I received an advance copy of Eddie Joyce’s debut novel SMALL MERCIES from Viking, as part of a Goodreads give-away. It sounded like the kind of novel I love – heart-wrenching and compelling, forcing the reader to feel the powerful emotions experienced by its characters. SMALL MERCIES is an elegant rendition of one family’s devastation left by the bombing of the Twin Towers.
The Amendola family.
Bobby Amendola was the youngest of three boys. He was the son who followed in his father’s footsteps, another Staten-Islander who fought fires for the city of New York. Unfortunately, Bobby’s unit was one of the first FDNY responders. And also one which never returned.
SMALL MERCIES examines what it’s like for each member of this family to lose one of their own, and how each struggles to continue a life that would never be the same. How can a mother wake up each morning to the realization that her son is gone and will never come back? How can a wife live every day with the surety that the father of her children will be gone forever? How can two brothers even try to be whole when the third musketeer will never return?
Each chapter is written from the point of view of one of the family members. Each poignantly describes what it’s like to lose an integral part of their existence. And yet, even in the midst of their despair, life gives them small reprieves from their sorrow – small stepping stones which serve to slowly help them cope with a world that will never be the same. SMALL MERCIES.
As I read it, I was blown away each time I thought about this being Eddie Joyce’s first novel. Wow! What talent. If you love novels that poignantly depict those who have suffered through a terrible ordeal, but managed to continue, one day at a time, SMALL MERCIES should be on your reading list.