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"Mercury," by Cary Holladay (Crown, $22): It's late one night in the quiet town of Hawk Lake, Ark., and three teens are up to no good. Only after they've broken into a factory and exposed themselves to vats of mercury do they realize how poisonous the silvery substance is. Afterward, Katelynn, one of the trio, finds herself bedridden and lonely. A middle-aged female ship's captain eventually befriends Katelynn after spying her sitting in bed every day, looking out the window. Unforgettable characters take us to the soul of the Arkansas delta and on a journey toward redemption we won't soon forget.
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