This blog is a celebration of novel, novel characters!

I love reading novels, and as an artist I know a great exercise to stretch one's illustration skills is to portray characters from a description in a book. This blog is a challenge to myself to do just that so I'll be posting illustrations from whatever book I'm currently reading. Feel free to add comments and send me your fan art for these great titles too!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Eve from Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock

“Sweet Mercy” is a thoroughly good story.  The 1930’s is a fascinating era to read about, and if you’re lucky enough, a fascinating one to be told first-hand accounts about.  My Grandmother was born in the 30’s and has told me more than once how her mother served the out-of-work men at a picnic bench on the lawn.  Her house was right by the railroad tracks and was one marked for hospitality.  With this bit of family history of my own, it was endearing to me that “Sweet Mercy” started out with Eve as a Grandmother, reminiscing of her youth during this time to her grandson.

Throughout the book, Eve’s thoughts make the story personal, and the activity of her family and life at the lodge they run lead to some exciting plot twists.  When something happens that causes her to never look at life the same again, it’s engrossing to follow along as she deals with her new perspective on life.

As she’s reflecting, trying to make sense of the world, she remembers a time when Al Capone, Public Enemy Number One, showed her kindness and acted as her guardian angel by tending a skinned knee.  It illustrates the question, how can someone be a good person yet do bad things?  It was this scene that inspired the image below. 

In addition to the pondering questions, there’s also some romance, of course!  Usually when there’s romance involved I’m a pretty good guesser on who the main love interest is, usually it’s rather obvious, but this one kept me wondering for a good portion of the story.  I really liked that because it brought me back to the way I felt as a teen when life was so full of uncertainty and possibilities.  Any of the young men in Eve’s life could have been a match, but happily, she ended up with the one I was routing for.  Due to Ann’s skillful writing, I’m sure that was no coincidence.


I was provided a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my two-bits!


  1. I love it! I have this book, but haven't had a chance to read it yet!

  2. I love your pictures of Eve and of Al Capone tending to a boo-boo! You're such a talented artist. Thanks so much for this kind review of Sweet Mercy....delighted to know you enjoyed the story!