“Dark family secrets, the lore of the sea, and a tender, protective friendship between women all converge in The Speed of Mercy, an unusual and surprising story set in idyllic rural Nova Scotia. With subtle humour, Conlin picks the locks on the long-closed doors of two families and bares the ugly, painful skeletons everyone knew were there but chose to hide.” — Sylvia D. Hamilton, author of And I Alone Escaped To Tell You
The Speed of Mercy captures the unbearable cost of childhood betrayal and what happens when history is suppressed, our past is forgotten — yet finding the truth can change the future. Christy Ann Conlin rips into the myths and stereotypes about older women and those on the edge of conventional society to reveal the timeless gift of mercy in this feminist tour de force.
“Christy Ann Conlin is a conjurer: of place, people, and the haunting past. I was instantly caught up in the darkly mysterious world and indelible characters she has brought to life. Gripping, suspenseful, and lyrically written, The Speed of Mercy caught me by the throat and didn’t let go.” — Alix Ohlin, Scotiabank Giller Prize–shortlisted author of Dual Citizens
About the author
CHRISTY ANN CONLIN is the author of two acclaimed novels, Heave and The Memento. She is also the author of the short fiction collection Watermark, which was a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and the Forest of Reading Evergreen Award. Heave was a national bestseller, a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book, and a finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, and the Dartmouth Book Award. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals including Best Canadian Stories, Brick, Geist, Room, and Numéro Cinq. Her short fiction has also been longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the American Short Fiction Prize. Her radio broadcast work includes co-creating and hosting CBC Fear Itself, a national summer radio series. Christy Ann studied theatre at the University of Ottawa and screenplay writing at the University of British Columbia. She was born and raised in seaside Nova Scotia, where she still resides.
“[Christy Ann Conlin has] a truly distinctive voice … [The Speed of Mercy] features characters you don’t usually see: older, rural women.”
“Eerie and timeless, this powerful story about trauma, resilience, and finding your voice proves powerfully relevant for 2021 … Conlin shows a remarkable ability to evoke an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty.”
Winnipeg Free Press
“Written with the intrigue of a thriller and executed with the mystical grace of poetry, The Speed of Mercy is a fierce and thoughtful novel about trauma, healing, and the tender covenant made between survivors.”
Quill & Quire
“[Christy Ann Conlin] uses breathtaking prose to explore insidious commodification of women, ruthlessly deconstructing stereotypes of female capability, worth, ageism, and mental illness … The Speed of Mercy is a stunning literary work. Conlin’s writing is nothing short of brilliant, and her ability to create characters who are flawed, mercurial and magnetic is effortless.”
Globe and Mail