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An idealistic couple, Teddy and Jessie Carlls, former activists in the civil rights movement in the 1960s and deeply committed to racial tolerance and equality, live with their children as virtually the only whites in a black development. When Teddy's racist sister and her husband are killed in an automobile accident, the Carlls are named as guardians of their two children--budding racists in their own right--and the expanded family finds it necessary to move. Teddy and Jessie reluctantly move to a larger house in a white, middle-class neighborhood. The novel focuses on Jessie's desperate efforts to help her in-laws' children adjust both to their loss and to the atmosphere of racial tolerance the children must confront in their new family.
Laura and Dan Courser are a less than perfect, but deeply passionate couple with two young children and lots of plans. Until Dan, displaying the boyish bravado that made Laura fall in love with him, takes the tiller of a boat he can't handle and causes the accident that changes their lives forever. Suddenly there are no more ordinary days or nights, as two people wrestle with a marriage in which all the rules are changed, confronting the guilt and anger, fear and desire that can tear apart families and lives. some profanity; description of a rape dream; sexual language; some intentional mis-spellings in the book indicate educational and social level TENDER MERCIES In Tender Mercies, the New York Times bestselling author of Before and After creates another heartbreaking portrait of a family in crisis-a haunting, unforgettable novel of love, loss, and healing.
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