Buy This Book: Ronlyn Domingue's The Mercy of Thin Air

In late 2008, I stumbled onto Ronlyn Domingue and her beautiful, ethereal novel The Mercy of Thin Air. Part literary, part women's lit, and part supernatural love story, the novel dances between genres the way its main character slips between death and life. Raziela, also known as Razi, drowns in July 1929, but continues to remain "between," as she wonders what has happened to her lover. The novel moves back and forth between Razi's 1920s past and the lives of the young, married couple she haunts 70 years later. There are fascinating characters in both time periods, as well as those who have spent decades and even centuries between, and the entire effect of the book is like falling asleep on a summer afternoon and having a hallucinogenic dream.

Beyond the high concept and the carefully crafted characters, though, the real treat here is Domingue's flawless, graceful prose. Each sentence is like a poem, and yet not so precious that we don't want to move on to the next. Readers will find themselves caught between wanting to savor the novel's language as well as wanting to turn its pages. There's so much more that I could say about this lovely, haunting novel, but I will stop to let you hear from Ronlyn herself, who took out time to talk to us about her fascinating process. Look at the next post for her inspiring answers to our three questions.

Comments

This book sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing, Kathryn, and thanks, Ronlyn, for stopping by!

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