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A Mercy
A Mercy
Author: Toni Morrison
A powerful tragedy distilled into a jewel of a masterpiece by the Nobel Prize winning author of Beloved and, almost like a prelude to that story, set two centuries earlier. — In the 1680s the slave trade was still in its infancy. In the Americas, virulent religious and class divisions, prejudice and oppression were rife, providing the fert...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780307276766
ISBN-10: 0307276767
Publication Date: 10/13/2009
Pages: 224
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.

3.1 stars, based on 35 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 1
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reviewed A Mercy on + 266 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
To read a story, to wonder if you're catching all the details, to think about the story long after you've put it down, to appreciate the depth of the characters and their tragic situations is to read Toni Morrison. A Mercy is no exception. This story is about four women struggling to survive being female during the 1860's in the Americas. Dependance upon men was crucial. Slavery for natives and blacks was becoming a way of life and survival...for some. But who were the true slaves? So many interesting questions were raised in this story -- I look forward to meeting with my bookclub about this one!
reviewed A Mercy on
Helpful Score: 3
Only 167 pages long, A Mercy is a much easier read than Beloved, but doesn't have the narrative pull of Song of Solomon. The prose is typical Toni Morrison, lyrical and vague. I always feel like I'm missing something when I read Morrison, but that piece almost always gets put into place later in the story - it seems like an afterthought, but of course it's so deliberate. I enjoyed this book, but would have liked more concrete narrative and a more definite plotline.
reviewed A Mercy on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was so hard for me to read. I needed some Cliff Notes to help me along...or and English teacher.
reviewed A Mercy on + 504 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I listened to this book as an unabridged audio and I dont know if it was the narration (read very slowly by the author) or the fact that the voices were done similarly and all in the same painfully slow pace, OR the fact that the chapters and POV switches werent made clear OR, quite possibly that Im brain dead, but I found it very confusing to stay focused.

The story jumped around in both time frame and character and by the time I figured out where (and who) I was following it jumped to someone/somewhere else and I had to figure it all out again. Me brain hurts just recounting it. Honestly, I think I was just too tired to attempt listening to a book such as this at this point in my life. Basically it is a picture of slavery of women of all types and shades and their difficult day to day struggles to stay afloat in a world where they really have no control. It could have been very interesting but . . . it just didnt hook me and I never felt like I got to know any of the characters as well as I would have liked. The details are gritty and the pictures painted are vivid but I guess this one wasnt meant for me.
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reviewed A Mercy on + 1146 more book reviews
Character-driven rather than plot-driven, the genius of this story lies in the distinct voices Morrison has created for each of her narrators. From the struggling young farmer yearning for riches to the black girl he reluctantly accepts as payment for a debt, from the mad castaway taken into his household for pity to the wife he accepted sight unseen, from the quiet slave who mothers them all to the black freeman whose coming unhinges them all, each voice tells part of the story.
reviewed A Mercy on + 29 more book reviews
This book is a bit confusing, but if you stick with it, it will all make sense. It's an interesting read, for sure. It's short, but a good look at early slavery and the life of a young girl caught up in a world she has no control over. Morrison uses several characters to tell the story, in their own way and time. The prose is beautiful, haunting, and painful.