Ben and Maggie are an estranged couple. The unthinkable happened - their small son Frankie died in a tragic accident. But that accident was preventable - and both parents are more than aware of that. How do you carry on living after such a death? And this is what Livingston explores in The Crooked Heart of Mercy - loss, love, redemption and salvation.
The Crooked Heart of Mercy is told in alternating chapters from both Maggie and Ben.
Relationships of all sorts are explored in the novel - spousal, parental, fraternal, and many more. Ben and Maggie both have brothers and they too are struggling to find their way in life. Well, not just them - every character in the book is having a hard time. Most of them are marginalized - wounded or broken in one way or another - substance abuse, loneliness, isolation, aging, health and more. I found myself feeling incredibly sad as I read. And yes, the book heads towards that redemption and salvation ending, but even when I reached the last page, I couldn't shake the sadness. The sadness that comes with the repetition of the phrase...."We'll survive. That's what we do." And yet, that's what we all do, isn't it? Read an excerpt of The Crooked Heart of Mercy.