Monday, February 23, 2009

A Mercy

Ambiguity. Reading Toni Morrison’s A Mercy slowly during Black History Month gave me plenty of time to absorb her lyrical language and reflect on her depiction of life in America in the late 17th century. A Mercy presents that time and place through multiple narrators and through the description of setting and feelings in a way that readers can come closer to understanding all the moral ambiguity of the era. One could be opposed to slavery and also participate in its practices. Individuals can yearn for a better life while despairing the present one. One can be subject to the mastery of another while fearing the absence of that master. The language becomes mesmerizing at times, and I found the best way to absorb the story was to relax and take it in, rather than try to over-analyze or think too hard about what was going on. Morrison and her work have been recognized and rewarded. A Mercy adds to her legacy.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)

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