Reviews

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

In her captivating third novel (after The Gilly Salt Sisters, 2012), Baker vividly renders the small town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire, and its denizens. The tiny burg has long been dominated by the fortunes of the paper mill that is its only industry and inundated by the stink of the Androscoggin River, which carries the factory runoff. At one end of the spectrum lies June McAllister, the well-off mill owner's wife, who doggedly devotes herself to charitable causes, seeking to make her mark on the town for the sake of appearances. On the other end of town is orphan Mercy Snow and her two siblings. They have recently inherited the run-down property of their uncle and are grateful for it. When the locals, led by June, attempt to pin the blame for a school-bus accident on Mercy's brother, she proves herself an adept advocate for his innocence and for their need to finally be able to call someplace home. Melding a rich atmosphere with vulnerable characters and an engrossing plot, Baker once again proves herself to be a first-rate storyteller.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
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New York Times bestselling author Baker (The Little Giant of Aberdeen County) shines once again in her third novel, like its predecessors set in smalltown America. This time, the scene is Titan Falls, N.H., in the mid-1990s-a paper mill town on the brink of economic collapse. Nineteen-year-old Mercy Snow has returned to her family's plot of land in Titan Falls with her older brother, Zeke, and younger sister, Hannah. The Snow siblings have nothing but a rusted-out RV and a reputation for trouble that they owe to their parents and grandparents. One night, a bus returning from a high school trip is run off the road, killing a local girl. Locals blame Zeke, whose crashed car was found not far from the bus. But Mercy knows it wasn't Zeke's fault and is determined to clear her brother's name. The McAllisters, who own the paper mill and therefore run the town, are just as determined to stop Mercy before her quest uncovers the family's long-buried secrets. Baker slowly but confidently unravels a gripping tale of love, justice, and redemption, set in a town where all three seem just a little out of reach. Agent: Dan Lazar, Writers House. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal
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On a cold November day in Titan Falls, NH, June MacAllister, wife of the paper mill owner, feels lucky that her teenage son survived the school bus crash out on Devil's Slide Road. June suspects her husband was involved in the incident but isn't about to let that ruin what she's built in 20 years of keeping up appearances. Instead, June pushes the theory that the itinerant Zeke Snow, brother of Mercy Snow, is to blame. Mercy knows differently and sets out to clear her brother's name by getting townspeople on her side, leading to not one but several long-held secrets coming to light. Verdict Baker's (The Little Giant of Aberdeen County; The Gilly Salt Sisters) third novel deftly conjures the hardscrabble life of a rural New England mill town, rendering the polluted river, the bitter weather, and tensions between mill workers and owners in stark relief. An element of magic runs through the story as well, as the despised Snows reveal their talents with animals, healing, and communing with the dead. Recommended for readers of literary fiction who like stories of rural life and New England history. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/13.]-Nancy H. Fontaine, Norwich P.L., VT (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.