Mercury

By Amy Jo Burns
Author: Amy Jo Burns
ISBN: 9781250908568
ON SALE: 01/02/2024

Buy Now

ISBN: 9781250908568
ISBN: 9781250908575
ISBN: 9781250338990
Hardcover

A roofing family’s bonds of loyalty are tested when they uncover a long-hidden secret at the heart of their blue-collar town—from Amy Jo Burns, author of the critically acclaimed novel Shiner

It’s 1990 and seventeen-year-old Marley West is blazing into the river valley town of Mercury, Pennsylvania. A perpetual loner, she seeks a place at someone’s table and a family of her own. The first thing she sees when she arrives in town is three men standing on a rooftop. Their silhouettes blot out the sun.

The Joseph brothers become Marley’s whole world before she can blink. Soon, she is young wife to one, The One Who Got Away to another, and adopted mother to them all. As their own mother fades away and their roofing business crumbles under the weight of their unwieldy father’s inflated ego, Marley steps in to shepherd these unruly men. Years later, an eerie discovery in the church attic causes old wounds to resurface and suddenly the family’s survival hangs in the balance. With Marley as their light, the Joseph brothers must decide whether they can save the family they’ve always known—or whether together they can build something stronger in its place.

Amy Jo Burns Credit Howard Chen, Dreamlite Photography website
Amy Jo Burns is the author of the memoir Cinderland and the novel Shiner. Her writing has appeared in Elle, Good Housekeeping, The Paris Review Daily, and the anthology Not That Bad. A western Pennsylvania native, she now lives in New Jersey with her family.

Praise for Amy Jo Burns

“Poignant… Though the book covers only nine years, there’s something epic about the love story at its heart.”

Mary Beth Keane

“Amy Jo Burns straddles genres in the family drama, finessing them all.”

The Minneapolis Star Tribune

“With clear, luminous prose, able to plumb the complementary and contrasting depths of masculine and feminine energy, emotion, and ambition, Mercury is a delight.”

Booklist

“Well-drawn, engaging characters and a vivid setting make this is a compelling study of family dynamics.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Once again, Burns delivers a satisfying portrait of life on the margins.”

Publishers Weekly

"Mercury pushes the family saga into a deep, rugged, beautiful territory that astonished me.

This novel refuses to villainize or deify any character, but complicates and confronts the contradictory truths that everyone born into or brought into a family is heartbroken, seen deeply, misunderstood, and  loved by one another, all at once. Mercury is a story to be savored and studied on a line level, but also epic in its scope and ambition. I have never read a novel that so generously and intimately reveals each and every character’s deepest wants, most tender scars, and fiercest refusals to stay in the lanes our families steer us into.

Burns shows, in acutely observed moments, the brutality of work and what we have to show for it at the end of the days and years of ache and labor, the realness and depth of young love hanging on through grief, the seismic changes of growing up, and how the moments we are bravest and most vulnerable change our trajectories forever."

Katie Runde
Author of The Shore

Connect with

Celadon

Sign up for our newsletter to see book giveaways, news, and more!