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On the day that Jacob agrees to accept a slave in lieu of payment of a debt from a plantation owner, little Florens' life changes. With her intelligence and passion for wearing the cast-off shoes of her mistress Florens has never blended into the background and now at the age of eight she is taken from her family to begin a new life. She ends up part of Jacob's household, along with his wife Rebekka, Lina their Native American servant and the enigmatic Sorrow, who was rescued from a shipwreck.
Together these women face the trials of their harsh environment as Jacob attempts to carve out a place for himself in the brutal landscape of the north of America in the seventeenth century.
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Morrison is at the very height of her powers - Daily Mail
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
Varied and authoritative and frequently beautiful - New Yorker
For all its restraint, and its sinister stealth, A Mercy is a furious novel, a volley of anger, contempt and sorrow... the rich and seemingly casual evocative accretion of background and narrative slowly tightens its grip until the reader is utterly in thrall - Herald
The very act of reading the novel is to engage in the process of 'rememory', the ongoing reconciling of past with present that Morrison defined in Beloved and that haunts all her work. It is a challenging, disorientating way of reading and as soon as you finish A Mercy, the novel demands that you start it again - Scotland on Sunday
Emotions run deep and twisted in Morrison's fiction; and their outcome is superbly traced in this powerful, flawed and genuinely creative novel - Sunday Telegraph
Morrison's prose is confident and secure, her language masterful...This is another penetrating and profoundly disquieting view of America's past - Historical Novels Review
Magnificent - The Sunday Times
In this short, suspenseful novel, the narrative is passed from one character to another... Deep currents of lust, love and grief sweep all before them in lyrical prose that insists on being given free reign. - Guardian
An intricate bland of harsh reality and haunting parable; its power and lyrical beauty make it a worthy successor to Morrison's masterpiece, Beloved. - Observer
The power of Morrison's writing comes partly from her subject matter, but when that is married to such convincing and sagacious prose, it is incomparable. - Herald
Though omitted from this year's Orange Prize shortlist, there is much in this novel that is excellent - Daily Telegraph
Though omitted from this year's Orange Prize shortlist, there is much in this novel that is excellent - The Telegraph Review
An enduring, evocative read which carefully weaves fragmented, personal experiences into a layered, ambivalent narrative about slavery and the price of freedom - Irish Times
Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. She is the author of many novels, including The Bluest Eye, Beloved (made into a major film), Paradise and, most recently, Home. She has also received the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize for her fiction.