In Canton, Texas, Mercy's dreams of a different life than her mother's are postponed by harsh circumstances, including the influenza epidemic of 1918-19, which forces her into doing domestic work for a loving, if troubled, family.
A courageous young woman comes of age in the midst of an historical tragedy, from the author of Dark Water Rising.Mercy Kaplan doesn't want to be like her mother, saddled with crying kids and failing crops for the rest of her life. Mercy longs to be on her own—until her wish comes true in the worst possible way. It is 1918 and a deadly flu epidemic ravages the country, leaving her utterly alone and penniless. Mercy soon finds a job with Mrs. Wilder. But there's something unsettling about the woman, whose brother died under mysterious circumstances. And then there's Daniel, who could sweep a girl off her feet if she isn't careful.“The history—of the epidemic and of early feminism—creates a dramatic story, and Mercy’s personal struggle for independence is universal.” —Booklist“Mercy tells her story in a gentle, cadenced voice filled with youthful hope, simple wisdom and gritty endurance. Perfect similes capture the flavor of Mercy's bittersweet life during the epidemic of 1918.” —Kirkus Reviews