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Mercy Rule, The: Reviewed

Author:Perri Klass
Reading Level (Conceptual):For grown-ups
Reading Level (Vocabulary):For grown-ups
Genre:Fiction, parenting
Year of publication:2009

The Mercy Rule is a rule instituted in some amateur sports leagues that requires that if one team is so far ahead in points as to be uncatchable by the opposing team, the game is ended earlier than it otherwise might.

In this extremely gentle, wise, moving story, Lucy, a physician who is also a mother and a graduate of the foster care system, unconsciously applies this rule to her family and work life.


Just about every character in the story, no matter how poorly they behave, has a sweetness and realness. For example, Lucy's pre-teenage daughter is mostly embarrassed by her mother and especially by her probably autistic-spectrum brother. And yet, she Does the Right Thing by them when crunches come. It's also the Right Thing in that it's probably not the thing that the mom would think of having Isabel do.

Anyway, if you are having one of those existential weeks, one of those where you know that you are actually a very lucky person, but you are feeling ungrateful and unhappy nevertheless, reading this book might cheer you up a bit. It did that for me.

-- Emily


Other reviews: Mercy Rule, The
 
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