A rich and luminous novel about three generations of women in one family: the love they share, the dreams they refuse to surrender, and the secrets they hold
Samantha is lost in the joys of new motherhood—the softness of her eight-month-old daughter's skin, the lovely weight of her child in her arms—but in trading her artistic dreams to care for her child, Sam worries she's lost something of herself. And she is still mourning another loss: her mother, Iris, died just one year ago.
When a box of Iris's belongings arrives on Sam's doorstep, she discovers links to pieces of her family history but is puzzled by much of the information the box contains. She learns that her grandmother Violet left New York City as an eleven-year-old girl, traveling by herself to the Midwest in search of a better life. But what was Violet's real reason for leaving? And how could she have made that trip alone at such a tender age?
In confronting secrets from her family's past, Sam comes to terms with deep secrets from her own. Moving back and forth in time between the stories of Sam, Violet, and Iris, Mothers and Daughters is the spellbinding tale of three remarkable women connected across a century by the complex wonder of motherhood.
This book was later published under the title Mercy Train.
About the Author
RAE MEADOWS is the author of Calling Out, which received the 2006 Utah Book Award for fiction, and No One Tells Everything, a Poets & Writers Notable Novel. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Praise for Mothers and Daughters…
“Wonderful...A perfect book-club pick…It will prime conversations about your own choices, which may change your whole sense of self, or at least make you feel not so alone.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune "A poignant look at three generations struggling with loss and love." —Good Housekeeping "A book you’ll want to sit and read straight through...It will have you considering your own choices and those of your mother: What has she chosen not to tell you? What happened before you? What do you want to know?"—Bookpage "Tender...perceptive... "—The Capital Times “[Mercy Train] showcases Meadow’s ability to create generations of fully formed women as they navigate life-defining moments…This is the story of how much we often don’t know about the people who raise us.” –Bookslut "Rae Meadows has written a richly textured novel of three generations of mothers and daughters who by finding each other, find themselves. In these beautifully interwoven stories of birth and death, love and loss, Violet, Iris, and Samantha explore the genetic threads that connect each to the others. . . . a powerful novel of women’s secrets and strength."— Sandra Dallas, New York Times best-selling author of Prayers for Sale and Whiter Than Snow “I couldn’t put this book down. Meadows masters the nuances in marriage and family relationships with sensitivity, subtlety and striking accuracy. You must read Mercy Train.” —Eugenia Kim, author of The Calligrapher’s Daughter “Rae Meadows is at the very top of her game in this incredibly honest and often heartbreaking novel. When I was finished, I gave it to my mother to read, and then my mother-in-law, knowing that every woman who has ever had a child, or thought about having a child, would be moved by this phenomenal book.” –Emma Straub, author of Other People We Married and Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures