Mercy, Unbound


Author: Kim Antieau

Mercy O’Connor is becoming an angel.

She can feel her wings sprouting from her shoulder blades.  They itch.  Sometimes she even hears them rustling.

And angels don’t need to eat.  So Mercy has decided she doesn’t need to either.  She is not sick, doesn’t suffer from anorexia, is not trying to kill herself.  She is an angel, and angels simply don’t need food.

When her parents send her to an eating disorder clinic, Mercy is scared and confused.  She isn’t like the other girls who are so obviously sick.  If people could just see her wings, they would know.  But her wings don’t come and Mercy begins to have doubts.  What if she isn’t really an angel?  What if she’s just a girl?  What if she is killing herself?  Can she stop?

Funny and painfully honest, this debut novel by the author of several adult books tells the teenage anorexia story from the viewpoint of Mercy, 15, who denies she has an eating disorder until she is sent to a treatment center in New Mexico.   Like her loving mom, Mercy is a strident atheist who wants to save the world, and she feels the political burden of starvation, both past (her Jewish grandmother survived Auschwitz; many in her dad’s Irish family perished during the potato famine) and present (the suffering of AIDS orphans).

Aiming toward a readership in grades 9-12, the teen talk in this book is fast, frank, and irreverent.

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