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Posted March 29, 2011
There are times when I pick up a book and I am transported to another world. When this happens, I am in a trance and cannot come to until the book is finished. That's how it was while reading MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS. It's unforgettable with it's emotionally charged plot and raw characters. This is the perfect book to give your mom for Mother's Day.
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Posted May 2, 2012
Samantha finds herself on a precipice, her role as mother has be
Samantha finds herself on a precipice, her role as mother has been her end all but now it’s time to return to her work, but her potter’s wheel remains dust covered as she instead breaks open a seal to mementos discovered from her mother who died two years prior. As she goes through the items both foreign and familiar, she finds things from both her mother Iris and her grandmother Violet which opens a new path of discovery for Sam, a discovery of two women who she should have known deeper, a discovery that could lead to answers of how she copes with life, love and loss, a discovery of why her relationship with her mother was like it was, a discovery of how all of these things could have been molded even before she was born and a mystery she now finds she needs to solve.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Iris is dying of cancer and she’s ready to go. Knowing her daughter is coming to see her off on her final journey is both troubling and comforting because there are things that she’s never revealed, things that she knows she should have told Sam, but then the relationship between she and her own mother was always full of things left unsaid.
Violet finds herself a mostly motherless child on the wild streets of New York City at the turn of the 20th century. Her mother unable to cope with Violet or life itself sends Violet on a train that will change her life. From that ride on the Mercy Train Violet will discover things about herself and the world that both please and worry her, the ride will shape her life and her relationships with others even those who should be closest to her, that ride will shape not only her life but the lives of future generations.
Rae Meadows brought me a poignant look at how the past shapes the future, how nature as well as nurture have as much to do with how we live and look at life as anything does. She brings me a story of three women daughter, mother and grandmother who’s lives reflect that beautifully, she shows how the cycle of secrets change lives and not always for the better and how that cycle can be altered by love and enlightening and looking inside one’s own heart. How one woman can learn from the accomplishments as well as the failures of generations past to better not only her own future but the relationship that will evolve between she and her own daughter. She discloses things historically accurate about the Orphan Trains that traveled with unsuspecting yet hopeful children from NYC to our heartlands.
Mercy Train is a mix of historical and contemporary, literary and women’s fiction with a narrative that took me right inside the pages to the scenes created by the imaginative mind of the author, she acquaints me intimately with her characters and kept me reading through chores and bedtime because I couldn’t not know what happens next. However if you’re looking for that read that answers your every question I’m afraid you won’t get that here as Ms. Meadows leaves certain possibilities open to her audience which of course exhilarates this happy ending lover.
Thank you Ms. Meadows, I can’t wait to see where you take me next.
Posted June 8, 2011
A wonderful read...
You know, I'm not a mother, but I am a daughter. And even my mother has begun to send me "Mother's Day" cards, because although I am 41, divorced and childless, and it appears I will likely never birth a child, she says I am still a "mother" to many in the world and care for many. I'm a mother at heart, if not in function. So I could identify with this book and its characters on many levels.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
There was a lot for me to relate to in this book, despite my not having children.
This story was about three generations of women. Grandmother Violet, mother Iris and daughter/granddaughter Sam. I think that Violet as a young girl was my favorite character, although I also loved that of Iris at the end of her life as well.
This book perfectly captured the stereotypical mother-daughter relationship!
My final word: This book was very easy to read, and often stirred my emotions. I would love to try something else by author Rae Meadows, and would recommend this book in a heartbeat!
Posted April 8, 2011
This book is well written, moving, and carries many important messages. The characters are great and the story is one to be remembered. I think it would be a great book for book clubs.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 29, 2011
A very meaningful message
Violet is an eleven-year-old girl who lives her life surrounded by the grit, filth, and poverty that is prominent in the Fourth Ward in NYC. Her mother, Lilibeth, took Violet away from the wealthy southerners that they called family. Lilibeth's extraordinary beauty had always made up for the lack of wisdom that she possessed. She was used to the refinement that she'd been born with and the silver spoon she carried in her mouth, but after she was hurt by a man, she decided to make a new life for her and Violet in the North. Lilibeth ended up spending most of her time at Madam Tang's in Chinatown, batting her eyelashes and thinking of the past, as she got lost in the cloud of opium that surrounded her like a deep fog. Through various circumstances (and truly incredible story-telling) Violet ended up boarding a train that would take her, supposedly, to a nice Christian family in the Midwest. The real facts? Her mother had signed a paper literally giving up her daughter to strangers.which was just the beginning of the secrets that Violet would store away for future generations to find. Iris is the daughter of a somewhat cold and distant woman named Violet. At seventy-two years of age, Iris is dying of cancer, and is looking back upon the dreams that never came to fruition. She thinks of the love, beauty, events, and celebrations that gave her happiness, as well as the lost opportunities. In her possession is a box of secrets that will someday fall into the hands of her beloved daughter, Sam. Sam lives in the Midwest with her loving husband and beautiful daughter. Missing her mother, Iris, Sam receives a box filled with odd letters, ticket stubs, and items that seem a bit like junk, until she begins to investigate the women she came from. Her gift is creating pottery, which Sam hasn't been able to do since bringing her daughter into the world. She is unbelievably-paranoid and beyond over-protective, and can barely drop off her daughter in her best friend's care. Sam has secrets of her own, and some days she can barely get past them in order to look to the future. This story is how a trio of strong, stoic women lived their lives - passing on their immense courage to the generations that came after. Each woman's life is absolutely magical and heartbreaking all at the same time, as the reader will see as they're led through three very different worlds. Powerful is the one adjective that completely describes Ms. Meadows novel. The individual histories of each of her characters are absolutely riveting, and the in-depth look at the mother-daughter 'link' is truly inspirational. Quill Says: This author sends a very meaningful message. In the end, the point is not that we live Happily Ever After. The point is.that we live! Beautiful, kind, powerful.this novel is a true gift!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 30, 2011
reflective and challenging
I found Mothers and Daughters to be a beautifully written and deeply reflective book. It draws on so many aspects of our selves - the independent, the willingly dependent, the innocent, the aware, the ambivalent, the distant, the thoughtful, the intimate. Sam is a wrenchingly honest character, with the struggle of modern motherhood and all that the freedoms of our time bring to a relationship that is timeless. I found Iris's story the most surprising in that it took the longest to draw me in, by her final chapters I felt deeply moved by her relationship to her illness. And Violet of course brings a light and a vibrancy to this novel that is a real gift to Meadows's reader. It was hard to say good-bye to these three women by the novel's end. The sign of a great book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 18, 2011
this is an entertaining look at the relationships between Mothers & Daughters
In Madison, Wisconsin thirtyish Sam struggles with the recent death of her mother Iris just before giving birth to her daughter. She is unable to move past the roles of grieving daughter and supermom. Her husband Jack is alienated by her abnormal behavior and her inability to give him any time. Sam knows he is right and tries todo otherwise, but is unable to generate any energy involving going back to work.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Sam receives a box of her late mom's mementos. This includes information on her maternal grandmother Violet that she never knew occurred. Violet grew up as a neglected child wandering the streets of the Bronx until her indigent mom placed her on the Children's Aid Society's orphan train heading to the Midwest when she was eleven. Learning more about Violet enables Sam to understand her late mom much more than when Iris was alive.
Moving back and before in time, this is an entertaining look at the relationships between Mothers & Daughters. Character driven by the three generations of females, the story line is at its freshest following the journey of Violet from a New York street urchin to her new life in the Midwest. Although the males in their lives seem emaciated compared to the three women, readers will appreciate this well written family drama.