a mercy

img_1070I just finished Toni Morrison‘s new novel, A Mercy.   Which was amazing.  Yet I now regret that, while I was reading it, I spent so much time trying to figure out the story.   I believe that if I had just let myself succumb to the effect of the words, the story would have worked its way to me.  Now I want to read it again for what I missed the first time–allowing the words to roll over me unimpeded by my brain’s search for order.  I want to read it again to let the words weave their magic.  “With you my body is pleasure is safe is belonging.  I can never not have you have me.”

For a short review that goes to the heart of A Mercy, I recommend ‘Moments of Grace‘ by Pam Houston

A few of my favorite lines:

About Florens: “Solitude would have crushed her had she not fallen into hermit skills and become one more thing that moved in the natural world.”

About Sorrow:  “In the best of times the girl dragged misery like a tail.  There was a man in Lina’s village like that.  His name she had forgotten along with the rest of her language, but it meant ‘trees fall behind him,’ suggesting his influence on the surroundings.”

About the women: “There had always been tangled strings among them.  Now they were cut.  Each woman embargoed herself; spun her own web of thoughts unavailable to anyone else.”

I have a new rule for myself:  On the first read, I fall in; on the second, I search for order.

One thought on “a mercy

  1. Cindy, your reaction to the book resonates (hehe – I just read your more recent post on the word) with me. While reading, I split my thoughts between figuring out what was happening and berating myself for being so clueless. And in doing so I missed the beauty of her words. When I reached the end, I realized I needed to go right back to the beginning. At least one more time. 🙂

    Also, I’m wondering what you think about the politics in here.


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