4.5 Stars. Characters and a story that will stay with me.
Small-town Canada in the seventies, twenty-two year old Trudy works the night-shift in a factory sewing pillowcases while by day she, along with her mom, raises Trudy’s five year old niece, Mercy. Though devoted to her niece, life is mostly uneventful drudgery for Trudy, until the arrival of a low-rent Evil Knievel named Jules.
I could have happily stayed in the heads of Mercy (precocious, heartbreaking, adorable) and Trudy (my kind of world weary) throughout the course of the book, but I really liked the decision to spend time with each character, to be given such an intimate understanding of them, especially those whose actions were so much different from how my own would be in their shoes. For a short book, it felt like it had a tremendous amount of depth and I feel like that mostly stems from the care put into crafting the characters, how they’re all dealing to some degree with restlessness, loneliness, and regret, yet the way each handles those emotions is so fascinatingly distinct and personal to who they are.
Another thing I really enjoyed here is the tone, it hit this entertaining sweet spot between quirkiness and realism, and humor and despair. Maybe that balancing act won’t work for every reader, but to me, it felt a lot like life.
I received this ARC through the ECW Insiders program.