Mercury

By Amy Jo Burns
A rustic white barn with a contrasting red trim under a clear blue sky, titled "mercury" by amy jo burns, suggesting a tale that may intertwine pastoral life with intricate narratives.
Author: Amy Jo Burns
ISBN: 9781250908568
ON SALE: 01/02/2024

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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.

A woman with long blonde hair smiling softly at the camera, arms crossed, amidst a backdrop of sun-dappled trees.
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, by Amy Jo Burns, is a beautiful, heartfelt novel about the Joseph family of Mercury, Pennsylvania. Burns skillfully employs the omniscient point-of-view as we spend time with multiple characters, exploring what it means to be part of a family, and how the narrative of a family develops and changes over time. We get to know the Josephs intimately—roofer Mick and his wife Elise, and their three sons, Waylon, Baylor, and Shea. But the character who lights up this book is Marley, the woman who will fiercely love the Joseph family and provide a way forward for them all."

Laura Spence-Ash
Author of Beyond That, the Sea
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