So, I have this really cool friend. Her name is Christy Ann Conlin. She’s an author. I will, for as long as I can, name drop her and the fact that we are friends and I know her family and she likes me. Christy Ann Conlin knows I am a very big fan of her and her writing and a few months ago I was so fortunate to receive an advanced reading copy of her latest effort, The Speed of Mercy. It was all I could do not to tear through it at top speed and promote it to everyone. I had to wait until closer to release date to make sure it was fresh and didn’t generate too much envy in my circles. Well, I am here to confess that I cheated on everyone and read The Speed of Mercy within a few days of receiving it, and as with Christy Ann’s previous works, Heave, Memento and Watermark, I was enveloped in the richness of her language, the images she puts into her works, and the narrative itself. Let me bring you up to speed on this latest novel by one of my favourite people.
Let me sum up my Christy Ann reading experience by saying that I could both read her works cover to cover all in one sitting because of how good they are and because of how tight her narrative is, and I could also take my time, over a few weeks and savour each word and image as it’s presented to me and swim in her stories. I feel that’s an accomplishment few authors have the ability of doing for me. The Speed of Mercy, like her books before it, had me at page one and the grip didn’t let up until it was done. The structure of this story lays out a funny, inspiring, and sometimes disturbing tale of family secrets and folklore and gothic wonder that has heart, brains, body, and soul. Even if it’s a genre that doesn’t speak to you, The Speed of Mercy is a novel that I highly recommend for the local references, the terrific characters, and so many moments that make it present in our lives today. Christy Ann has created a stunning book during a pandemic that is the perfect pandemic book. The characters, the setting, the feel are reflective of our struggling times, and while we stay at home, safe in our blazes, this is a perfect opportunity to support a local author and get lost in a suspenseful, deep, and lyrical tale that will have you chatting long after the last page.
The Speed of Mercy is available through Amazon, and other online platforms as well as in bookstores all over the Valley and beyond. I recommend following Christy Ann Conlin through social media outlets to see about book launches when allowed. Find and read her previous works as summer approaches and let’s all make The Speed of Mercy a book club selection as it’s the perfect piece of literature for analysis and discussion. Bravo to a terrific artist and her equally terrific work of art!
Photo courtesy of Mike Butler.