Joint winner (with Michael Ondaajte's Anil 's Ghost) of the Giller Prize, Mercy Among the Children is reckoned by many to be the finest Canadian novel of 2000
The novel tells the story of Sydney Henderson and his son Lyle. As a young man, Sydney, believing he has accidentally killed a friend, makes a pact with God, promising never to harm another if the boy's life is spared. In the years that follow the almost pathologically gentle Sydney tries to hold true to his promise - at terrible cost to himself and his family.
“Astonishing... fiercely imagined and brilliantly rendered”
Globe and Mail
“This is a book that is redolent of Annie Proulx in its elegiac narrative, while achieving a depth of touch that feels truthful, individual and glorious”
Scotland on Sunday
“Like Hardy before him, Richards seems determined not only to dignify the inhabitants of his native rural community, but to give them a universal significant as well”