A Time for Mercy

[A Time for Mercy]
New York
Year of publication: 
480 (hardcover)
Moral assessment: 
Type: Literature
Nothing inappropriate.
Some morally inappropriate content.
Contains significant sections contrary to faith or morals.
Contains some lurid passages, or presents a general ideological framework that could confuse those without much Christian formation.
Contains several lurid passages, or presents an ideological framework that is contrary or foreign to Christian values.
Explicitly contradicts Catholic faith or morals, or is directed against the Church and its institutions.
Literary quality: 
Transmits values: 
Sexual content: 
Violent content: 
Vulgar or obscene language: 
Ideas that contradict Church teaching: 
The rating of the different categories comes from the opinion of Delibris' collaborators

The main character of the novel is Jake Brigance, who made his appearance in earlier novels of Grisham, like A Time to Kill (1984) and Sycamore Row (2013). The setting is in Clanton, Mississipi, and the novel forms part of a collection of stories about small town law practice and its challenges. This particular story revolves around Jake Brigance's defense of a 16-year old who is accused of murdering a deputy who had partnered with his mother. Despite his reluctance, Judge Noose asks Jake to defend the boy, since he considers Jake to be the best lawyer in town. 

Worthy of note are the values espoused by the main characters: compassion for persons in need, pro-life values expressed  in anti-abortion and anti-death penalty statements of some of the characters, the importance of family.  All these are stated in a very natural way that is not preachy. The reader is caught up in the strategy used by Jake to defend the boy. Grisham expertly mixes humor into the gravity of the situation.

Author: Carlos Estrada, Philippines
Update on: Jan 2021