Monday, 12 August 2013

Book Review: ‘Blue Mercy’ by Orna Ross

Blue Mercy: A Novel by Orna Ross (2013) ****

Just recently, I came across this book as temporarily free for Kindle (it is no longer free). As I happened to be “between books” it so happened I got started on this one pretty much straight away after downloading it. And finished it in just a few days too.

The story is set in Ireland and California. The main narrator is Mercy Mulcahy, who at the age of 40, back in 1989, was accused of having killed her elderly father. Years later, knowing her own life to soon be over, she writes a book about her life, including her version of what really happened on that fatal night. After her death, the manuscript is left to her daughter, Star, who is at first very reluctant to read it, but finally does. She adds her own comments here and there; and so we get some of the events from her point of view as well.

This is a story with lots of twists and turns along the way. The more you learn, the more complicated it gets. It is at the same time a psychological thriller, and a love story covering several different kinds of love – and dependence. (Between lovers, parents/children, friends…) It also made me think a lot about how we do tend to change our perspectives over a lifetime; and I found quite a few quote-worthy passages.

All in all I found the book intriguing enough to keep reading in spite of several minor “typo” kind of errors throughout.  It does annoy me though, when an otherwise good story obviously has not been sufficiently proofread before publication. (It seems to me this happens frequently with self-published books.)

I think I still have to give this book four stars, even with the typos. I also have some difficulties making up my mind what I think of the story and narrative technique as such. But the fact that it makes me argue with myself should probably be weighed in its favour!

The author Orna Ross is a London based Irish writer. Formerly a features journalist, lecturing in Creative and Imaginative Practice at University College Dublin (WERRC), in 2012 she founded The Alliance of Independent Authors. New to me, but I find this is not her first novel. I might consider trying another one by her some day. But I’ll leave it to Time to prove whether that thought will stick in my mind or not!


Time has sliced itself up since my mother died five days ago, and keeps shuffling itslef like a deck of cards in my hand.

When sorrow sours your milk, it’s time to make cheese. A very Irish way of saying: count your blessings.

I still think of myself as living, not dying.

Each I-twist oand if-only turn of my mind only tightened the tie I longed to loose.

There is no what-might-have-been, there is only what-is.

You can’t command the ocean, or strap up the wind, but you can observe them, you can get to know them.




  1. i have downloaded many books, that were free for one day only... out of over 200 books, i have only spent a total of 38 dollars in the months since i got the kindle, and that was a total of a lot of books since most of the paid books were 99 to 2.99. the most i paid for 4 dollars. i check many times a week for new free books, because it changes daily.

    1. Yes, I've found quite a few of those too (Kindle books free for one day only) thanks to YOU sending me the link to - I've downloaded a lot more than I've actually had time to read! I also often check out the Daily Deals and the Monthly Deals.

  2. i just checked to see when I got the Kindle and it was Sept 2012, in two weeks will be a year... doesn't seem that long.

  3. Love the sour milk quote, it reminds me of when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! This book DOES sound very good!!! The whole question you would wait to hear is why did she kill her father, maybe euthanasia?

  4. This one sounds like a possibility for my list Monica. Perhaps....


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