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New Mercies

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  2,193 ratings  ·  286 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 ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 21st 2006 by St. Martins Press-3PL (first published April 1st 2005)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,193 ratings  ·  286 reviews

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Jan 22, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Mar 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sandra-dallas
I’ve always enjoyed Sandra Dallas’s books. Although here, with “New Mercies” it took me practically getting to the middle of the book before I started to get interested in the story and charmed by the characters. First off, it was very difficult to visualize the 1930ies era – I really didn't feel it from the pages – and I needed to constantly remind myself – okay this 1933 so see the clothes, the cars, the furniture. It was sort of challenging.
As for the story, I enjoyed it because it felt very
May 25, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved this book, which has a wonderful atmospheric c.1933 Natchez Southern charm, seen through the eyes of an independent Denver character, Nora Bondurant. She arrives to sort her aunt’s estate, a relative unknown to her until she receives the telegram. Her backstory, and the guilt and sadness she carries, add to the weaving of the tale. Another main enjoyment is the locale, along with colorful local expressions, and frequent observations of Southern culture and values, up to and including ...more
Lin S.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
A story of the South, circa 1933. I enjoyed every page of this book. Especially the family secrets!
Aug 24, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
I always enjoy Sandra Dallas and did enjoy this one, but it wasn't my favorite. This one was set in the South, but included the signature Colorado element by transplanting a Denver girl there. I just didn't feel like all of the characters were as well developed and therefore as likable and sympathetic as those in her other novels. I also felt like the ending was wrapped up too quickly. There was a secret being guarded for the whole book and then suddenly because one character said it was okay to ...more
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
It wasn't awful; there was just nothing about this book that I found remarkable or particularly engaging. The story line could have been interesting, had more life been breathed into it. The author very clearly presented two mysteries near the beginning of the book (why was Aunt Amalia murdered? And how did Nora's husband die?). But he characters were not interesting enough to draw me in or to make me care about the answers. (Plus, the answer to the first questions seemed pretty obvious to me ...more
Jul 10, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Maurita Kling
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Just finished this & was curious about what other Readers had to say about it. I've read several of her books & this one wasn't my favorite. I lived in the South for a few years & never came to either respect or like most Southerners, whom I found to be duplicitous & pretentious- this is a New England Yankee talking, so take it with a Grain of salt....
Anyway, aside from not identifying with most of the characters I thought the book was rather slow- moving & as in her other
Ann Boytim
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Nora is running away from her ex husbands death and his secrets when she receives news that she has an inheritance of a home in Natchez Mississippi from an Aunt she never knew existed. Nora finds things very different in the South and she finds out that her aunt was actually murdered. When Nora arrives in this small town and goes to find the house she sees it is a very run down old property. Nora gets involved with members of the community and learns that two former slaves live on the property ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: blog
I enjoyed this story about a young Denver divorcee in 1933 who inherits an old mansion in Natchez, Mississippi. The Colorado element was interesting, especially the mention of places and sites that familiar to me. It was fun learning about the history of some of those landmarks. The mysteries in the story were fairly predictable, and because they were revealed in the very end, they did tend to make the story drag a little bit. However, I enjoyed this book as it was a light read, and I learned ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Actually a 3.75 star rating

I picked this book up on a whim while in New Orleans this January; for a book outside of my usual favorite genre, I ended up really liking this book.

The story line moved along fairly well; not as quick in the beginning but wasn't boring or a drag at all. I felt the ending was a little rushed but still okay. I really liked that the author didn't make this a total lovefest. It was witty, engaging, and a mystery up until the very end (although I had a hunch on the
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this slow, Southern story of the heart. I picked it up at a library sale because the setting was Natchez, MS and I was planning a Spring vacation that included a couple nights in Natchez. It was a perfect novel for the trip. The story is incredibly well crafted and paced. It is a tale of redemption and new beginnings. It is chocked full of Southern eccentricities, charm, and euphemisms. It was just plain enjoyable to read. Life doesn't usually work out like you think it will, but ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was good but not as great as some of Sandra Dallas' other books. The story is about a divorcee who finds that she has inherited a home in Natchez, Mississippi. She did not even know she had an aunt from her fathers side. The tale is about her trying to find how her aunt was murdered, what her father's reltionship was to this aunt and how all this ties to her. She also is recently divorced & her ex husband dies soon after the divorce in a plane crash.
The story is good but
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
It seems that I really like books set in the south, even though the south is repressive and slow for progress, no matter what era the book takes place in. Not to mention that the south is probably not a region of the country I would care to live, at least the deep south, I am drawn to books of this genre. I did really like how the book also took place in Denver, and I knew all the references of places in Denver she mentioned.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Set in the past in Natchez, Mississippi, this is a book about family secrets. But it's mostly a book about love and acceptance:

"The Lord gives us love like a new mercy every and each morning. [...] Any love's a gift of God."

Sandra Dallas is one of my favorite novelists, and she delivers yet again.
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a great read. I loved the Natchez culture, the character's and the time period. This was the 2nd book I have read of Sandra Dallas and it won't be the last. She is a great author and has a way of putting you right there in the book. Definitely recommend this book for a fun, quick summer read.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book had a lot of the literary elements that I like - not one but two time period plot lines, a murder mystery and a love story. I enjoyed imagining Natchez, Mississippi in the 1930’s and in the 1800’s. Although this book wasn’t life changing for me, it was a nice escape and kept me coming back til the end. It’s more of a 3.5 than a 4.
Beth Spangler
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Sandra Dallas has a gift with weaving tales. This was another well-crafted book set in 1930s Mississippi (and Colorado). Maybe I needed a break from reading of wealthy heiresses- in order for me to give it a higher rating...?
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I had picked up the book because it was set in Natchez, MS. I've never read Sandra Dallas before. If you are looking for a light-weight treatment of fictional history, this book certainly fits that category.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful journey into the past. It made me wonder what my mom and grandma were like and what they saw back then. Family secrets and mystery also in this book.Sandra Dallas books are always wonderful.
Alison Robinson
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
First Sandra Dallas book I have read and I really enjoyed the historical setting mixed with mystery Nd a little romance. Great book that wove all three genres together. Excited to read more of her books!
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You disappear into the book, well written
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Very enjoyable read. I especially enjoyed the setting of Natchez, MS and the time period. Interesting characters. I would definitely recommend it.
Linda Cunningham
I don't know how to explain it, but this book made me feel good. Peace, kindness, family, love, Southern.
Pat Edwards
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love it when I pull a book at random from the library shelves and it's a good one. The book was true to the time period.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As sweet as sweet tea ...

... and as heartwarming as a story from my Father about growing up in Georgia. A slow, ambling, easy read.
Lee Ann
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Nice Sandra Dallas book with lots about historical Colorado as well as The old south.
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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
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