Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf
Release Date - June 24, 2014
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
Ellen Morse, a social worker who has helped remove many children from neglectful parents. Rushing to help two girls whose mother is being assaulted, she makes a tragic mistake that leaves her reeling and puts her future on the line.
Jenny Briard's grown up moving from location to location as her father finds new jobs and loses them just as quickly. Something happens and Jenny ends up alone. She winds up miles from her hometown, scared, and struggling with this new environment. One thing is for certain, Jenny will not go back to foster care. When a kindly woman takes her in and presses Jenny to reveal the truth, Jenny is terrified of what will happen. When she falls under Ellen's radar, both Jenny and Ellen face the consequences of choices they've made and the realities of the world around them.
Little Mercies grabs the reader's attention and never lets go. I was drawn from the start and needed to get to the outcome, so it made for a very late night. I've read Heather Gudenkauf's novels before and this one is the best yet.
The tagline of the book "ripped from the headlines" is accurate. There was a case involving a hospital CEO many years ago that mirrors what happened to Ellen almost exactly. I remember that case and wondered "how on earth could something like that happen." Now I've seen it from the other side and finally understand.