Nonficionado Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

Customer Comments

Ellen Reader has commented on (1) product.

Mercy by Jodi Picoult

Ellen Reader, October 24, 2009

I was up all night reading Jodi Picault's immensely compelling novel, MERCY, which deals with multiple relationship issues, including that of women -- and some men -- who value themselves so little that they immerse themselves entirely in the lives, needs and desires of those they love, and in the process step over established moral boundaries to their own detriment.

Allie, exceedingly devoted wife of Cameron MacDonald, the local police chief who also happens to be laird of a Scottish clan transplanted to rural Massachusetts, is on hand when Jamie MacDonald, a distant cousin of Cameron's, arrives in town with his adored and terminally ill wife Maggie, whom he admits killing at her request. Cameron, unhappily held in place by clan expectations and inherited responsibilities, does not offer the traditional protection Jamie has come seeking from his laird, but relents enough to hire -- anonymously -- a young, untried lawyer to defend Jamie.

The lawyer draws Allie into the preliminary investigation, and she discovers enough strength and capability that when Cameron's affair with Allie's florist shop assistant Mia Townsend comes to light, she is able to take action. At one point Allie calmly moves all Cameron's belongings into the yard -- his uniforms, boots and underwear, his favorite chair and ancient Scottish clan paraphernalia -- and sells the lot to the neighbors.

The story is stitched together with information about the language of flowers, dowsing, and old Scottish lore in such a way that the personalities and interrelationships of dead Maggie and her husband Jamie, the defense attorney, Cameron and Allie, Mia, Cameron's new-age mother Ellen, and his aged MacDonald great-uncle Angus, who sees things, are brought together -- in and out of the courtroom -- in a deep and thoughtful exploration of "love," "loyalty," "belonging," and "mercy."

Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at