Mercy House

Inside a century-old row house in Brooklyn, renegade Sister Evelyn and her fellow nuns preside over a safe haven for the abused and abandoned. Gruff and indomitable on the surface, warm and wry underneath, little daunts Evelyn, until she receives word that Mercy House will be investigated by Bishop Hawkins, a man with whom she shares a dark history. In order to protect everything they’ve built, the nuns must conceal many of their methods, which are forbidden by the Catholic Church.

Evelyn will go to great lengths to defend all that she loves. She confronts a gang member, defies the church, challenges her own beliefs, and faces her past. She is bolstered by the other nuns and the vibrant, diverse residents of the shelter—Lucia, Mei-Li, Desiree, Esther, and Katrina—whose differences are outweighed by what unites them: they’ve all been broken by men but are determined to rebuild.

Amidst her fight, Evelyn discovers the extraordinary power of mercy and the grace it grants, not just to those who receive it, but to those strong enough to bestow it.

“Dillon gives us one of fiction’s more unlikely lovable heroines: elderly, dynamic Sister Evelyn, whose tale—and that of her housemates—is as unexpected as it is moving. This is a thoughtful, accomplished debut.”

–Therese Ann Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of A Good Neighborhood


“A life-altering debut featuring fierce, funny, and irreverent women who battle the most powerful institution in the world. This is the book we’ve all been waiting for.”

-Amy Schumer


While fiction and nonfiction author Dillon’s debut novel is heartwarming and easy to read, it never glosses over the history of abuse and sexism in the Catholic church. In an era of #metoo and the publicity of the church’s sexual abuse cases, this work is well researched, timely, and affirming. For readers looking for a passionate, if flawed, lead female character, Sister Evelyn delivers.

Library Journal


Dillon’s stirring, fiery debut pits a fearless nun’s full-throated cri de cœur against the abuses of predator priests and domestic violence…. Dillon balances her protagonist’s righteous anger with an earnest exploration of Evie’s faith and devotion to justice and community service. This uncompromising story will light up book clubs.

–Publishers Weekly


A deeply compassionate story of women supporting others in their deepest time of need, working with and against their own hopes, resources, histories, and prejudices, Dillon's debut novel is heartwarming to its core.

–Booklist