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Mercy, Unbound    by Kim Antieau order for
Mercy, Unbound
by Kim Antieau
Order:  USA  Can
Pulse, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Fifteen-year-old Mercy O'Connor refuses to eat. Angels don't eat and Mercy is sure she is becoming an angel. Her itchy shoulders tell her that her wings are beginning to grow.

Meanwhile, Mercy's parents are getting more and more worried. They take her to a treatment center in New Mexico where she meets other girls who don't eat. Of course, these girls are anorexic. Mercy soon becomes a member of a group of five. The girls are supposed to help one another, but Mercy isn't sure how she can help the others since they prefer to be anorexic.

In spite of her belief that she is growing wings, Mercy has intelligent conversations with her dad, a college professor, and her mother, a district attorney. They've never kept from Mercy that the world is full of famine and tragedy. It's only normal that Mercy would want to ease some of the world's misery and she's sure she can do so by becoming an angel.

When she runs away from the treatment center, Mercy finds herself in Tucson, where extra-terrestrials, spirits, and Indian folklore color daily life. Some residents find Mercy's belief that she is becoming an angel appealing. Kim Antieau's mystical take on a teenager's anorexia is refreshing, but the resolution is much too neat for such a serious illness.

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