After They Go

A large family saga set in a small tourist town — One sister chained by family tradition, the second stunted by her sister’s shadow, the youngest propelled by desperation.

Find it at your local bookstore / click for the kindle / add it to your Goodreads shelf.

“Mercer’s story is set in a struggling tumbleweed of a beach town, with one family at its center. Passing time is marked by emotionally traumatic or uplifting events, which are exceptionally well conveyed through Mercer’s delicate plotting. Mercer’s prose flows through this beach town family saga quite smoothly and evocatively. Meticulous descriptions capture circumstances both mundane and exceptional–death, loss of innocence, proclamations of love, starting over, and rebuilding broken lives.Characters are intricately woven, unique, and relatable.”  — The BookLife Prize


“…Mercer’s prose is lucid and her themes of redemption and reinvention are resonant…” — Kirkus Reviews

“Mercer’s prose is solid, evoking a strong sense of character and place that adds intensity and texture to the narrative. . . Gwen’s and Betta’s storylines will appeal to fans of women’s fiction, while Ez’s narrative will satisfy those looking for a coming-of-age story. Overall, readers who enjoy family sagas will find After They Go an engaging read.” —

“…each character has a very distinctive voice. Pulling them all together, the author has created an unconventional, emotional story of family…” — The British Bookworm

“The characters in AFTER THEY GO might be fictional, but their reality is palpable.” — IndieReader Discovery Awardsan IndieReader approved novel

“J. Mercer did nothing but impress me throughout the entire novel with her raw emotion, imagery, and how she completely exposed her characters down to the bone – even when it wasn’t in a positive way.” — Jennifer Thomason, Dandelions Inspired


“A compelling family saga of love, family, and tradition.”

“Mercer has a beautiful way with words that draws you in and makes you feel the love, heartbreak, and struggles the characters endure throughout their journeys.”

“This story has twists and turns that I did not see coming and kept me interested from beginning to end.”