A Mercy

  • by Toni Morrison
  • 6 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 fertile soil in which slavery and race hatred were planted and took root.Jacob is an Anglo-Dutch trader and adventurer, with a small holding in the harsh north. Despite his distaste for dealing in "flesh," he takes a small slave girl in part payment for a bad debt from a plantation owner in Catholic Maryland. This is Florens, "with the hands of a slave and the feet of a Portuguese lady." Florens looks for love, first from Lina, an older servant woman at her new master's house, but later from a handsome blacksmith, an African, never enslaved.There are other voices: Lina, whose tribe was decimated by smallpox; their mistress, Rebekka, herself a victim of religious intolerance back in England; Sorrow, a strange girl who's spent her early years at sea; and finally the devastating voice of Florens' mother. These are all men and women inventing themselves in the wilderness.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, and of a daughter who may never exorcise that abandonment.Acts of mercy may have unforeseen consequences.


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Toni Morrison

What a gift to have Toni Morrison read her exquisite novel, and to have the pleasure of an interview in addition. How gracious she is as an interviewee, especially given how much of it she must have to do on book tours and so on.

Don't miss this! And even if you've read Beloved on the page, do consider listening to Morrison read that, too.
Read full review

- Judith Seaboyer

Oh, this book

Toni Morrison is one of my favorite authors. This story is stream of consciousness, poetry, beauty, horror, longing and sorrow. The characters have stayed with me. I was engaged and interested every moment. I truly loved this book.
Read full review

- Suzn F "I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-11-2008
  • Publisher: Random House Audio