On The Changing Seasons And Our Final Book Club Selection

Today’s post by Marybeth Whalen and Ariel Lawhon | @MarybethWhalen and @ArielLawhon


There is something therapeutic–restful, even–about the changing of seasons. And we, at She Reads, are stepping into a major new season. After almost ten years, we will be retiring our book club next month. We’ve shared well over one hundred novels as official selections and we’ve read over ten times that many in the process. (No wonder we have reading fatigue!) This has been great fun and we’re not going anywhere, but we are ready to try something new (more on that in January). For now we are simply going to introduce you to one more amazing novel. And then we are going to rest through the holidays.

Shortly after She Reads was founded I (Ariel) met a writer named Joy Jordan-Lake who would, unbeknownst to me, become a dear friend. At the time I had just gotten the idea for The Wife The Maid And The Mistress and she was working on a novel called A Tangled Mercy. We stayed in contact and, believe it or not, we read each other’s early drafts and offered input. When Joy finished her novel I put her in contact with my agent who loved the book as much as I did. They began working together immediately and it sold shortly thereafter. A Tangled Mercy will be published on November 1st.

Here is what I can say about Joy: she is brave. I respect her immensely. And she is one of the most naturally gifted authors I’ve ever met. It is an honor to call her friend and it is an honor to have her novel, A Tangled Mercy, as our final book club selection. It has everything I love in a story: history, romance, suspense, beauty, impossible odds, bravery, tragedy, hope, and redemption. It is the kind of novel you remember.

We hope you will join us on this last adventure and we hope you love this story too.


Told in alternating tales at once haunting and redemptive, A Tangled Mercy is a quintessentially American epic rooted in heartbreaking true events examining the harrowing depths of human brutality and betrayal, and our enduring hope for freedom and forgiveness.

After the sudden death of her troubled mother, struggling Harvard grad student Kate Drayton walks out on her lecture—and her entire New England life. Haunted by unanswered questions and her own uncertain future, she flees to Charleston, South Carolina, the place where her parents met, convinced it holds the key to understanding her fractured family and saving her career in academia. Kate is determined to unearth groundbreaking information on a failed 1822 slave revolt—the subject of her mother’s own research.

Nearly two centuries earlier, Tom Russell, a gifted blacksmith and slave, grappled with a terrible choice: arm the uprising spearheaded by members of the fiercely independent African Methodist Episcopal Church or keep his own neck out of the noose and protect the woman he loves.

Kate’s attempts to discover what drove her mother’s dangerous obsession with Charleston’s tumultuous history are derailed by a horrific massacre in the very same landmark church. In the unimaginable aftermath, Kate discovers a family she never knew existed as the city unites with a powerful message of hope and forgiveness for the world.

You can get your copy of A Tangled Mercy here.

You can add A Tangled Mercy to your Goodreads list here.

6 Responses to On The Changing Seasons And Our Final Book Club Selection

  1. Heather Bell Adams October 18, 2017 at 10:17 pm #

    I just happened to download this book last week! Can’t wait to read it. And I’m looking forward to hearing what’s next in store for She Reads. Hugs to you both.

  2. Victoria October 18, 2017 at 10:17 pm #

    Just ordered it! 🙂

  3. Melissa Crytzer Fry October 18, 2017 at 10:17 pm #

    I’m reading this right now and was immediately drawn in! Yay. But, boo about She Reads going away (but social media and blogs feel like ghost towns compared to back in 2010…). Can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve next!!

  4. Susan October 18, 2017 at 10:17 pm #

    I was able to pre-order this on Kindle today for $4.99. Good timing! Looking forward to reading it.

  5. Brooke Hughes October 19, 2017 at 10:17 am #

    Thank you both for your thoughtful book suggestions for the past 10 years. Praying for the best for you both and your careers and whatever might be on the horizon for She Reads! Very Fondly ~ Brooke

  6. Betsy Hunter October 20, 2017 at 10:17 pm #

    I love reading your selections! I can’t wait for this new endeavor. 🙂

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