Tuesday, 5 January 2016

The Crooked Heart of Mercy

The Crooked Heart of Mercy
by Billie Livingston

Hardcover, 272 pages
Publisher: Random House Canada

I absolutely loved this book. From the sounds of the characters, I wondered if it would be farcical. It wasn't. These improbable people in impossible situations just work. They take your heart and break it and then put it back together again.

True, I got nothing done the entire day I read the book, there was no way I could put it down. I was lost in their world.

Billie Livingston is now on my watch list for future reads. A truly great read.

From the Back Flap:

The Crooked Heart of Mercy is a brave, funny and heartbreaking novel about faith and family, love and forgiveness, and how people survive unimaginable loss. It features an indelible trio of characters who could only come from the imagination of Billie Livingston. There's Ben, whose world we enter on the first page: he's a limo driver who, after he loses his son, finds himself locked up in a psych ward with a hole in his head he can't explain. His wife, Maggie, the other narrator of the story, is locked up in her own grief, unable to reach out to her husband. Then there is Maggie's brother, Francis, an unlikely priest with a drinking problem and only occasional interest in celibacy, whose latest fall from the wagon was caught on video and has gone viral as Drunk Priest Propositions Cop.

     How they come together to heal each other's many wounds is the magic of this novel, as is its intensity, its wit, its deep sense of the absurd, and the surprising grace at its core.

Photo by: Braden Haggerty
BILLIE LIVINGSTON is the author of three novels, short stories, including the Danuta Gleed and CBC Bookie award-winning collection Greedy Little Eyes, and poetry. Her previous novel, One Good Hustle, a Globe and Mail Best Book, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and nominated for the Canadian Library Association's Young Adult Book Award. Her short story, "Sitting on the Edge of Marlene," has been adapted as a feature film. She lives in Vancouver. The author lives in Vancouver, BC.