Friday, February 13, 2009

Love Mercy-Earlene Fowler

Love Mercy
Earlene Fowler
Berkley, Mar 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 9780425225974

In Morro Bay, California, Love Mercy Johnson has taken in stride recently becoming a widow as she is generally contented with her life though she still “talks” with her Cy and misses his foghorn laugh. She enjoys writing a column and taking photos for a magazine, working on her in-laws' cattle ranch and co-owning the Buttercream CafĂ© except for balancing the books. Her only regret is her rift with her grandchildren; she wishes she could patch things up with them, but they have long memories.

Out of the blue, her eighteen years old granddaughter, Loretta Lynn "Rett" arrives in Morro Bay after hitching across the country to escape from a relationship that turned ugly. Whereas Rett dreams of making it as a song writer or as a truck driver, Mercy wants her granddaughter in her life. Still they struggle to make amends, but the divide remains wide until a crisis forces grandma and grandchild to decide to unite or remain apart.

This is a profound character study of two women divided by a family feud that keeps each from reaching out to the other; something both emotionally need and want. Readers will admire Mercy, whose asides to Cy enable readers to understand her. Rett brings the youthful enthusiasm that anything is possible. Rotating perspective with Benni Harper playing a minor role, Earlene Fowler proves Rett’s theory of life and relationships as she and her grandma hold the engaging plot together.

Harriet Klausner

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