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In the sulky summer days of a Virginia Eastern Shore town, a current of guilt and repression flows beneath the placid surface of respectability. In this year after his mother's death, with girlfirend problems and his father's flirting with a new romance, 16-year-old Issac faces not only the mysteries of his coming of age but also the mysteries of a twisted communal past.
A summer job at Chum's Hardware introduces Issac to Crazine Eddie, an acerbic 82-year-old who is outspoken about everything except the string of bizzare vandalisms pulling down big headlines in the weekly paper. Someone is flooding the houses of Rooksville's leading citizens and leaving a signature of painted flames on the walls. a clutch of sell-righteous viglilantes who gather at the hardware store offers a $5,000 reward for the conviction of whoever is responsible--and they have their eyes on Issac.
Issac quickly discovers that small towns where everybody knows everybody else's business often hide the most vicious secrets. A lost ledger at Chum's and the unmoored rantings of the town's recluse about the Klan are the first clues to the unexplained puzzles that swirl like dust motes at the hardware store. By laying bare the stains of history and facing the town's hatemonger, Issac resolves the question of where he belongs in the world.
In this quietly suspenseful story with splashes of manic humor, the eccentrics, the outcasts, the bigots, anf the bores join the human parade. Mercy Creek is a memorable novel by a new voice who deserves to be heard.
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Matt Matthews was born and raised in Hampton, VA, studied in Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University and Union Theological Seminary, and has served as a Presbyterian Church (USA) pastor for over twenty years, currently at St. Giles Presbyterian Church in Greenville, South Carolina. He lives in Greer with his family.Review:
Publishers Weekly (May) writes that Mercy Creek is "an ENTICING full-blown whodunit that succeeds without the usual big twist ending" and "is a FIRST-RATE effort displaying SKILL, SENSITIVITY, and GRACE. --Publishers Weekly
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Book Description Hub City Press, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1891885774
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