Enjoyed the proseDeveloped the characters nicely Would recommend 17 years old girl ,first love, retarded step brother, road trip, Korean War strong story This book is capital G, Good I picked this up on a whim from my local library and boy am I glad I did The story is so fully developed as are the characters Elizabeth Cox just did a wonderful job building this whole world and I am very sad to leave it. Adam Finney, A Young Man Who Is Mentally Disabled, Faces Sterilization And Lobotomy In A State Supported Asylum When He Is Found Dead In The French Broad River Of Rural North Carolina, His Teenaged Stepsister, Jess, Is Sought For Questioning By Their Family And The PoliceJess S Odyssey Of Escape Across Four States Leads Into Dark Territories Of Life And Death Moral Choices Where Compassion And Grace Offer Faint Illumination But Few Answers A Question Of Mercy, Set In A Vivid Landscape Of The Mid Twentieth Century South, Is The Fifth Novel From Robert Penn Warren Award Winning Writer Elizabeth Cox As She Challenges Notions Of Individual Freedom And Responsibility Against A Backdrop Of Questionable Practices Governing Treatment Of The Mentally Disabled, She Also Stretches The Breadth And Limitations Of The Human Heart To Love And To ForgiveJess Booker, On The Run And Alone, Leaves The Comfort Of Her Home Near Asheville, Recklessly Trekking Through Woods And Hitchhiking Her Way To A Boarding House In Tiny Lula, Alabama, A Perceived Safe Haven She Once Visited With Her Late Mother Pursued By A Mysterious Car With A Faded I Like Ike Sticker, Jess Is Also Haunted By Memories Of Her Mother S Early Death, Her Father S Distressing Marriage To Adam S Mother, The Loving Bond She Was Able To Form With Adam Despite Her Initial Resistance, And Her Boyfriend Sam S Troubling Letters From The Thick Of Combat In The Korean War In Lula, Jess Finds, If Only Briefly, A Respite Among A Curious Surrogate Family Of Fellow Displaced Outsiders Banded Together Under One Roof, And There She Finds The Strength To Heed The Call Homeward To Face The Questions She Cannot Answer About Her Stepbrother S DeathThrough Her Vibrant Depictions Of Characters In Crisis And Of The Lush, Natural Landscapes Of Her Southern Settings, Cox Brings To The Fore The Moral, Ethical, And Seemingly Unnatural Decisions People Face When Caring For Society S Weakest Members Grappling With The Powerful Bonds Of Love And Family, A Question Of Mercy Recognizes The Countless Ways People Come To Help One Another And The Poor Choices They Can Make Because Of Love Choices That Challenge The Boundaries Of Human Decency And Social Justice But Also Choices That Can Defy What Is Legal In The Course Of Seeking What Is Right What a beautiful, wonderful book The characters are so true to life that you will feel as though you have gained new friends It tells the story of Jess and Adam, her mentally challenged step brother, whom she adores When Adam drowns in the French Broad River near their home in North Carolina, Jess flees without letting anyone know what happened or where she is headed The reader is carried along on Jess s odyssey and becomes her companion The book contains themes of love, honor, and sacrifice and addresses the issue of mental health care in the 1950 s it presents a character in Jess who is willing to fight injustice no matter the cost Elizabeth Cox has done a commendable job and this book deserves the highest accolades. A well written story, on many levels, about the grittiness and complexity of mental disabilities in the mid 1900s, particularly in the South It s easy to sit back now and pass judgment, forgetting that much was unknown and yet to be understood by even medical professionals during that time Shock treatments and lobotomies seemed almost as common to use as coping measures for particular mental disabilities as C sections are now for convenience In this two hundred page story, Cox crafts every sentence to deeply develop her characters causing the reader to develop a relationship with each one Quite well written.This book ended up on my shelves because of Pat Conroy s desire to mentor and edit new Southern fiction authors and the avenue of Story River Books to publish those original stories. This was an amazing read So well written.When you start, you are immediately drawn into the story You are placed in the heart of Adam s family and his situation You see Adam is a young man who is mentally disabled, He lives with his mom, step dad and step sister, Jess Adam is no longer a small boy and people around are afraid of what he may do For this reason, society is stating that he is to be placed in an institute in a few days , where he faces sterilization and a lobotomy This was the law of society at the time You cannot help but feel for all of the family members and what they are feeling Jess has become very close to Adam and has helped him in many ways They are very close She loves him dearly She does not want him to be sent to the institute, nor does she believe that he should be sent to such a place She believes it is a terrible place for anyone She does not believe that it is right thing to do His mother believes the institute is the best place for him and better than jail, which is were he could end up And of course Adam does not want to go.What is right Sending him to the institute Just because it is the law, does it make it right What other option is there What would you do Cox has created a story about courage, humanity, love and compassion.You will not forget this book It tugs at your heart strings A must read. Emotionally charged and well writtenThis book supplies lots of things to ponder While it is a sad book of love and loss,it offers some hope for better times to come.The writing is so intentional and in many places poetic Her characters are well drawn It s hard to understand how Jess could survive while on the run Her time at the boardinghouse and it s many characters is sweet,sincere and sad all at the same time.II recommend this book, not as a joyful readbut rather as a thoughtful one The hope is to give one a deeper understanding and empathy for those who are different. This is a great read that builds suspense and involvement with the characters who all face heart wrenching decisions and calls for forgiveness in their lives Cox reminds us of the misunderstood innocence of special needs young adults whose presence in our lives can enrich us all if we are aware of the possibilities Beautifully written The last few chapters are especially moving. Too rarely a book comes along that totally pulls you into its pages to the point that it s hard to distinguish the story in the book from your real life This is one of those special books I walked along North Carolina roads with Jess and I mourned Adam s death with her I am still thinking about these characters days after I read the last page and I know that this will be one of those books that I remember for a long time.When Jess s father remarries, his new wife brings her son into their home Adam is mentally disabled and as his body matures, he starts getting into trouble because he is different His mother feels that the only place he can live safely is in a state hospital where the doctors plan to lobotomize and castrate him The book takes place in the early 1950s and this was still the approved method to control the mentally challenged in North Carolina Jess is aware of the plans and is totally opposed because she knows the procedure will cause Adam to lose what makes him Adam After Adam s death, Jess runs away from home looking for peace and acceptance.The novel isn t just about love and family it s about how society cares for its weakest members and how families form not just by birth but also out of love and concern for each other.This is a powerful novel and one that definitely needs to be read and talked about If I could, I would give itthan five stars Thanks to the publisher Story River Books for a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. My first book of Elizabeth Cox It was a lovely read, the book made me cry It s a story of a mentally challenged kid, loved by his family but always misunderstood by many.