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Blue Mercy. [Kindle Edition]

Orna Ross
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $3.90
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Book Description

When Mercy Mulcahy was 40 years old, she was accused of killing her elderly and tyrannical father, Martin. Now at the end of her life, she has written a book about what really happened on the fateful night of Christmas Eve, 1989 -- and she desperately wants her daughter, Star, to read her explanation and finally understand.

The tragic and beautiful Mercy has devoted her life to protecting Star from neglect and cruelty, especially from her father, whose behavior so blighted her own life. Was Martin's death, as many believe, an assisted suicide? Or something more sinister?

Or is Mercy innocent of all?

The only other person who might know the truth, Mercy's boyfriend Zach, isn't talking. And Star, angry and rebellious, has her own reasons for resisting Mercy's version of events.

Full of emotional twists and surprises ("breathtaking, and I mean literally -- actual gasps will happen" said one customer review), this is the perfect book club book, as nothing is what it seems on the surface and some readers find themselves identifying with the mother and others with the daughter.

Set in Ireland and California, this compelling novel combines lyrical description with an enthralling, page-turning style to create a heartbreakingly beautiful tale of love, loss and the ever-present possibility of redemption.

Editorial Reviews


IRISH INDEPENDENT: "Ross has ... ingeniously knitted a complex tale of betrayal, revenge, suspense, murder mystery -- and surprise. One key event pounced on this cynical novel-reader utterly without warning. This is no mass-produced chick-lit. Wild, gamey... John McGahern meets Maeve Binchy."

From the Author

The mother-daughter relationship is one of the most fascinating, complex and under-explored relationships in fiction. There are, it is true, a lot of novel about daughters rebelling against a strict and difficult mother but that is only one side of what is, always, a double-barrelled story.

The Irish novelist, Edna O'Brien once said: "If you want to know what I regard as the principal crux of female despair, it is this: in the Greek myth of Oedipus and in Freud's exploration of it, the son's desire for his mother is admitted. The infant daughter also desires her mother but it is unthinkable, either in myth, in fantasy, or in fact, that that desire can be consummated."  

Star would think that a lot of tosh, motherless Mercy would be puzzled, but I agree.

What comes between Mercy and Star is a man. Actually, two men. The women are so focussed on Martin, the father, and Zach, the lover, that they fail to see each other.  It was my hope, in writing their story, that it might help us all to look more closely at our own mothers and daughters.

Product Details

  • File Size: 463 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Font Publications (December 13, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008RJXN7S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,831 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars for Star & Mercy. August 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This novel has all my favourite ingredients, Irish landscapes and an emotive twisty plot, seasoned with an original cast and a side serving of California sun.
In fact there are lots of contrasts in this book, and the authors lyrical style had me hooked.The use of words and the intricate slotting together of the story was masterful. This is not an easy, throwaway read, you will be required to concentrate, but what a wonderful payoff to be transported fully into another world.
Blue Mercy explores the mother-daughter relationship, and these characters are all the more believable for their human traits, whether you like them or loathe them. I think perhaps only a parent would truly understand the character motivation and connect with some of the feelings aroused in this story. Yes, it is a story about love, both paternal and romantic, but it also has a thread of mystery surrounding the death of her father, which is carried through to a surprising climax.
I found the story and the style of this novel, quite compelling.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like literary fiction this is a must read! September 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Pick a colour (my favourite is blue). Pick a fabric (okay, silk). Sprinkle it with your favourite fragrance (mine is Light Blue by D&G, no kidding!) Draw the material to you, inhale, clutch it to your face and neck. How does it make you feel? Good, isn't it? That's how I felt while reading Blue Mercy by Orna Ross.

I somehow ended up with this book on my kindle, one of a number I'd loaded up for the summer break. Within a few pages I was hooked. The story starts with heavy baggage. Three generations of a family have reached the end of the road and the book is all about unfolding the events that led there. The main vehicle for this is the Blue Mercy Manuscript, a memoir left to the daughter when her mother dies. I'm not going to try and summarise the events of Blue Mercy. Calamitous occurrences, major life choice mistakes, dark secrets and tragic bad luck, it all happens to Mercy and her daughter Star. The mother has the benefit of hindsight as she revisits her journey from rebellious teenager to flower child, single mom and quite suddenly an old and ailing woman. She acknowledges her own weaknesses and strengths, conveys the despair of trying to raise a daughter with serious behavioural problems and carries her beauty, wherever she goes, like a deadly weapon over which she has limited control.

The contrast between Mercy and Star is acute. They're physically very different and that's important to the story. Star's bulk casts a shadow throughout and her self-loathing is palpable. Mercy is gorgeous but she hates herself for being weak willed. The two women are at irreconcilable loggerheads, putting up a united front only when three men enter their lives at different times, each leading to a different kind of disaster.

There's a twist in the tale.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read October 29, 2012
By Kathy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Blue Mercy is a must-read. It is full of suspense, insights and family tension. It is a wonderfully written rollercoaster of a story which is completely engaging from the outset. Mercy and Star's relationship is beautifully drawn in all its tensions. Loved it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When stories are intricately woven, the challenge in reading is to trust the author and allow things to unfold without judging the characters or anticipating plot shifts. The challenge in reviewing this kind of book is the avoidance of spoilers. The reveals in this book are so breathtaking (and I mean literally -- actual gasps will happen), it's a shame to pre-empt any of the plot bombs with a detailed synopsis. The murder mystery element is really second to the pivotal relationship. Mercy and her daughter Star are such reachable, credible characters. If you're the mother of an adult daughter, the tone here, the moments, the knotty emotions -- it's all bell-ringingly right. The twisted backstory keeps it firmly on the drama side of melodrama.

I do think some readers will find the story uncomfortable in the same way it's uncomfortable to overhear your neighbors in an intimate or tortured personal moment. This is an intense family drama filled with complicated emotions, and some of the unexpected turns cause whiplash paradigm shifts. You feel like you know these people right up until the moment you don't. It makes for a rollercoaster read and crackling good book club discussion.

I'm a fan of this author (highly recommending her previous linked novels After The Rising and Before The Fall), so it wasn't hard for me to trust; before I opened the book, I knew I was in good hands.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't finish May 9, 2013
By Cat Lyn
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story was uncomfortable reading. Okay, maybe I'm not such a neutral reader as I'm a guilt-filled mother of an intelligent daughter AND a huge woman as well, wno had a gorgeous, slim mother. The beginning of the book was confusing and I had a hard time finding whose voice was narrating the story. I gave up on it at about 45% through. I just thought I could use my time in a more constructive way than trying to decifer this sad novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written
I can't imagine anyone not falling completely in love with Orna Ross. I recommend this to my mother, FOREVERMORE the Mercy in my Blue World.
Published 9 days ago by Amazon CustoMela n Mel
3.0 out of 5 stars focus on you imagination
It was difficult to focus on reading at first, finally drew me in at the very end of book. Imagined
Published 6 months ago by Connie
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 out of 5
I didn't care much for this book. It was confusing, since it was from two different perspectives and didn't warn you when it would switch! Read more
Published 6 months ago by S.Cates
3.0 out of 5 stars A plot with a twist!
The book was good, but not a 'page turner' status. The plot went along well and it surprised me with the 'twist' the author wrote into the story. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Janice C. Pontarelli
4.0 out of 5 stars good reading
nice family story,realistic and entertaining,recommended for readers who would like a break from fast paced mystery ,police and detective drama
Published 13 months ago by ruby
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
An Irish teenager escapes an abusive father to run away with her boyfriend. They emigrate to America where they have a child and marry. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Carl R. Perrin
3.0 out of 5 stars reading the book still
Haven't finished, still reading the book, Its hard to understand where she is coming from. Then it goes to her daughter not really knowing her mom. So I am only 65% through it.
Published 13 months ago by April L. Suarez
3.0 out of 5 stars For dedicated readers
I was intrigued by the book's description, yet I had no idea of the work that would be required on my behalf as a reader in order to follow the story. Read more
Published 14 months ago by qponmama1710
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Confusing
This book was a little hard to follow as the writer switches back and forth from the past to the present. I did find the storyline interesting, but not a page turner. Read more
Published 14 months ago by A. Mcintyre
2.0 out of 5 stars Book review
Started this book but could not finish they get into the weeds on some aspects and it seems to drag. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Michelle Shinn
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More About the Author

Orna Ross is an author-publisher. She writes stories, poems and the Go Creative! books and has been named "one of the 100 most influential people in publishing" (The Bookseller), for her work with The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). A long-time teacher of creative and imaginative practice, Orna lives in London and writes, publishes and teaches around the globe. She has a dedicated belief in the power of the published word to transform and liberate. When she's not writing, you'll probably find her reading.

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"My NOVELS usually take the form of family-based dramas. Often they are historical fiction and usually there's a murder mystery or other buried secret from the past causing chaos in the present. I enjoy writing emotional twists and surprises around big themes -- identity, family loyalty, truth, sex and death, the struggle between freedom and belonging.

My POEMS are simple and accessible and tend towards the inspirational. I think everyone should read a poem a day (keep a poetry book in the bathroom is my advice).

My NONFICTION is about applying the creative process to everything in life. We've all been educated to neglect our creative capacities -- a big mistake, as the Creative Age overtakes the Information Age. Thankfully, like any other muscle, creative ability is strengthened by being flexed and used. The 'Go Creative!' books show how to become more creative.


#1: HISTORY: I agree with Mr Hartley that the past is, indeed, another country and it's my favourite place to travel -- reading and writing historical fiction is my favourite thing to do. I'm especially drawn to bohemian times and places where shackles are thrown off and creativity flourishes -- fin de siecle Paris (1890s); literary revival and revolutionary Ireland (1910/20s); hippy (1960s) and gay lib (1980s) San Francisco...

#2: GENDER: I write the kind of women's fiction that explores what it is to be a woman, in various times and places. But I think both men and women have feminine and masculine dimensions. We are all seeded by man and born of woman and we all carry 'male' and 'female' characteristics. How these play out, in an individual life and in different societies, is endlessly fascinating to me.

#3: IRELAND: I don't only write about Ireland but it is a strong influence. Because so many millions have emigrated from there, its stories reach beyond its own shores. There is always a particular flavour to Irish writing and readers tell me they experience in my books too.

#4: THE SEA: Everything I really needed to know, I could have learned by watching the waves.

#5: THE SPACE BETWEEN THE WORDS. About which the less said, the better.

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