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!
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.
This book was so hard for me to read. I needed some Cliff Notes to help me along...or and English teacher.
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.