Thursday, February 20, 2020

"Mercy House"

Alena Dillon is the author of Mercy House, a LibraryReads and Amazon book of February 2020, and the humor collection I Thought We Agreed to Pee in the Ocean. Dillon’s work has appeared in publications including LitHub, River Teeth, Scary Mommy, Slice Magazine, The Rumpus, The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review, Bustle, and The Smart Set. She teaches creative writing at Endicott College and St. Joseph’s College and lives on the beautiful north shore of Boston with her husband, newborn son, and little black pup named Penny.

Dillon applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Mercy House, and reported the following:
The majority of the book is in third person limited, focused on Sister Evelyn, a, funnily enough, 69-year-old nun who runs a women’s shelter in Brooklyn and is investigated by the Vatican for breaking church doctrine in her operations. But page 69 is from the first person point of view of Lucia, the newest resident of the shelter. We hear from each of the residents in her own chapter, but the majority of the book is zeroed in on Evelyn. Still, the Page 69 test demonstrates how important the voices of the residents are to the novel. Inspired by the MeToo movement, I wanted my characters, survivors of abuse, to have the opportunity to own their stories, which included experiences they shared in common with the protagonist. Therefore, the book itself—Mercy House—acts as a home to these women. And the cover, the front door, invites you to open and enter.
Visit Alena Dillon's website.

--Marshal Zeringue