Fairfield University MFA Creative Writing alumna Alena Dillon will be at the Downtown Fairfield University Bookstore Thursday evening, March 19, with her debut novel, “Mercy House.”
“Mercy House” (William Morrow, An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers) tells the story of three nuns who run a shelter for victims of domestic violence.
Dillon’s work has appeared in Slice Magazine, The Rumpus and Seventh Wave, among others. She lives on the north shore of Boston with her husband, son and their black labrador, Penny.
Copies of “Mercy House” will be available for purchase/signing at the Downtown Bookstore event.
Here’s a look at the story:
Inside a century-old row house in Brooklyn, renegade Sister Evelyn and her fellow nuns preside over a safe haven for the abused and abandoned. Gruff and indomitable on the surface, warm and wry underneath, little daunts Evelyn, until she receives word that Mercy House will be investigated by Bishop Hawkins, a man with whom she shares a dark history. In order to protect everything they’ve built, the nuns must conceal many of their methods, which are forbidden by the Catholic Church.
Evelyn will go to great lengths to defend all that she loves. She confronts a gang member, defies the church, challenges her own beliefs, and faces her past. She is bolstered by the other nuns and the vibrant, diverse residents of the shelter—Lucia, Mei-Li, Desiree, Esther, and Katrina — whose differences are outweighed by what unites them: they’ve all been broken by men but are determined to rebuild.
Amidst her fight, Evelyn discovers the extraordinary power of mercy and the grace it grants, not just to those who receive it, but to those strong enough to bestow it.
“A life-altering debut featuring fierce, funny, and irreverent women who battle the most powerful institution in the world. This is the book we’ve all been waiting for.” said comedian /actress Amy Schumer.