Amy Jo Burns gives readers Complex Small Town Characters- that are loveable (to readers and each other)

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Amy Jo Burns does it again- creating wonderfully memorable characters- who are so down to earth, like one of our own- who could be our next-door neighbor- in her new release- Mercury. As we dig deeper down into the lives of the Joseph family- in a small Pennsylvanian town called Mercury- we see them through the eyes of Marley, who appears one day, having just moved to town with her mother- and basically on her own each day- finds a place in the Joseph home.

It is the eldest Joseph boy (of three) who brings Marley into the house first- as she earns a seat at their dinner table. With a mother who is constantly working and never home- these home-cooked meals- are just as important as the relationships she forges with each of the Joseph family members during- and after them (and because of being there during them).

In the end, she becomes one of the Josephs- not just because she keeps their secrets (and not all are secrets she wants to know- or keep), not because she has a child with one of the boys and becomes his wife- but because this is what happens in life- with the people we love- and the people we don't love but are in our life regardless- because they must be there- just as the Josephs took in Marley, in the end- Marley takes in much more of the Josephs-

Mercury opens when the members of the small town find a dead and decaying body (that has been there for a long while) inside the church cathedral. The small town barely has a police force- and the ones they do have to protect and serve are so ingrained with everyone in the community- that it would be hard to hold anyone responsible if something nefarious happened.

Because everyone in Mercury seems connected to another in a deep, meaningful way- even when there is no actual deep, meaningful connection. Is that what happens in a small town? People that you see on a daily basis- but that you barely know- or know through gossip and through old local lore- become akin to family? That's how it seems in Mercury. Because regardless that you know everyone- how well do you really know them?

Amy Jo Burns, with Mercury, gives readers an entertaining tale of simple people with normal- seemingly humdrum lives- and when circumstances happen that seem extraordinary- when you look at them in the total context in which they are presented (or occurred)- there is a deeper meaning found to everything that can or does happen. Even the mystery that is presented as the book opens- when readers get to the end and put the whole situation together- we realize how extraordinarily normal it is- and how extremely sad the whole ordeal is- and was.

I was hooked on Mercury from the first chapter and could barely put the book down- these small-town characters, who barely step away from their family or family home- for even a moment of their lives- how well Burns does- in making them interesting.

And when they do step outside this box- even in the smallest of ways- if they even did it of their own violation- or if they did it for a moment away from the small town life they had- or this one life that they always had (and could never get away from)- for a little excitement- how sad the total picture Burns creates is- when you look at it as a whole. But still- how glorious the strength of these relationships with one another- how envious that these characters have that.

So if you are looking for a book full of extraordinarily normal, down-to-earth characters- striving to remain happy- or find their happiness in their small-town, simple life- with people who seem bound to others and this small-town life- in steel or stone (however they are bound)- without realizing that they have this deep, abiding love for those in their lives- get a copy of Mercury by Amy Jo Burns.

Unforgettable characters with a seemingly simple life- the biggest mystery is that these lives are so complex- that they thoroughly entertain those who join them in their discovery.

Happy Reading!