Book Review MERCURY

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Oh yes, I did read much of this out with the chickens while drinking a glass of wine!

• Hardcover: 336 pages
• Publisher: Harper (September 27, 2016)

Donald believes he knows all there is to know about seeing. An optometrist in suburban Boston, he is sure that he and his wife, Viv, who runs the local stables, are both devoted to their two children and to each other. Then Mercury—a gorgeous young thoroughbred with a murky past—arrives at Windy Hill and everything changes.

Mercury’s owner, Hilary, is a newcomer to town who has enrolled her daughter in riding lessons. When she brings Mercury to board at Windy Hill, everyone is struck by his beauty and prowess, particularly Viv. As she rides him, Viv begins to dream of competing again, embracing the ambitions that she had harbored, and relinquished, as a young woman. Her daydreams soon morph into consuming desire, and her infatuation with the thoroughbred escalates to obsession.

Donald may have 20/20 vision but he is slow to notice how profoundly Viv has changed and how these changes threaten their quiet, secure world. By the time he does, it is too late to stop the catastrophic collision of Viv’s ambitions and his own myopia.

At once a tense psychological drama and a taut emotional thriller exploring love, obsession, and the deceits that pull a family apart, Mercury is a riveting tour de force that showcases this “searingly intelligent writer at the height of her powers” (Jennifer Egan).

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Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble






Margot Livesey is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Flight of Gemma Hardy, The House on Fortune Street, Banishing Verona, Eva Moves the Furniture,The Missing World, Criminals, and Homework. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Vogue, and the Atlantic, and she is the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.The House on Fortune Street won the 2009 L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award. Born in Scotland, Livesey currently lives in the Boston area and is a professor of fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Find out more about Margot at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.



This book is (well) written in several sections.  I opened it for the first time and had to close it with a SCREAM as the first section is entitled ‘DONALD’.  Lucky for this book reviewer, TLC Book Tours was not asking me to review a book about THAT Donald!  Whew!

I guess a book that starts out making me scream and ends up making me sob is a good one.  Not to commit the spoiler crime – but there is a death scene that had me sobbing for a very personal reason – my mother is ill with Parkinson’s and her demise is very likely to be from the same cause and in the same manner as written so thoughtfully in Mercury.  For that scene alone, I am very glad I read this book.

There are a lot of subplots, as previous reviewers have complained, but I find they were all woven together to create the intricate tapestry of the story.  There are a number of characters but they are all developed just well enough to pique the interest and not to confuse the reader.  My favorite character is the family African Grey parrot, who speaks in Donald’s father’s voice!

Love lost and found, family relationships, crime and punishment, trials and tribulations, poetry and HORSES!  336 riveting pages – not one too many or one too few – I rarely say this about a book!    Ms. Livesey is a very talented author.  I look forward to exploring her other books, of which there are fortunately a good number.

I read, read, read, but do not watch tv and very rarely spend precious reading time watching a movie, but I am moved to say that this story might make a good film – gasp – that is also something I rarely, if ever say!




Tuesday, September 27th: Bibliophiliac

Wednesday, September 28th: The Reading Date

Thursday, September 29th: Real Life Reading

Friday, September 30th: Booksie’s Blog

Monday, October 3rd: Tina Says…

Wednesday, October 5th: Back Porchervations

Thursday, October 6th: Jathan & Heather

Monday, October 10th: I Brought a Book

Tuesday, October 11th: Bibliotica

Wednesday, October 12th: The Book Diva’s Reads

Thursday, October 13th: Art Books Coffee

Monday, October 17th: BookNAround

Monday, October 17th: The Ludic Reader

Tuesday, October 18th: Rebecca Radish

Wednesday, October 19th: Staircase Wit

Thursday, October 20th: Sweet Southern Home

Friday, October 21st: Gspotsylvania: Ramblings from a Reading Writer Who Rescues Birds and Beasts


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Throwback Thursday



Damn.  Throw back – My daughter’s first visit here right after we had moved.


My father’s only visit here – 2011 – with Rudy, ATB now


My friend at House of Puddles – 2012

A dear friend visiting right after Hannah Lee had her back surgery  – also 2012


My godmother and my mother in Florida – 2014


My California daughter visiting here –  2015



All on this October 20th, years ago!



In DoG We Trust

Ma til de



We are bonding

I want to be her best friend

I want her to reach out her arms to me

I can’t wait til she runs up to me

and throws her arms around my knees

I can’t wait til she calls me

to tell me she has lost her first tooth

to tell me she wears big girl panties

to tell me about her first day of kindergarten

I want to hold her when life is not fair

I want her life to always be fair

I want to share her smiles far more often

than I dry her tears

Smiles or tears

I will always be here for her

I am Yaya

and we are bonding

In DoG We Trust

I Hate Math

I have always hated math.

Numbers are not my friend.

I barely made it through Geometry in school,

although I learned new languages with ease.

I love words.

Words are usually my friends.

This week I heard some words mixed with numbers.

Remember numbers are not my friend.

My mother has 3 to 6 months to live.

I hate these words and numbers.

I love my mother and was not ready to hear these words.

I don’t have any more words right now.




Love is Blind



Love is Blind

So is my dog

I tell him I love him with gentle pats and words

He tells me he loves me with his head on my knee

or my shoulder

or my foot

or by standing between  my feet

or by my side

He has to touch me more these days and that’s ok

He cocks his head to listen for me

He raises his nose in the air and sniffs for me

I am grateful he can’t see my tears

I know that he feels my sorrow

and I am working on that

and I am waiting for joy to return to both of our lives

I could take the pain away but I can’t take away the dark

or the confusion

All I can do is love him for the rest of his days

Love is blind

So is my dog




In DoG We Trust

Prayer for Pete



This was my prayer for Pete’s first birthday.

Now that he is eight years old and blind from Glaucoma, I pray again.



St. Francis, please protect my heart dog.

Please ease the confusion blindness has brought to his life.

This dog is a product of irresponsible backyard breeders.

He does not deserve the pain from Glaucoma and his bad hips.

Please guide me in making the right decisions for him.

Please guide the vets who care for him.

Protect and love him all of his days, as I promise to do.

When the time comes for him to leave, please give me strength.

In the meantime, a little mercy, if it is not too much to ask.

His heart is good, even if his eyes and hips are not.

His soul is pure and he does not deserve to suffer.

I pray this with all my heart and my soul.


Pete’s Mom, who rescues dogs and birds and who would take their pain in a heartbeat, if it meant they would not suffer.





In DoG We Trust