Adventures in Reading

Fiction: A Mercy by Toni Morrison, 2008
September 17, 2008, 11:51 am
Filed under: book reviews, fiction | Tags: , , , , , , ,

“You can think what I tell you a confession, if you like, but one full of curiosities familiar only in dreams and during those moments when a dog’s profile plays in the steam of a kettle.”

Narrated during the late 17th Century, Toni Morrison’s latest novel A Mercy follows the interweaving lives of six characters to deliver the American Dream: a rags to riches story. Exploring the relationships between whites, Native Americans, slaves, indentured servants, etc., all of these characters contribute to the central story line of “Sir” Jacob Vaark an orphan come landowner who aspires to engage and replicate the life of the privileged through investments in slaves and sugar. However, it is Morrison’s tributary stories that give A Mercy its force.

I read A Mercy in one evening and it’s a brilliant book. You can read it for just the intruiging story line but inexplicably themes of race and gender circulate throughout the novel. The four central female characters in particular engage in a complex relationship with themselves, with society, and particularly with love/men. No one writes a book about love like Morrison, who always manages to display this emotion in all of its vivid colors.

Conclusion: Keeper.

Other opinions: Both Eyes Book Blog.



I hadn’t heard of this one yet. It sounds wonderful. I’ve only read two of her books so far, but they were enough to tell that she’s an amazing writer.

Comment by Nymeth

Nymeth: This was one of those freak chance ARC copies that I stumbled across and made a grab at. Morrison is a consistently brilliant author and I really need to get around to reading some of her older works.

Comment by bookchronicle

My friend is reading the ARC at the cafe in the morning. I’m so envious that he actually got one, and the ARC is so neat that it looks like the retail copy. I’m looking forward to reading it. Toni Morrison is coming to speak at Berkeley, I can’t wait!

Comment by Matthew

Matthew: I’m jealous that you live in fabulous Berkely and get the opportunity to see Morrison speak. It’s definitely a superb book.

Comment by bookchronicle

[…] 10 Best of 2008: The Girl on the Fridge by Etgar Keret Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri A Mercy by Toni Morrison First Stop in the New World by David Lida When We Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris A […]

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