Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Book Review: The Mystery of Mercy Close

Some authors I have just recently discovered and have devoured their books like a hungry hippopotamus.  Marian Keyes, however, is an author that I have spent a great deal of time with over the years.  I feel like I've gotten to know her bit by bit, through the characters in her novels and the subject matter that she discusses within each. 

It was some time in high school when I picked up Sushi for Beginners off of the library shelf.  For my first international trip, I picked up Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married in the airport gift shop.  I can't pinpoint exactly what it is about her writing that I enjoy so much - I just do.  A while back I wrote a blog post about another of her books, The Brightest Star in the Sky and how I kept it on a shelf for over a year, not wanting to read it for fear that she wouldn't be coming out with another book.  Following her newsletters, I knew that she was dealing with a horrible case of depression (what case isn't horrible, though?), so much so that she wasn't even the ones writing the newsletters.

But here we are, with The Mystery of Mercy Close.  I had to wait longer than I wanted to read it because since she lives in Ireland, her books here in the US cost more.  But finally!  The library had a copy available!  I felt giddy after placing the call to the library and successfully placing my hold on this copy!

Helen Walsh has just lost her apartment and has moved back home with her parents.  She rarely gets to see her boyfriend, because he has children.  Also, he's way too friendly with his ex wife.  Right after her shameful move back home, Helen gets a job offer to help find a high profile former pop star.  She is, after all, a private investigator.

This isn't like all of the other "who done it?" books out there.  Under the surface of the hunt for the missing boy band member is Helen's struggle with depression.  Throughout the book, she tells us more about her past and how depression has haunted her.  I almost felt as if Marian herself were speaking, telling me her darker fears.  Another of her books, Watermelon, discusses alcoholism, which she openly admits to having.

Although I did guess the ending before the end, I still enjoyed this book very much. I hope that Marian continues to write, and that she has been able to find some light within the murk of her depression.

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