Historical, Literary Fiction

The Mercy Seat by Elizabeth H. Winthrop

This book is about three sons—Willie, who is on death row and about to be executed; Gabe, the son of the prosecutor who put him there; and Tobe, a soldier in the South Pacific—and about their fathers and mothers. It’s also about race in Louisiana in the 1940s, and about bigotry and grace. It reminded me a bit of Ernest Gaines’ wonderful books, like “A Lesson Before Dying,” “A Gathering of Old Men,” “In My Father’s House” and “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.” Winthrop is not as skilled as Gaines, but this is nevertheless a great book, and will hold your attention. A more complete description appears elsewhere on the Reading Revels blog.


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