A Mercy Hardcover – Nov 1 2009
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|Hardcover, Nov 1 2009||
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“A powerful tragedy distilled into a small masterpiece of the relationship between a mother and a daughter, difﬁcult choices and future ramifications.”
— National Post
— The Vancouver Sun --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. She is the author of many novels, including Sula, Song of Solomon, and Beloved. She has also received the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize for her fiction. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Comments: The time is 1680, the place is colonial America. This is the story of four women: Rebekka, an English girl sent to America as a wife whose family paid a monetary dowry; Florens, a black slave child (later woman) who is traded in exchange for partial payment of a debt; Sorrow, a European (Irish I find myself thinking for some reason) foundling coming to womanhood who is given as a gift to protect her from the growing boys in her current household; finally Lina, another child (later) woman who remembers vividly some small parts of her Native American life before she is sold and paid for. All these women belong to a man who doesn't believe in slavery, who despises those who does. He is a fairly decent, kind man but ultimately wants to have the riches of those he despises. But most of all, as the jacket flap states: "A Mercy reveals what lies beneath the surface of slavery. But at its heart it is the ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother who casts off her daughter in order to save her ..."
The story is told in many voices: all the woman have their turn (some many times), the man behind the women and the farm hands. The story is told in a progressive forward movement but also slips into flashback scenes to give backgrounds to the characters. In such a short book, this becomes quite confusing at times. I spent a large majority of the time not knowing who was speaking until halfway through their narrative. Generally, I enjoy switching points of view and flashbacks but the book was just too short for me to get a grasp on anything really substantial.Read more ›
Jacob is a trader who takes a small slave girl- Florens - in partial payment for a debt. The mother of the child begs him to take the girl, not herself. It is this act that has consequences for all the lives that are intertwined with that of Florens'. Florens joins Jacob's wife Rebekka, Lina, a servant and Sorrow, an indentured young woman, at their hardscrabble farm. Scully and Willard are also hoping to buy their freedom. Florens yearns for the blacksmith, an African who has never been enslaved.
Life at this time in history is defined and described from the viewpoint of each of these characters. Each character is enslaved to something in this new world - an owner, religion, wealth, desire and memory. The most poignant voice is that of Floren's mother. The last chapter of the book belongs to her and it ends on a powerful note.
Toni Morrison has a gift with words. Although it is tempting to read straight through to the end, I always take the time to savour and enjoy the language she uses.
..."especially here where tobacco and slaves were married, each currency clutching it's partner's elbow".
Toni Morrison is an amazingly gifted writer, having won both a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize. If you haven't experienced her yet, I encourage you to pick up any of her books.
Most recent customer reviews
I am reading a series of books for a university course and I was not impressed with the seller of this item! Read morePublished on Oct. 12 2010 by Janina Kulik