I was pleased to find that these scenes were written in a tactful way and brought further meaning to the story rather than just to get the reader in a tizzy.

Overall, I rate Mercy 3 out of 4 stars. I’d rate it 3.5 if I could. The writing was a bit disjointed in some chapters, as I mentioned above, but the emotion conveyed throughout the story definitely deserved an extra half star. While this may not be the cheeriest of books, it was poignant and heartfelt and definitely worth reading.

If you’re looking for a good, lifelike story about the complexities of family, emotions, divorce and dealing with the past, I recommend Mercy. The humorous overtone will keep you smiling even as your heart aches along with Carly’s.

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Mercy
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Sharon serena
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Post by Sharon serena » 10 May 2018, 06:18

Marriage being a part of life no one can ignore has numerous challenges ,one being a divorce. A lot of divorced couples float in a boat of endless agony as they are forced to be entrapped in the past. I love the determination in Carly as she embraces her pain and show it out in her paintings. The book sounds interesting to read as it a motivation to many going through the same fight. Nice review!

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Post by kandscreeley » 10 May 2018, 07:29

Well, romance really isn't my genre. In spite of that, the premise sounds engaging even with the disjointed nature of some chapters. It's always interesting seeing someone trying to find love after a divorce. Thanks for the review, but I'm going to skip this one.
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Post by AmySmiles » 10 May 2018, 09:01

Thanks for the review. This one doesn't quite interest me though. I used to love this genre, I think I've just had enough of it for awhile.
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Post by ReadingRebecca » 10 May 2018, 10:06

Thank you, Sharon. Though I have not experienced divorce in my family or extended family, I connect with the difficulty and fluctuation of relationships. I was rooting for Carly as she went through her relationship trials.

Kandscreeley, I know what you mean. I'm not a fan of the typical romance genre. I would describe this book as more about relationships. I liked how Carly's relationship with Michael was only another part of the story about her life and not the main focus of the book. Thanks for your comment.

I hear you, AmySmiles. It's good to change up now and then. I was pleased that this book was more a reflection of life than just some hot romance. Hope you're enjoying your new genre choices.
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Post by cpru68 » 10 May 2018, 14:49

Romance novels are generally not my first choice, but this one sounds like it was tactfully done. I loved what you said about not getting the reader into a 'tizzy.' That made me laugh! I used to shelve books in our local library and we could not keep those types of books on the shelf! Having gone through a divorce and then finding a new person suddenly in my life, it sounds like the author penned this after me. I might take a peek at it now that I read your review. :)
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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 10 May 2018, 22:58

I couldn't help but find myself attracted to the cover. It is truly beautifully designed. I like a good boom that brings out a realistic approach but then it all depends on what the reader wants. Definitely on my bookshelf. Thank you!
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Post by SABRADLEY » 11 May 2018, 03:54

This sounds like a book that would appeal to a vast number of readers for its real-life depictions. With a little fine-tuning, this author has a very worthwhile read under her belt. Thanks for a wonderful review!

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Post by kdstrack » 11 May 2018, 07:04

Sounds like this book takes you through a range of emotions. The mix of romance, humor and depressing moments sound intriguing. You make the book sound appealing. Nice job.

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Post by Libs_Books » 11 May 2018, 13:57

I'm not sure that this is the kind of book that would usually interest me, but your review is very persuasive - I particularly appreciated the point about the importance of humour.

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Post by ReadingRebecca » 11 May 2018, 16:21

cpru68 wrote:
10 May 2018, 14:49
I loved what you said about not getting the reader into a 'tizzy.' That made me laugh! I used to shelve books in our local library and we could not keep those types of books on the shelf! Having gone through a divorce and then finding a new person suddenly in my life, it sounds like the author penned this after me. I might take a peek at it now that I read your review. :)
Lol! Thank you...That cracks me up how those are the go to books at the livrary. They are not my type either. I was pleased with the realism in this one. Hope you enjoy it if you check it out. Thanks for your comment!
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Post by ReadingRebecca » 11 May 2018, 23:19

Sahani Nimandra wrote:
10 May 2018, 22:58
I couldn't help but find myself attracted to the cover. It is truly beautifully designed. I like a good boom that brings out a realistic approach but then it all depends on what the reader wants. Definitely on my bookshelf. Thank you!
I agree. The cover attracted me too! Hope you enjoy the book. I love the quote at the bottom of your signature as well. :wink:
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Post by ReadingRebecca » 11 May 2018, 23:22

Thank you, SABRADLEY and kdstrack. Libs_books, I understand. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
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Post by gen_g » 12 May 2018, 01:08

Thank you for the review! This book seems like it is generally well written, and would be a source of courage and inspiration for many. I would definitely pick it up if I come across it!

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Post by ReadingRebecca » 12 May 2018, 10:41

I hope you enjoy it, gen_g!
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