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The Hard To Catch Mercy: A Novel

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  54 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
The rollicking epic story of fourteen-year-old Willie T. Allson and the great adventure that marks his passage into manhood in 1916.
Hardcover, 451 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
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Jul 19, 2015 Annette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good story well told. The main character, Willie T., is a hoot, sometimes sweetly innocent and naive, always keenly observant and often scared half to death by the people and events happening around him. His two cousins come to live with him and open up his understanding of the world in a big way and then a long unknown elderly aunt comes to live nearby and expands his world even further. All the time there are lots of calamities happening, often funny but sometimes tragic, and through ...more
Not always an easy story to read, but a remarkably well written one. And one of my favorite things- a first novel by an author who went on to prove it wasn't a fluke.

In a small town in South Carolina in 1916, fourteen-year-old Willie T. Allson comes to manhood in a manner befitting the finest Southern tall tales. "An epic tale of Southern myth, mystery, and mayhem."--The Indianapolis News. Winner of the Lillian Smith Award for Fiction.

"A work of art . . . Baldwin's fi
David DeValera
Feb 24, 2010 David DeValera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baldwin serves up a great Southern tale but lets you have some say in the seasoning. Stories are told from different angles and so you have to reason out your own version of events. It's not the least bit confusing, however; because Baldwin is too good of a story teller for that.

You can believe that Hard to Catch Mercy's (yes, that is a character's name) sister was or wasn't pregnant. You can believe that a great family treasure (buried somewhere) exists or never existed. Was the preacher's wife
May 26, 2014 ~mad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booksiveread
More like three and a half stars.

! Been on my shelves since 1995....why'd I wait so long?
Drags some and slow to start - but worth it.

Episodes from a southern boyhood: family intrigue, post-Civil War history, race, religion, and superstition are all part of the mix in Baldwin's meandering first novel.
Erica Castellanos
Aug 11, 2015 Erica Castellanos rated it really liked it
This was a fun & entertaining read, a well varied cast of characters in a unique setting. Everything was perfectly real and believable, an excellently written book.
Nov 26, 2012 Dee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a good story.
Recommended to Dee by: Nancy Pearl, Now Read This
This was a coming of age story that started in the year 1916, when Willie T. Allson was just fourteen years old. He and his cousins Uncle Jimmy and Brother, orphans who came to live with Willie T.'s family after their pa died, had numerous escapades that gave the book both humor and tragedy. I found it to be a real page-turner.
Terry Morris
Apr 18, 2009 Terry Morris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVE THIS BOOK. While the themes are nothing like To Kill A Mockingbird it reads similiarly. This is a great book.
picked this up at a used book sale. pretty interesting.
Holly Drawdy
Mar 07, 2013 Holly Drawdy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read in college. I need to read again
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