Title: "Mercy"

Author: by Lara Santoro

Publisher: Other Press

Pages: 279

Price: $23.95

In a Nutshell: Lara Santoro, an Italian-born journalist working in Rome and Africa, covered the African AIDS crisis. She has traveled to 22 countries in seven years. Now living in New Mexico, Santoro has written a striking novel that tells the story of Anna, a troubled journalist, and her friend and "house girl," Mercy, as they worry about the millions of people who die and why they can't get drugs to save their lives. When Mercy is struck with the illness, the novel sizzles with intensity. There is a lot of rough language that seems justified by the chaos and sadness that surrounds it.