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New Mercies

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  1,591 ratings  ·  223 reviews
Natchez, Mississippi, in 1933 is a place suspended in time. The silver and china is still dented and cracked from Yankee invaders. And the houses have names...and memories. Nora Bondurant is running away--from her husband's death, from his secrets, and from the ghosts that dog her every step. When she receives a telegram informing her that she has an inheritance, Nora sudd ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 21st 2006 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published April 1st 2005)
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I was really torn between three and four stars for this one, so I guess I'm giving it 3.5. I found myself very wrapped up in the story and anxious to continue reading yet at the same time I recognize that it was at times predictable and not quite of four-star status. Definitely an enjoyable, easy read for me and a nice break from the "heavier" books I often gravitate towards.
I read Sandra Dallas' "Tallgrass" with my reading group, really liked it, and determined to read more of her books. 'New Mercies' is the second of her books that I've read. I enjoyed that it was set in Natchez, Mississippi - a place that I knew little about prior to some reading that I've done in recent years. I've learned that Natchez was a great economic center before the Civil War, and that there are many historic mansions in the town. Another interesting facet of 'New Mercies' is that it is ...more
I have become a devoted Sandra Dallas fan. Some themes continuously run through her books, some of them I find refreshing and enjoyable (small niblets of faith). Others I find tiresome when they keep popping up in each story (somehow the main character is always drawn to quilting or something....fine for a quilting story, but annoying when it keeps popping up in all of her stories!).

Although I loved this story and I appreciated some of the real, raw heartache that I experienced with the charact
This book is set in Natchez, Mississippi, in the 1930's, and contains plenty of Southern culture and dialogue, i.e., (spoken by a colored ex-slave) "I guess I've been in Hell's kitchen and licked the spoon." And another: "It's just narrow-hearted littleness."

Spoken by the town Sheriff: "We train our women to be charming. Miss Amalie couldn't hardly teach or operate the typewriter....We treasure our womenfolk in the South, but there ain't no market for 'em."

The "new mercies" refer to God's gifts
In the 1930s, a woman born and raised in Colorado (granddaughter of Alice and Charlie Bullock from Alice's Tulips) is left an estate in Natchez, Mississippi, when a paternal aunt she never knew dies.

She heads for Natchez to see the place and maybe learn a bit about her father, who died when she was only a baby.

She finds a town where Southerners still remember slavery times and a war they remember as the end of a precious and privileged way of life. There is a brief but telling conversation about
Interesting tale involving a young divorcee who discovers relatives she never knew existed when she is willed a southern mansion in 1933. The word miscegenation was added to my vocabulary. The side story of this woman's divorce added an interesting twist, especially considering the time frame of the book.
I rather love when I find a book by an author who has a lot of books out already, and I really like the writing. It is interesting to read a book set during the 30's, set in the deep south, with characters who lived through the "war", which did not refer to the World War I as you might expect, which was known as the "great war" at the time. The characters are well developed and I enjoyed reading the dialogue. The book has the feel of being narrated by the main character. I love that she explains ...more
Sandra Dallas is such an interesting author. Her books cover such different time periods, settings, and her characters have such depth.
New Mercies is set in the 1930's in Denver and Natchez Mississippi.
Nora Bondurant recently has gotten a divorce after discovering her husband's deep secret. Right after the divorce, her husband commits susicide. Nora receives a telegram asking her to come to
Mississippi to claim an inherentence from an aunt she never knew she had. (isn't an inhertence from so
Book Concierge
Dallas turns her attention to the deep South in her latest historical novel, inspired by the real-life murder of the “goat lady” in Natchez Mississippi.

The time is 1933. Nora Bondurant Tate, barely recovering from her divorce just about a year previously, has been notified that an aunt she didn’t know she had has left her entire estate to Nora. She leaves Denver for Natchez with the mistaken notion that she’ll be staying at Avoca, the house that has been in the Bondurant family since before ‘th
Anne Hawn Smith
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the whole, I liked it. There were good characters and an interesting plot. Nora Bondurant Tate is recovering from her divorce and finds that she has inherited a crumbling antebellum house from a aunt that she didn't know she had. Nora knew little about her father and had no idea that he was from an old Natches, MS family. Even more incredible was the fact that her aunt was murdered by an old lover who committed suicide after he shot her. Her aunt was kno ...more

Sandra Dallas often writes about the Rocky Mountains, but "New Mercies" takes place mostly in Natchez, Mississippi, in 1933. Nora Bondurant is summoned by telegram to receive an inheritance from her father's aunt, of whom she never knew. Nora goes to Natchez, hoping to learn more about her father and the family from which he had been estranged. She learns that she has inherited a decaying house named Avoca, the remains of a plantation, and a mystery. Her elderly, eccentric aunt, Amalia Bondurant
New Mercies is another great novel by Sandra Dallas. The story takes place in 1933 and is set in Natchez, Mississippi. Dallas does a fantastic job of depicting the culture and speech of the people of Natchez. Nora Bondurant, a young woman who has recently gone through a very unpleasant divorce after 10 years of marriage, is informed that she has inherited the estate of an aunt she has never known about. She travels from her home in Denver to Natchez, Mississippi where her aunt Amalia Bondurant h ...more
Set in Depression-era Mississippi, this book is a wonderful combination of culture and an interesting mystery. Nora Bondurant has come to Mississippi to settle the estate of an elderly aunt that she did not know existed until several weeks before. She is introduced to the culture of the antebellum South as it existed in 1933 among the remnants of the great mansions of Natchez, Mississippi. As she becomes acquainted with the friends and family of her aunt, she begins to become aware of a mystery ...more
Two story lines - that of a girl overcoming the shame of being captured by Indians and made one of their wives, then being ransomed back into her life and trying to live with her memories and the different way people treat her. The other of a girl in modern times trying to live out her father's dream for her to work in film. She goes to site of town where a mysterious historical drama is being filmed, only to get more involved than she ever planned.
Fond of Sandra Dallas' novels

As with all of Dallas novels, well done characters set in some historical setting. This one has interesting forays into the early 1920's,1930's south when some of the older population were Civil War survivors. Interesting insights into taboos of the time ( and maybe in some ways today) racial issues, single women, homosexuality.Well write and very enjoyable
Nora Bondurant is surprised to learn she's inherited an old plantation in Natchez, Mississippi when an aunt that she didn't know existed dies. She jumps at the chance to leave Colorado for a visit to the south and to learn about her dad's family. She is running away—from her husband's death and his secrets. Now she has a place to run too. Natchez, Mississippi, in 1933 is a place suspended in time. The silver and china are still dented and cracked from Yankee invaders. When she arrives she learns ...more
Quick, interesting read. Not overly exciting or suspenseful, this light mystery takes place in Natchez, MS in 1932. It was a book club pick I wasn't really looking forward to, but found myself enjoying instead. I didn't want to read another book dealing with the repercussions of slavery, and although it's obviously part of the story, it's not the main focus. The main focus is instead on the mystery surrounding the death of the "Goat Lady" and her niece's attempt to get to know her posthumously. ...more
Pat Jennings
Interesting read especially the description of the the decaying antebellum home that is inherited by the main character. The quilts, the furnishings, the remnants of slavery, and the secrets made this story intriguing. Sandra Dallas always includes quilt references in her books and wrote one of my favorite quilting stories, The Persian Pickle Club.
Carole Roman
Sandra Dallas writes like a painter. Her characters are well drawn, she uses words as deftly as a master artist, shading with subtle use of language. As I was reading, I could see the sepia tones of the dusty roads, the smudged mustiness of the faded glory of decaying mansions. Nora is believable and likable, her search for the answers to her past propelling you deeper into the twisted tangle of her ancestor's secret history. Nora's secrets, her family's myth's, the town's role in her quest will ...more
Love Sandra Dallas books. While this one isn't my favorite, I do love that it is set in the south for a change but makes reference to Colorado. Characters are always endearing and her books are great vacation reads with enough intrigue to keep me wanting more time to read to find out what happens.
What a huge disappointment. I am a Sandra Dallas fan but I only got through this book because it was required reading for book club. I found it incredibly boring, cookie cutter characters and the plot stolen from a variety of different books. If you want to try a Sandra Dallas novel, don't pick up this one!
Keilani Ludlow
I think this is my second fav. of her books. Persian Pickle Club is first. A woman finds out about an inheritance from an unknown great-aunt in the South in the 1930's. She leaves Denver to (unknowingly) discover her past at a time when her present is painful at best. Small spoiler - there is a limited homosexual element in the book. Other than that, it's an interesting read, and as always with her books, a fascinating glimpse into a different time period. I also like that not only is it a diffe ...more
Very good book about time gone by. A young woman from Colorado finds out she has inherited a home in Natchez MS from a relative she did not know she had. She also solves some of the mysteries that exist in her family. Very well written.
love this author but this book was not a favorite...I felt the author failed to mingle the stories also seemed drawn out and I found myself wanting to get it over.
I was also frustrated at the inept way, the main character handled her inheritance.
Diane Brown
This book gives a look at what out would be like for an outsider trying to understand the Southern culture, in the 1930's. It was mostly character driven, revolving around six main characters. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the people and scenery around Natchez, MS.
I listened to this one on my ipod. Purchased it from audible. I think I always like books better when I listen. The narrator did a great job. It was a pleasant book about the south and how the main character soldiered on in the face of her own personal tragedy. She stands up to that well, and to the oddities of a southern culture she doesn't quite understand. THe book is part mystery, as she struggles to understand how her late aunt was killed and what the family structure and family relationshi ...more
This is about Nora, whose husband has died and she believes that it was suicide because of secrets he had and she knew about them. Then she gets a telegram telling her she has inherited a home in Natchez Mississippi. She knew little about her father's people and she learns that the lure of Natchez runs deep. Nora's aunt was killed in a murder/suicide and the locals are saying no more - except in hushed tones. She soon learns surprising things about the life and death of her aunt. Kinship isn't ...more
Another good Sandra Dallas book. My favorite of hers is still "Prayers for Sale." But I did like this one. She always has characters that feel, learn about themselves and others. Good book.
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
I liked this, although I didn't enjoy it as much as I have the other Sandra Dallas books I've read. The 1933 Natchez, Mississippi setting is, from a historical aspect, fascinating. Having never been to Natchez, and having had minimal southern exposure, I enjoyed the history lesson more than the plot. The glimpse into southern history and society is entertaining and downright funny at times. The author captures the essence of the class and race distinctions that continued even after the war ended ...more
I usually enjoy Southern books more than I enjoyed this one. It was a daring attempt at a period piece and a murder mystery. Set in the 1930's in the south, it covered the results of slavery, the politics of divorce and the talent Southern women have in being both insulting and charming all in the same breath. But I really couldn't read it fast enough - I just wanted to get to the point and find out who really killed the old lady in the decaying house and why. Oh and it was worth reading just to ...more
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Award-winning author SANDRA DALLAS was dubbed “a quintessential American voice” by Jane Smiley, in Vogue Magazine. Sandra’s novels with their themes of loyalty, friendship, and human dignity have been translated into a dozen foreign languages and have been optioned for films.

A journalism graduate of the University of Denver, Sandra began her writing career as a reporter with Business Week. A staff
More about Sandra Dallas...
Prayers for Sale The Persian Pickle Club The Diary of Mattie Spenser Tallgrass Alice's Tulips

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