Previous Finalists

Book of the Month

A Mercy of Widows by Marcy Lane
Marcy Lane


"A great voice that in spite of the heavy themes, carries a lightness so you root for Heddie and her dog, Fella. Clever and also quite touching." ~ J Marie Rundquist, author of All I'm Asking and As Though You Were Mine

Her heartbreak is real but lack of a wedding ring has left her defenseless. Will grappling with MAID legislation destroy her or bring her peace?

Heddie Wright is a shadow among the living. After her boyfriend's death from cancer, with no wedding ring to mark her loss, she stands defenseless against a world blind to her pain—mourning her lost love alone and unheard. But when she's thrust into a mercy-killing trial, her journey as a juror becomes a path of personal discovery, where each day in court peels back her emotional facade and forces Heddie to grapple with the letter of the law alongside the aching questions of love's endurance and the costs of loyalty.

A Mercy of Widows is set against Canada's Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) legislation, capturing a nation's struggle with ethical dilemmas surrounding life's final dignity. Filled with dynamic dialogue, Lane's narrative combines the gravity of a legal drama with a wry touch of humour, sketching characters who are as flawed as they are fervent.

As secrets come to light, Heddie—and the reader—must consider what redemption truly looks like when peace feels just beyond reach. Echoing the moral complexity of Jodi Picoult and the emotional authenticity of Kristin Hannah, Marcy Lane's narrative is both straightforward and richly compassionate. A Mercy of Widows captures Heddie Wright's transformation from silent grief to a bearer of hope, where true courage lies in facing the past and real endurance is continuing to love amid life’s most profound trials.

What Our Readers Think

This book was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought:
Title: A Mercy of Widows
Author: Marcy Lane

Star Rating: 5 Stars
Number of Readers: 15
Editing: 10/10
Writing Style: 9/10
Content: 9/10
Cover: 5/5

Of the 15 readers:
15 would read another book by this author.
15 thought the cover was good or excellent.
15 felt it was easy to follow.
15 would recommend this book to another reader to try.
Of all the readers, 4 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘plotting a story’.
Of all the readers, 7 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘developing the characters’.
Of all the readers, 4 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘writing style’.
14 felt the pacing was good or excellent.
15 thought the author understood the readership and what they wanted.

Readers’ Comments
“Anybody interested in assisted dying will find this novel memorising. The plotting is excellent, the character development is strong and the suspense in the second half of the novel is top notch.” Female reader, aged 54

“Interesting mix of a woman suffering personal loss and, at the same time, having to face the ethics of assisted dying. Very much a character-led story, this is as much thought-provoking as it is a good read! I enjoyed getting to know the female protagonist and I was rooting for her to find her way through the mess of dilemmas facing her.” Female reader, aged 39

“What a FAB read this is! The author’s adept at developing her characters and offering the reader a tightly plotted story with plenty of twists. The Canada setting is particularly interesting as the laws on assisted dying seem to be very different to here in the UK. Not a ‘fun’ book, but it is thought-provoking and very hard to put down.” Male reader, aged 66

“A challenging subject taken on by a smart author who knows how to tell a story.” Male reader, aged 69

To Sum It Up:
‘A compelling, character-led novel looking at the thought-provoking and often challenging subject of assisted dying. A FINALIST and highly recommended!’ The Wishing Shelf Book Awards

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