- Mass Market Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (4 Jun. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099502542
- ISBN-13: 978-0099502548
- Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.1 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 161,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Mercy Mass Market Paperback – 4 Jun 2009
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"Toni Morrison makes me believe in God. She makes me believe in a divine being, because luck and genetics don’t seem to come close to explaining her" (Guardian)
"A beautiful and important book" (The Times)
"Powerful, elemental... The issues Morrison explores go to the root of what humanity is. They could not be more important" (Guardian)
"Left me trembling at the sheer brilliance of its storytelling and the unassailable dignity of its purpose" (Evening Standard)
"So enthralling that you'll want to read it more than once" (Sunday Times)
`Unsettling, exquisitely written, and deeply moving, it's an amazing piece of work' --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
Florens lives and works for the next eight years on Vaark's rural New York farm. Lina, a Native American, who works with her, tells in a parallel narrative how she became one of a handful of survivors of a plague that killed her tribe. Vaark's wife Rebekkah describes leaving England for New York to be married to a man she has never seen. The deaths of their subsequent children are devastating, and Vaark is hoping that eight-year-old Florens will help alleviate Rebekkah's loneliness. Vaark, himself an orphan and poorhouse survivor, describes his journeys from New York to Maryland and Virginia, commenting on the role of religion in the culture of the different colonies, along with their attitudes toward slavery.
All these characters are bereft of their roots, struggling to survive in an alien environment filled with danger and disease.Read more ›
This is a character-focused book which deals with feelings and fears and Morrison's themes of slavery and sexual exploitation. It is evocative and often touching. However I found myself going over many paragraphs more than once trying to understand which of the protagonists was telling her tale at any given point. Three stars because of this major flaw in the novel, but I would have given it 3.5 if I could because the writing is so assured and accomplished otherwise.
The book is written from the perspectives of most of the different characters. This takes a while to get used to as they all have different ways of talking - different dialects. The book also throws you in at the deep end putting it's most difficult to comprehend voice first talking about things you will only understand at the end. So don't give up at the first chapter.
The book is quite female focussed, it looks at the status of women as wives and servants in newly colonised America. It covers a multitude of themes including female identity, slavery, racism and religion. Sometimes it felt like the author could have been more focused on a couple of these rather than try to cover all of them in such a small book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I would love to give this work four stars because I did eventually care for each of the four female characters. However, it is the 'eventually' that was the problem. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Rae Cowie
My first Toni Morrison definitely not the best . A good story but wrapped in a complicated and sometimes confusing telling . Read morePublished 16 months ago by G. Chambers
I confess that I find Toni Morrison's writing quite difficult, even tedious. When I have heard her talking about her work or, even better, when she is reading excerpts from her... Read morePublished on 26 July 2013 by Dr R
A Mercy, first published in 2008, offers a snapshot view into the 17th century psyche, through the lesser-heard voices of the New World women of that time. Read more
Reading Tony Morrison's novel, A Mercy, one gets a feeling that in this rather mediocre novel there is a very good one, if not great, trying to get out. Read morePublished on 3 Aug. 2010 by Herman Norford
A Mercy is the harrowing story of three slaves and their owners in the 1690s. This book left a bitter taste, as it shows man's inhumanity to man at its worst. Read morePublished on 21 April 2010 by Anon
I really couldn't get into this book. I loved 'Beloved', but nothing interested me here - the characters weren't appealing or well-developed enough to make me care about them, and... Read morePublished on 11 Nov. 2009 by Amazon Customer