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The Mercy Rule

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The Mercy Rule Cover

ISBN13: 9780618555963
ISBN10: 061855596x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

At first glance, Dr. Lucy Weiss looks like the typical high-achieving, upper-middle-class working mother who, along with her husband, is bringing up much-beloved children in a world of Saturday morning soccer, private-school teacher conferences, and hyperaggressive classroom mommies. But Lucys own history makes her an anomaly. Having overcome a difficult childhood in foster care, she is whats called a super-survivor, a kid who grew up in the margins. Now a pediatrician, Lucy finds herself working with some of these same at-risk patients and their families.

The Mercy Rule is a novel about the all-important job of taking care of children. Lucys work takes her back into the world of families living on the edge, where every day she must decide whether parents actions are so incompetent—or so flaky—that their children are in danger. Its her job to make the call and to step in when she has to. As she moves between her disparate worlds—from worrying about her own brilliant but odd son being labeled with a diagnosis to worrying about parents struggling with drugs and impossible living situations—Lucy must judge herself as a parent, critique other parents, and also deal with the echoes of her childhood.

Watching Lucy try to keep the balance, enjoy her own children, and look at other families with humor and justice and mercy, readers will understand why Chris Bohjalian said of Perri Klass, “Few writers write as beautifully or as authentically about parenting.”

Review:

"Klass (Treatment Kind and Fair) again explores the dramas, large and small, of parenting and medicine in an enjoyable if nearly plotless novel. A former foster child who was adopted by her sixth-grade teacher, Lucy Weiss is a pediatrician at a clinic specializing in foster kids. Lucy's deep (and occasionally unprofessional) devotion to her work brings her into contact and conflict with mothers like charismatic Delia, who eventually abandons her three kids — each named after one of the Von Trapp children. In Lucy's own family, her somewhat absent professor husband begs off of birthday party and soccer duties, leaving her as primary parent to precocious 10-year-old Isabel and possibly autistic six-year-old Freddy. Freddy's difficulties (an obsession with statistics and numbers, and stunted social abilities among them) are a recurring but unresolved thread, while an ethically questionable decision Lucy makes regarding Delia's kids lacks punch. The characters are wonderfully drawn — Lucy's angst is palpable throughout — and though there isn't much of a story arc, the heartfelt portrayal of contemporary parenting is involving, particularly so for readers who work with children. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Perri Klass is a practicing pediatrician who understands the murky risks of judging a mother's care. "The Mercy Rule," her sixth work of fiction, is an insightful novel comprised of stories about a doctor who runs a clinic in Boston for children who are in state custody — or about to be. Passionate and self-deprecating, Dr. Lucy Weiss wants to slap some sense into the careless mothers who pass through... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

At first glance, Dr. LucyWeiss looks like a typical high-achieving, upper-middle-class working mother who is raising two children in the suburbs with her husband. But having overcome a difficult childhood in foster care, Lucy knows firsthand what it is like to grow up in the margins. Now a pediatrician, she finds herself working with at-risk patients and their families. Every day she must decide whether a parents actions are so incompetent — or so clueless — that a child is in danger. As she moves between her disparate worlds — from worrying about her own daughter enduring the social pressures of adolescence to worrying about parents struggling with drugs and impossible living situations — Lucy must judge herself as a parent, critique other parents, and also deal with the echoes of her childhood.Through it all, she keeps the balance with humor and sympathy. The Mercy Rule is a compassionate and funny novel sure to resonate with those who know the joys and challenges of taking care of children.

About the Author

DR. PERRI KLASS is the award-winning author of eleven works of fiction and nonfiction, including Love and Modern Medicine and Other Women's Children. She is a pediatrician and teaches journalism and pediatrics at New York University. Klass is also the medical director of the national literacy program Reach Out and Read, dedicated to promoting literacy as part of pediatric primary care. She lives in New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Alethea, August 21, 2008 (view all comments by Alethea)
This character-driven novel gives a fascinating insight into somoe of the inner workings of the foster system. It manages to show the futility of "the system" without being too much of a downer. The characters are incredibly well drawn. So much so that when they would appear on the scene never to reappear, I'd be wanting them to come back.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780618555963
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Klass, Perri
Author:
Klass, Perri, MD
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Parenting
Subject:
Adult children of dysfunctional families
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Women pediatricians
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20080707
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.62 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Mercy Rule Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.25 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Houghton Mifflin Company - English 9780618555963 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Klass (Treatment Kind and Fair) again explores the dramas, large and small, of parenting and medicine in an enjoyable if nearly plotless novel. A former foster child who was adopted by her sixth-grade teacher, Lucy Weiss is a pediatrician at a clinic specializing in foster kids. Lucy's deep (and occasionally unprofessional) devotion to her work brings her into contact and conflict with mothers like charismatic Delia, who eventually abandons her three kids — each named after one of the Von Trapp children. In Lucy's own family, her somewhat absent professor husband begs off of birthday party and soccer duties, leaving her as primary parent to precocious 10-year-old Isabel and possibly autistic six-year-old Freddy. Freddy's difficulties (an obsession with statistics and numbers, and stunted social abilities among them) are a recurring but unresolved thread, while an ethically questionable decision Lucy makes regarding Delia's kids lacks punch. The characters are wonderfully drawn — Lucy's angst is palpable throughout — and though there isn't much of a story arc, the heartfelt portrayal of contemporary parenting is involving, particularly so for readers who work with children. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
At first glance, Dr. LucyWeiss looks like a typical high-achieving, upper-middle-class working mother who is raising two children in the suburbs with her husband. But having overcome a difficult childhood in foster care, Lucy knows firsthand what it is like to grow up in the margins. Now a pediatrician, she finds herself working with at-risk patients and their families. Every day she must decide whether a parents actions are so incompetent — or so clueless — that a child is in danger. As she moves between her disparate worlds — from worrying about her own daughter enduring the social pressures of adolescence to worrying about parents struggling with drugs and impossible living situations — Lucy must judge herself as a parent, critique other parents, and also deal with the echoes of her childhood.Through it all, she keeps the balance with humor and sympathy. The Mercy Rule is a compassionate and funny novel sure to resonate with those who know the joys and challenges of taking care of children.

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