Karyl's Reviews > The Mercy of Thin Air

The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue
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Apr 21, 12

bookshelves: 2012, bookstore-finds, favorites
Read from April 16 to 21, 2012

I adored this book. It shouldn't take me five days to read a book that's just about 300 pages long, but that's exactly what happened. I found myself finding other things to do instead of reading because I wanted to prolong the joy of reading it. I slowed down and savored each word, each sentence. I just didn't want it to end.

But all good things must come to an end, and last night I finished it. And I mourned, just a little bit.

Razi is a feisty, unconventional girl of the 1920s. Her goal in life is not, as society dictates, to find a husband and bear children. She wants to be a doctor, not a nurse, and be worthy in her own right, not because she's married to someone. She even becomes involved in disseminating information about birth control, an illegal topic in the 1920s and liable to send her to jail if she's found out. But then she dies in a tragic accident and fails to go on to whatever is next after we die. Instead she becomes, for all intents and purposes, a ghost. When her boyfriend's old bookcase is bought at an estate sale seventy years after her death, she follows the piece of furniture to its new home, introducing us to Amy and Scott, a married couple with secrets and problems of their own.

The novel switches back and forth between Razi's life in the 1920s and Amy and Scott's lives in the 90s, and it works. I was never left feeling like I wanted to stay in one time period over the other; I was hungry to know what happened next. Somehow Domingue weaves both time periods together beautifully.

This is not a novel about the supernatural. It just seems to be a plot point, not the whole reason for the novel. Razi is just as believable as a specter as she is in the flesh.

I admit I was taken wholly by surprise by the twist near the end. I didn't see it coming, the way in which Amy and Razi were connected. But I was happy to see it work out that way.

Domingue's writing is just so lyrical. Reading the words she lays down is a joy, and they are just so very evocative. It's like watching an old film unfold in your head while you read. I can see myself reading this book again soon, and I'm not the type to re-read novels anymore -- there are far too many books I want to read.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Kassie Just finished this one and it was so beautiful, and unusual. Thanks for the recommendation, friend. (much better than the Viking book.)


Karyl Hee! I did tell you so. Glad you liked it.


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