“Never underestimate the power of a group of women. Fierce, thoughtful and dramatic—this is a story of true courage." —Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author
She would stop at nothing to protect the women under her care.
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.
Dillon's stirring, fiery debut pits a fearless nun's full-throated cri de c ur against the abuses of predator priests and domestic violence. In Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, Mercy House offers shelter to battered women and girls. A 69-year-old nun named Sister Evelyn ("Evie") cares for them with two other older nuns, Sister Josephine and Sister Maria. Evie will stop at nothing to protect the sheltered women, and when an abuser shows up at Mercy House with a gun, Evie torches him with flame-lit Lysol. After a surprise visit from Bishop Hawkins, who had sexually assaulted Evie when she was a novitiate in the 1960s, she rightfully fears that he will try to use his authority to shut down Mercy House because of the Lysol incident and other infractions. Evie butts heads with Josephine over her decision to help a rape victim get an abortion, and receives censure from Hawkins for performing Reiki, lamenting how little she can do against a church that has always placed women below priests. Dillon balances her protagonist's righteous anger with an earnest exploration of Evie's faith and devotion to justice and community service. This uncompromising story will light up book clubs.