New Mercies
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New Mercies

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  1,375 ratings  ·  203 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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Sarah
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...more
Carole
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...more
Lewestover
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.
Diana
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...more
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...more
Sue
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
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
Carolyn

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...more
Joyce
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
Wanda
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
Tammy
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
Ashley
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
Julie
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
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.
Ida
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
Cathy
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
Italy
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
Amber
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
Christina Lawrence
I had a hard time getting into the story...it was a little slow with the pace. Though the book was better than Dallas' Fallen Women. I liked how this story inter twined with the Chile Queen even though both books are considered stand alone. There were some annoying parts of the book that got under my skin such as the characteristics about the main character (Nora), the history (set in 1920s), and the language (I understand that the word "N" was apart of history, and is even sometimes still used...more
Jeanine
Really enjoyed the details of the crumbling house and its contents. Fell in love with Ezra.
Did not care for Nora. Found her character forced and inconsistent.
A little slow but I liked the conclusion.
Phyllis
This is the second book I have read by Sandra Dallas. First was Prayers for Sale.
I liked it. The story was interesting about Natchez, Miss. The main character inherits an antebellum mansion from an aunt she never knew.
Donna
I realized into this book that I had read it some time ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it again this time, maybe more. It is a wonderful story of the South in the early 1900's, actually the 1920's. Sandra Dallas takes our main character, a young woman in Colorado, into her past in Mississippi. Unknown to her, she has a strong connection to people that she had never known existed. The secrets of her father's past come into the light as she explores her inherited home in Natchez. Interesting characters,...more
Lessa
Was originally drawn to this Colorado author for the historical fiction set here in the state I love, but I've long been a fan of Southern fiction, and this was a great blend of both, with a character leaving behind her home in Colorado (with flashbacks to her time there) to claim her inheritance and find out about a family history she never even knew about (something else that appeals to me). The author is into quilting, which she works into her stories, but this story is artfully pieced togeth...more
Elizabeth
This is a really easy read, just a story that you'll quickly immerse yourself into and leave, feeling like you met a new friend. Nora has escaped a failed marriage only to find she's the sole inheritor of an unknown aunt's estate in Natchez, Mississippi. She journeys there to attempt to sort through her aunt's life and to find out just who this unknown woman was, meanwhile, she reminisces about her own life.


I just love Southern stories. This book gave just a glimpse into 1930s Mississippi. It l...more
Holly
I love Sandra Dallas. She ordinarily writes about women and most of her characters live in Colorado. Historical fiction is her forte. This novel is about a young, recently divorced woman who inherits a crumbling mansion in Natchez,MS, in 1933. She travels from Denver to settle her previously unknown aunt's estate and finds a family mystery to solve and a place where she might be able to start a new life and begin to recover from her divorce and the circumstances surrounding it. I thoroughly enjo...more
Sara
Good book. It was hard for me to adjust to the era of the book after just reading Ms. Dallas' book Alice's Tulips that took place during the Civil war. The really neat thing is that the main character of New Mercies is a decendant of the main characters in Alice's Tulips. So make sure you read them in that order!

This book tells the story of a women from Denver who has just gotten a divorce and found out that she's been left an estate from her aunt she never knew she had in the south. The aunt w...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
More about Sandra Dallas...
Prayers for Sale The Persian Pickle Club Tallgrass The Diary of Mattie Spenser Alice's Tulips

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