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This Dark Road to Mercy

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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  6,877 Ratings  ·  1,182 Reviews

The critically acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller A Land More Kind Than Home—hailed as "a powerfully moving debut that reads as if Cormac McCarthy decided to rewrite Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird" (Richmond Times Dispatch)—returns with a resonant novel of love and atonement, blood and vengeance, set in western North Carolina, involving two young sisters

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Hardcover, 232 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by William Morrow (first published 2014)
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Sandra Absolutely! Just the right size and the characters have been developed to elicit quite a bit discussion.

Community Reviews

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Will Byrnes
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball, sports, fiction
There is a lot of used-to-be in Wiley Cash’s sophomore novel, This Dark Road to Mercy. Wade Chesterfield used to be a baseball player, used to be a husband and used to be a father. But he went oh-for three and now, as a guy who used to hang drywall and is on the run, he is mostly a crook.

Bobby Pruitt had been a ballplayer too, but his damaged youth led him in a dark direction, and now he is an enforcer for a local thug. He would like to apply his professional skills to Wade, not only in service
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PorshaJo
Wiley Cash is an author that for a very long time I have been meaning to read. But he always get pushed to the bottom of my pile. I was excited there was a Traveling Sisters read for this one and I jumped in immediately. After all that, it was just OK for me.

Twelve-year-old Easter and her six-year-old sister Ruby are growing up in North Carolina and have a rough life. Their mother dies of a drug overdose and their father gave them up, signed those papers with no other thoughts. Now, they are in
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Lindsay - Traveling Sister
4.5 stars!

This was an addictive, quick and suspenseful read. I flew through this book! The storyline grabbed me immediately as I fell in love with the first narrator, 12-year-old Easter Quillby. She and her sister, 9-year-old Ruby Quillby, are living together in foster care after the death of their unstable mother. They have lived a rough and unsteady life up to this point with an unreliable mother, inappropriate father figures, dirty housing and insufficient nourishment. My heart immediately o
...more
Angela M
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wiley Cash has shown once again that he is a writer I will continue to follow. I have to admit that I didn't feel the grip of the writing quite as much as I did with A Land More Kind Than Home; this one was a little less edgy . But I was so taken with one of the narrators, 12 year Easter. It's impressive how Cash gets inside the head of this young girl. I fell in love with the precocious Easter and her sweet younger sister Ruby.

They've had sad little lives right from the beginning . It's heartb
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Rebbie
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2016
There is so much more going on inside this novel that the synopsis doesn't mention. I'm not talking about plot points, either. I'm talking about the nuances between our perceptions of certain kinds of people versus how they feel about themselves, especially after they're forced to deal with the consequences of their actions.

Easter and Ruby, 13 and 8 respectively, are stuck in the foster care system after their mother dies from an overdose. Their father has long since disappeared, having signed
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Brenda - Traveling Sister
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up

This Dark Road To Mercy took us through a few coulees with our emotions as we followed along with our three narrators. We went from the love and atonement lush coulee to the redemption and justice coulee and then to the blood and vengeance dry coulee with our narrators in this story. Our favorite road was with wise, heart-broken 12-year Easter who’s wayward father Wade drags her and her sister on the run bringing danger to the sisters. The chase is on as Wade tries to outrun
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Perry
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Sometimes I feel like moanin', and I feel like moanin' tonight. Cuz when I'm moanin' the devil don't know what I'm talking about."*

This satisfying and memorable novel takes place in the summer of 1998, during which now-disgraced St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire and Chicago Cub Sammy Sosa chased the single-season homerun record of 61 homers set by Yankee Roger Maris in 1961.** Wade and his daughter Easter, the twelve-year-old protagonist whose mom recently died from a drug overdose, travel from t
...more
JanB
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was another excellent Traveling Sister read with Brenda, Lindsay, and PorshaJo. The Sister's blog with reviews to this and others can be found here:
https://twogirlslostinacouleereading....

The story is narrated by 3 characters: Easter, Brady, and Pruitt. Easter and her sister Ruby are left wards of the state after their mother dies from a drug overdose. The girls quickly captured my heart. Wiley knocked it out of the ballpark with his characterization of Easter. She’s precocious and wise bey
...more
Diane S ☔
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 Wiley Cash has the enviable knack of writing about siblings needing to protect each other and he has created two sisters this time that find themselves in that same situation. Just the protecting because Easter and her little sister Ruby, are not in danger from their father Wade, but from a man who is after Wade for revenge.

I liked this book, liked outspoken and incredibly wise for her years, Easter and loved little Ruby who looks on so many things with wonder. Loved the baseball talk and th
...more
❀Julie
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Having read two of this author’s books now, there were common features in both stories that I really liked. In both he creates a vivid Southern atmosphere, along with unforgettable characters, portraying the young and innocent in a way that tugs at your heart strings. Two young sisters are kidnapped from their foster home by their estranged father after the loss of their irresponsible mother. It was impossible not to care about these adorable sisters, Easter and Ruby as their safety was at risk. ...more
Snotchocheez
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I'll get my rant out of the way: I totally hate(d) the cover and the title of this book. Sure, the photo's beautiful, but what's it trying to convey? Bleak rural America? Wiley Cash's North Carolina? The Great Depression? There ain't no telling. And that pseudo-poetic title, This Dark Road to Mercy, so wordy, unspecific, and unmemorable, I'll be forever doomed to refer to this as "Wiley Cash's Second Novel" as there's no way my peabrain's gonna cull that title from the recesses of my addled brai
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Barbara
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it

Easter and Ruby Quilby have lived in a foster home in Gastonia, North Carolina since their mother died from a drug overdose. Their father, Wade Chesterfield - an unsuccesful former minor league baseball player - had unwillingly given up parental rights and longs to get his daughters back. So when Wade gets the chance he robs a gangster of money from an armored truck heist, sneaks his daughters out of the foster home, and runs off with them.

The story is told from three points of view: Easter Qui
...more
Ron Charles
Nov 13, 2013 rated it liked it
‘Moderation in all things” is not bad advice, but Aristotle never wrote any good Southern gothic novels. In that macabre world, the last thing we want is moderation. Faulkner knew this. (Necrophilia? Check.) Ron Rash knows this. (Pet killer eagle? Check.) And in his first novel, “A Land More Kind Than Home,” Wiley Cash proved that he knew it, too. (Snake-handling preacher? Check.)

But now, in his second novel, the poetically titled “This Dark Road to Mercy,” Cash seems to have lost his nerve, whi
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Lynn
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-group, reread
My memory is not infallible....plots and characters get scrambled because I read too much (is this even possible?). Well, anyway, the opening scene of this book stuck with me 2.5 years because it was so powerful. I knew immediately where it was going when I reread it, and still I felt dread and admiration for the understated storytelling.

There is a lot to dread in this novel, but much more to admire and enjoy.
-------
Originally read Feb 2014. Reread Aug 2016 for DCL book group.
Lyn
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Wiley Cash channels Cormac McCarthy and Elmore Leonard to create the dark side of Bull Durham.

While tales of minor league baseball are a recognizable component of much Southern writing, Cash demonstrates that all that is baseball and southern is not always Susan Sarandon’s fetching smile and Kevin Costner waxing eloquent about in what he believes.

Cash had me at hello with his 2012 novel A Land More Kind Than Home; so much so that I immediately grabbed up this 2014 publication. Darker and more b
...more
Cathrine ☯️
Jul 11, 2015 rated it liked it
3.4★

It was a goodread. But not great. I loved his first novel so it is easy for me to say if you can only read one of Wiley Cash’s two books I recommend A Land More Kind Than Home. That said, this was not unworthy of my time.

The great: The narrative of Easter Quillby. Her character was so authentic and I loved the sections told from her POV.

The not so great: The sense of drama fell flat. Unlike his first novel, I never felt the sense of dread, danger, and edginess that was so well done and palpa
...more
Britany
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow- I must've read this book in two sittings, once I started, I was hooked. Easter and Ruby Quillby are two sisters living in a foster home after losing their mother, relying on each other and making the best of a sad situation. Their father, Wade Chesterfield shows up and decides to take fate into his hands by taking the girls on a road trip that they will never forget. Mix in this family dynamic another side plot of money being stolen and Wade being on the run from a mob boss, seedy bar owner ...more
Cheri

While there is a darkness that is somewhat ever-present in this story, the flip side of that is a love story. A fairly messed-up love story, that adds even more darkness and craziness, but also more layers of the love that is just shown in just bits and pieces, tokens here and there in the beginning. Granted this is not your typical love story, but what true love story ever is?



Connie
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I really looked forward to this after loving A Land More Kind Than Home and I was pleased to read another wonderful story from Mr. Cash.

I would say that this one does not smack you in the face quite as quickly as his first, but the tension builds slowly and the page turning becomes faster as you move along. Cash creates some characters who have suffered broken dreams, hard times and have not always made the best choices. Some of them are trying to pull themselves up (without much luck) while o
...more
Jessica
Nov 20, 2013 rated it liked it
I think I am the only one so far who was very underwhelmed by this one.

It's the story of a pair of girls whose mother passes away suddenly and are shuffled into state custody. Their father, who signed away his rights a long time ago, shows up and decides he wants them back. When the officials balk at his request, he decides he's just going to take them. The problem is, Wade's made more than a few enemies and the court-appointed guardian is not the only person looking for him.

The book alternate
...more
Dana
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Having just finished the author's first book, A Land More Kind Than Home, I had really high expectations for this one, but This Dark Road to Mercy fell a little short. While I did enjoy the story - especially told from Easter's point of view, I found my mind wandering through the other two points of view at times. I loved the two sisters, and was even fond of their father who had kidnapped them. I even shed a few tears at the end. Part of my disappointment in the book could have been that this w ...more
☮Karen
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, read-in-2015
First let me say how much I adore  stories  involving little  girls.  I cannot resist them.  Secondly, the three narrators on the audio version were just so good, I don't think I missed a word, which rarely happens.  Third, the story itself is simply irresistible.  So very fine.  Great Southern lit; a dad on the run from a particularly  bad fellow while at the same time trying to win the approval of the two girls, his estranged daughters, so they can be a family; and a very loveable ex-cop who i ...more
Jennifer
In "This Dark Road to Mercy" Wiley Cash spins a yarn that readers will not soon forget.

Young sisters Easter and Ruby Quilby have never met an adult they can trust. They've essentially raised themselves since their drug addicted mother offers no support, and their father, Wade, has long-since run out on the family. When their mother dies, the girls move into a foster home. Several months later, their Wade resurfaces, wanting to make a new life with the girls. When told that he had previously sign
...more
Cathy DuPont
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sad, check.
Family, check.
Bad guys, check.
Baseball, check.
Good guys, check.
Motherhood, check.
Fatherhood, check.
Foster home, check.
Stolen money, check.
Stole my heart, check.
Great characters, check.
Fantastic storyline, check.

Read it and grateful I have because it might be the best book I'll read all year.
Rebecca McNutt
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bold and heavily immersed in Southern history, This Road to Mercy is a powerful story full of thrilling moments and unforgettable characters.
Cosima
Wow. To say this book is flat is an understatement.

Once I cracked the book open and saw how it was going to be, I couldn't finish it fast enough even though it's a short novel with little real substance to necessitate attentive reading.

The novel is set in 1998 Gastonia, NC and follows the story of two sisters, 12-year-old Easter and 6-year-old Ruby Quillby, who have been placed in an orphanage after their mother dies. Their father Wade Chesterfield, a hopelessly inept criminal who has no rights
...more
Alena
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bpl-ordered
I'm not sure what I expected as a follow up to the brilliant A Land More Kind Than Home, but I have to admit it took me a little while to admit to myself that Wiley Cash was writing about a whole new cast of characters in his second novel. Once I accepted I wouldn't find charismatic preachers and deaf-mute children, I settled in for a really good read.

Once again we have broken spirits, vulnerable children, fractured families and one truly bad guy that made my skin crawl; but in this novel the ch
...more
Liz Barnsley
Oct 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coming January 2014 from Random House UK/Transworld Publishers

Thank you to the author and publisher for the netgalley review copy.

When their mother dies unexpectedly, twelve-year-old Easter and her six-year-old sister Ruby are shuffled into the foster care system in Gastonia, North Carolina, a town not far from the Appalachian mountains. But just as they settle into their new life, their errant father, Wade, an ex-minor league baseball player whom they haven’t seen in years, suddenly appears and
...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

No mother, a deadbeat dad, a foster home, and then a kidnapping.

Easter and Ruby were placed in a foster home after their mother died since their father, Wade, had signed them away many years ago. But now he wanted them back. Wade was bad news all around.

Easter followed all the rules and Ruby followed whatever Easter said. Both girls will steal your heart because of their innocence and sweet ways. Their father will make you worry.

THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY is told in alternating voices with themes
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Annet
Jan 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
I like this writer, Wiley Cash, he writes good, entertaining stories, good storylines, compact writing style, great character buildup, easy to read, keeps you in the book....I can see this story in a movie or tv movie, without doubt.
However, I did like his first book, A land more kind than home, better than this one.
I found this 2nd story a bit on the bland side, a bit predictable, while with his first novel, the story intrigued me from beginning til the end, That's why I rate the first one 0.5
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Bound Together: This Dark Road to Mercy Discussion 145 78 Dec 31, 2015 07:32AM  
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781 followers
Wiley Cash is theNew York Times best selling author of The Last Ballad, A Land More Kind than Home, and This Dark Road to Mercy (William Morrow/HarperCollins). He currently serves as the writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and teaches in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and their two young daughters. Please visit wileycash.c ...more
More about Wiley Cash

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“Humph,” she said as if she’d discovered something.” 0 likes
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