We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
A Mercy | [Toni Morrison]

A Mercy

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.
Regular Price:$23.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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.

©2008 Toni Morrison; (P)2008 Random House Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (216 )
5 star
 (80)
4 star
 (50)
3 star
 (40)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (22)
Overall
4.0 (62 )
5 star
 (24)
4 star
 (18)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (2)
Story
3.8 (62 )
5 star
 (27)
4 star
 (13)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Pablo Merion Station, PA, USA 01-18-09
    Pablo Merion Station, PA, USA 01-18-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great book"

    Magnificent book from Toni Morrison. A story about love and betrayal in the late 1600s. A story told from multiple points of view. Morrison uses stream of consciousness for most of the book, what reminds me of Faulkner and "The Sound and The Fury". Not an easy book to read because until you finish it you really do not get the whole story: literally until the very last sentence of the novel.

    I think this book is easier to read that to listen to, because each chapter is narrated by one character, and in the audiobook version the separation between chapters is not clear. Toni Morrison has a wonderful evocative voice, but she does not try to change it for each character of the novel, relying only for identification of each of them on the different way they express themselves. The makes the audition confusing, at least initially. I ended up reading the book on paper at the same time that I was listening to Toni Morrison's voice, and then I was completely hooked on the book.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 12-28-08
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 12-28-08 Member Since 2005

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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2438
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    712
    164
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1028
    20
    Overall
    "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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre New York, NY, United States 02-19-09
    Andre New York, NY, United States 02-19-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    92
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    209
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    "Read the Book"

    This book keeps showing up on Top 10 lists...however, Morrison's reading reduces the audiobook to several hours of indistinctive blah-blah. Characters blur together. Paragraphs lack distinction. Why didn't someone do Ms Morrison a favor and tell her that she's not a gifted reader. (A writer, yes...a reader, no) Here's a case where I wish I had read the book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Flapjack 12-01-09
    Flapjack 12-01-09 Member Since 2007

    Flapjack Jones

    HELPFUL VOTES
    126
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    331
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Hard to follow as an audiobook"

    I suspect this may be easier to follow in print. The point of view changes constantly from one character to another without notice. After a few paragraphs I would realize it was a new person. Perhaps it is to depict the scattered nature of memory? I had to give it up. An audiobook needs a strong, clear narrative for me to follow.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Seaboyer 11-23-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    122
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    214
    28
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    1
    Overall
    "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.

    15 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amelia Ingersoll 04-06-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Beautiful story, beautiful read"

    Thank you Toni Morrison for writing this heart-wrenching yet beautiful story of these oh so real people. I have now a deeper understanding of slavery, and of loyalty. I listened twice and loved your voice. This is now on my list of favorites.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara Rosemount, MN, United States 04-14-09
    Sara Rosemount, MN, United States 04-14-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    28
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Hard to Follow!!"

    I listened to the first 90 minutes and had to stop, the narrator was so hard to follow she was very monitone and I just could not visualize the picture she was trying to portray.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Vancouver, BC, Canada 03-11-09
    Karen Vancouver, BC, Canada 03-11-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    190
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "BOOK GREAT, READING SO-SO"

    This is my new favourite Morrison novel. Compelling characters, deeply empathic engagement with each of those characters. Ample stylistic exploration without cutesy tricks. But Morrison's reading of her own novel is strangely sporadic, consisting of short phrases, disconnected. She sounds like she may have emphysema or something. Very distracting. Further, while her experessiveness, apart from the tic mentioned above, is fine, books narrated by actors capable of making the characters distinct work better in this medium.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Treutel 12-04-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Couldn't get through it"

    The author is the reader of this book, and she's simply horrible. Further, I remained confused about characters and the theme. I listened to two hours of the book, and gave up. I have been a member of audible for over a year, and this is only the second book I could not finish.I'm upset I wasted my credits.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Washington, DC, USA 02-21-09
    Elizabeth Washington, DC, USA 02-21-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Exquisite"

    Toni Morrison's language is exquisite; her characters heart-wrenching and her theme of betrayal universal. The interview with Ms. Morrison that follows the book is fascinating as she describes her exhaustive reasearch and personal motivation to write A Mercy. This is a book that will stay with me, read by one the world's great authors.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 23 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.