A Mercy

Toni Morrison

On the day that Jacob, an Anglo-Dutch trader and adventurer, 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 strange and melancholy 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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Shortlist announced - 22 Apr

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