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The Fate of Mercy Alban Paperback – February 5, 2013

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The Fate of Mercy Alban + The Vanishing + The Tale of Halcyon Crane: A Novel
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Webb (The Tale of Halcyon Crane, 2010) has cooked up another confection filled with family secrets coming to light in the Midwest. After her mother, Adele, dies suddenly, Grace Alban returns to the Minnesota mansion she grew up in, with her teenage daughter, Amity, in tow. While going through her mother’s possessions, Grace is shocked to discover love letters written to Adele by a writer named David Coleville, Grace’s father’s best friend, who killed himself back in the 1950s, on the same night Grace’s aunt Fate disappeared. When Grace and Matthew Parker, the handsome minister who presided over her mother’s funeral, discover Coleville’s unpublished novel, they find it to be a thinly veiled account of his time spent at Alban House, his burgeoning love affair with Adele, and a mysterious lady in white haunting the grounds. Grace is further shocked when an ambitious reporter shows up at Adele’s funeral with Aunt Fate, who is very much alive but not entirely sane, and who may be a threat to Grace and her daughter. Magic and mystery intertwine in Webb’s engaging midwestern gothic. --Kristine Huntley

About the Author

Wendy Webb's first novel, The Tale of Halcyon Crane, was the 2011 winner of the Minnesota Book Award for genre fiction, and an IndieNext Pick from the Independent Booksellers Association, a Midwest Connections Pick from the Midwest Booksellers Association and a Great Lakes, Great Reads Pick from the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association. She lives in northern Minnesota with her spouse, photographer Steve Burmeister, and their Alaskan Malamute, Molly. She is at work on her next novel.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (February 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401341934
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401341930
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Wendy Webb is the author of The Tale of Halcyon Crane, a gothic mystery set on an island in the Great Lakes. Her first novel, Halcyon was selected as an IndieNext Pick by IndieBound, the Independent Booksellers Association of America; as a Midwest Connections Pick by the Midwest Booksellers Association; and as a Great Lakes Great Reads Pick by the Great Lakes Booksellers Association.

Wendy is also a career journalist and currently the editor-in-chief of Duluth~Superior Magazine, a lifestyle monthly based in the Lake Superior port city of Duluth, Minnesota.

She is at work on her next novel.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By C. Yates on February 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is nothing quite so satisfying as having some time off work and reading a great book. And when that book turns out to be amazing, well, that is an added bonus. I am thrilled to have found this gem of a story that contained everything from mystery to romance, ghosts to witches and spells. A perfect gothic story set right here in the states and in modern times. Not once did I ever have the secret figured out when I thought I did, and I was kept on the edge of my seat throughout the story. Five stars all the way, and I cannot wait to read more from this author!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mary C. Philp on March 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I read the description of this book I thought it had so much potential. I love stories about old houses, secret rooms and family secrets.This book was such a mismash of story lines that, for me, it got to be silly.It didn't know if it wanted to be a romance, a mystery or a story about paranormal. It just was not appealing nor even remotely believable.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By PatriciaTaylor on April 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Could have been a better read considering the Lake Superior setting and culture of the far north woods. But the actual writing was something out of a high school English class at best. Constant repetition of facts were needless and did nothing to move the story ahead. Characters were hollow
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Loves to Read on February 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved Webb's debut novel, The Tale of Halcyon Crane, and have been waiting for this, her second novel, ever since. I immediately downloaded it the day it published and just finished reading it. Although it held my interest and it was a quick read, unfortunately, in my opinion, this book is not nearly as good as her first. Even suspending belief (since it is a fiction paranormal novel), it's confusing at times and there are too many loose ends. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but will give a few examples of what I mean by loose ends. When the reader knows what's going on and someone is hurt in the house near the end, no one tries to find out what happened to the perpetrator. When the perp does show up later and everyone is in the room together, the protagonist Grace turns her head for one moment and her daughter is gone with the perp. Just wouldn't happen for a number of reasons, the main two being Grace would not take her eyes off her daughter or the perp, and also the daughter would scream if someone started dragging her away. The perp couldn't drag her away that fast, anyway, without someone in the room stopping her. At the end when good overpowers evil, even suspending belief, it didn't work for me. Also, all this time, what happened to the "lads" staying out at the carriage house? No mention was made of them again once they were sent to the carriage house. Then, at the end when the bad stuff was over, a week passed, and then it was July all of a sudden. All this time, where was Harris? Last time we heard, he was waiting for Grace to contact him. She may have, but the reader has no idea because it's not mentioned. Lastly, and this is just a picky thing, but the author uses the description of chills running up and down the spine or through the body, etc. way too much.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Linda Pagliuco VINE VOICE on February 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Grace Alban left her childhood home for college more than twenty years ago, and has never looked back. Alban House, a grand Victorian estate on the shore of Lake Superior, holds too many melancholy memories for her, stemming from the drowning deaths of her younger twin brothers and her father. When her mother Adele dies, Grace has little choice but to return to make funeral arrangements, bringing along her teenaged daughter. From the moment she sets foot in the mansion, she's struck by the sense of being surrounded by spirits. Little does she know......

The Fate of Mercy Alban is a gothic ghost story, which only just misses categorization as romance. The Alban family has buried some very macabre secrets over the generations, and poor Grace, kept in the dark about them until now, must learn all about them the hard way. The novel is populated by some obvious types, such as the loyal family retainers, the elderly aunt who was ensconced in a private institution for the criminally insane, and an understanding and very dishy vicar. Its plot revolves around a manuscript that Grace discovers, which tells the thinly veiled story of whatever happened to Aunt Fate, the twin sister of the evil aunt. Is it fact or fiction? Grace is soon to know the whole truth.

This is a mildly creepy story, one that would probably make a scarier movie than book because of its visual potential. The title is an interesting play on names. It's a fun to book to read, and holds back one last secret till the very last page, which will leave you with food for thought and speculation. And possibly a sequel?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ken on September 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Fate of Mercy Alban is an awesome book, folks and who in the world said gothics are a thing of the past--over ? Wendy Webb seems to have an exquisite knack for the genre. If you think you might like a brisk, atmospheric ghost story set on a wind-swept island, in a huge old house with secret passages, crazy relatives and a sprinkling of witchcraft; you'll absolutely love The Fate of Mercy Alban. While you're at it, pick up Wendy Webb's other book, The Tale of Halcyon Crane, another fine gothic set on an island.
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