… there are a lot of kids out there who need somebody to speak for them, and I think you’re just the man to do it.
– Judge Shelburne gives Brady Weller a talking to
Brady Weller’s a disgraced cop who has made a show of draping his guilt atop his shoulders. His marriage collapsed and he never quite figured out how to be a good father to his daughter. Weller installs burglar alarms for a living, and takes his teen out for supper every so often. The two pretend to talk to each other.
So he tries to look after other youngsters instead, as a guardian ad litem – a volunteer legal guardian for children who suddenly find themselves alone.
“I said yes to Judge Shelburne mostly because it was the easiest thing to say at the time, and it took me awhile to see myself as someone who could ever speak on a child’s behalf unless it was my own daughter’s. But I got used to it, and the years passed and it became easier and easier, seemed more and more natural. And then I was asked to speak for Easter and Ruby Quillby, two little girls, sisters, who didn’t have anybody else in the world to listen to them and give them a voice. And now they’d gone missing, and their voices were even harder to hear.”
Author Wiley Cash’s new novel, This Dark Road To Mercy (2014, a New Arrival in Adult Fiction at the Lennoxville Library), is a fabulously written book.
Easter and Ruby’s father, Wade, is a lost soul who abandoned them years ago, but now wants them back.
Wade is trying to rebuild the relationship, saying to his eldest: “You told me you didn’t have a dad.”
“‘I looked at him. ‘Maybe I said that just because I don’t want the one I got.’”
Their father steals his children away. Dark Road is the tale of their flight.
These characters are skillfully sketched, the dialogue echoing its American Deep South setting, all the while acknowledging race and class (the kids will obviously be adopted without trouble: “Y’all are white”).
Weller’s narrative is one of three. Hired killer Pruitt pops in and out, an obsessed psychopath who easily tracks the children (and leaves bodies in his wake).
The third voice here is Easter’s.
This book is for fans of baseball and of Southern Gothic. It’s also for those who seek to delve into the complexities of family, and of childhood.
Do we really want to listen to children?
EVEN MORE NEW ARRIVALS
If you live anywhere in Sherbrooke, a Lennoxville Library membership is free. Pop by and get a card, and start reading…. Here are a few more New Arrivals, adding to last week’s list.
Tom Clancy, Full Force And Effect, and Out Of The Ashes; Philip Kerr, Lady From Zagreb; Donna Leon, Falling In Love; Miranda James, Arsenic And Old Books; Krista Davis, Murder She Barked; Gwen Cooper, Homer’s Odyssey and Loves Saves The Day; Tom Bowman, Dry Bones In The Valley; Mo Hayder, Wolf; Julia Dahl, Invisible City; Liane Moriarty, Husband’s Secret; Allen Eskins, Life We Bury; Marie Kendo, Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up; Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven; Neal Stephenson, Seveneves; Anne Enright, The Green Road; Alex Marshall, A Crown For Cold Silver.; Shirley Rousse Murphy, Cat On The Edge and The Cat, The Devil, And The Last Escape; Nelson Demille, Radiant Angel; Clive Barker, Scarlet Gospels; Jefferson Bass, Bone Sheep.
– Eleanor Brown, June 19, 2015