Mercy Among the Children

August 21, 2001|
Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards
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about

Winner of the 2000 Scotiabank Giller Prize

As a boy, Sydney Henderson thinks he has killed Connie Devlin when he pushes him from a roof for stealing his sandwich. He vows to God he will never again harm another if Connie survives. Connie walks away, laughing, and Sydney embarks upon a life of self-immolating goodness. In spite of having educated himself with such classics as Tolstoy and Marcus Aurelius, he is not taken seriously enough to enter university because of his background of dire poverty and abuse, which leads everyone to expect the worst of him. His saintly generosity of spirit is treated with suspicion and contempt, especially when he manages to win the love of beautiful Elly. Unwilling to harm another in thought or deed, or to defend himself against false accusations, he is exploited and tormented by others in this rural community, and finally implicated in the death of a 19-year-old boy.

Lyle Henderson knows his father is innocent, but is angry that the family has been ridiculed for years, and that his mother and sister suffer for it. He feels betrayed by his father’s passivity in the face of one blow after another, and unable to accept his belief in long-term salvation. Unlike his father, he cannot believe that evil will be punished in the end. While his father turns the other cheek, Lyle decides the right way is in fighting, and embarks on a morally empty life of stealing, drinking and violence.

A compassionate, powerful story of humanity confronting inhumanity, it is a culmination of Richards’ last seven books, beginning with Road to the Stilt House—all taking place in New Brunswick’s Miramichi Valley.
DAVID ADAMS RICHARDS is one of Canada''s pre-eminent writers. His recent novels include Mary Cyr and Principles to Live By, as well as Crimes Against My Brother and Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul, both of which were longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Among his other novels, The Lost Highway was shortlisted for the Govern...
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Title:Mercy Among the Children
Format:Paperback
Product dimensions:432 pages, 7.9 X 5 X 1.1 in
Shipping dimensions:432 pages, 7.9 X 5 X 1.1 in
Published:August 21, 2001
Publisher:Doubleday Canada
Language:English
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9780385259958

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