I just finished Wiley Cash’s This Dark Road to Mercy. It is fascinating to me that I read this book on the eve of my graduation in a neighboring town to Gastonia. I knew the places he described. Having taught in high-poverty schools, I also knew the two girls whose story he followed.

His characters are rich and real. They have just as many flaws as I do, which makes me want to read on to determine whether they succeed or fail because I am reading about whether I can overcome my own past.

The crime and intrigue he weaves into these characters and how the girls somehow get caught in between is enough to take your breath away. Their coming of age in the midst of the dangers and fears we have for our own kids makes this story impossible to put down.