28 February 2020

Mercy House | Book Review


“Never underestimate the power of a group of women. Fierce, thoughtful and dramatic—this is a story of true courage.” —Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author

She would stop at nothing to protect the women under her care.

Inside a century-old row house in Brooklyn, renegade Sister Evelyn and her fellow nuns preside over a safe haven for the abused and abandoned. Gruff and indomitable on the surface, warm and wry underneath, little daunts Evelyn, until she receives word that Mercy House will be investigated by Bishop Hawkins, a man with whom she shares a dark history. In order to protect everything they’ve built, the nuns must conceal many of their methods, which are forbidden by the Catholic Church.

Evelyn will go to great lengths to defend all that she loves. She confronts a gang member, defies the church, challenges her own beliefs, and faces her past. She is bolstered by the other nuns and the vibrant, diverse residents of the shelter—Lucia, Mei-Li, Desiree, Esther, and Katrina—whose differences are outweighed by what unites them: they’ve all been broken by men but are determined to rebuild.

Amidst her fight, Evelyn discovers the extraordinary power of mercy and the grace it grants, not just to those who receive it, but to those strong enough to bestow it.

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: February 11, 2020


Alena Dillon’s Mercy House delivers an unconventional story about nuns, abused women, and the lengths they all go for the sake of safety. It starts slowly and with (what feels like) little direction, but when the central conflict becomes clear, it proves to be a mesmerizing, thought-provoking read.

With Catholic nuns at the center of the Mercy House drama, I did struggle, at times, with the portrayal of faith. I felt frustrated more than once because of the choices and actions stemming from that faith—this book was not entirely right for me; still, I am glad to have read it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.


Alena Dillon’s work has appeared in Slice Magazine, The Rumpus, and Seventh Wave, among others. She earned her MFA from Fairfield University. Mercy House is her debut novel. She lives on the north shore of Boston with her husband, son, and their black labrador, Penny.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for giving this one a try! Sara @ TLC Book Tours