03 July 2006
I found The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue on the bargain shelf at Barnes & Noble Friday night. I was drawn to the lovely simplicity of the cover art and intrigued by the blurb on the book jacket. And at $4.95, the price was perfect for my non-existent book budget. (My financial aspiration is to one day be well-off enough to buy whatever book strikes my fancy.) I was expecting a nice summer read.
What I discovered was a beautifully sculpted work that follows the after-life of a 20's Flapper following her tragic death in 1929 and her intersection with the modern world. Its themes of life, death, love, choice, and regret flow through the multiple strands of the story and seem at times like a philosophical text hidden in narrative. (I used that sentence to describe the book to Miss Parker, to which she replied "Pretentious much?") The book isn't without its flaws and the narrator isn't always likable, but it did keep me reading well into the wee hours of the morning on several occasions, including last night despite the fact I had to be to work at 7:30 am.
I think it is a great pick for those of you who like substance in your summer reading. Especially since you can pick it up for $5.