Mercy Train

A Novel

Rae Meadows

St. Martin's Griffin

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A rich, luminous novel of three remarkable women connected across a century by a family secret and by the fierce brilliance of their love

Samantha’s mother has been dead almost a year when the box arrives on her doorstep. In it, she finds recipe cards, keepsakes, letters—relics of her mother Iris’s past. But as Sam sifts through these family treasures, she uncovers evidence that her grandmother, Violet, had a much more difficult childhood then she could have ever imagined. And Sam, a struggling new mother herself, begins to see her own burdens in a completely different light. Moving from the tempered calm of contemporary Madison, Wisconsin to the seedy underbelly of early twentieth century New York, we come face to face with a haunting piece of America’s past: From 1854 to 1929 orphan trains from New York transported 150,000 to 200,000 destitute, orphaned or abandoned children across the country to find homes on farms in the Midwest. Rae Meadows takes us on our own journey of discovery in Mercy Train, an affecting and wonderfully woven novel about three generations of motherhood, family, and the surprising sacrifices we make for the people we love.
 
Originally published by Henry Holt and Company under the title Mothers and Daughters.

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Book Excerpts

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Mothers and Daughters by Rae Meadows--Audiobook Excerpt

Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Rae Meadows' novel Mothers and Daughters, a rich and luminous novel about three generations of women in one family.

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Rae Meadows on her book Mothers and Daughters

Hear author Rae Meadows talk about her novel Mothers and Daughters, a rich and luminous novel about three generations of women. Samantha is lost in the joys of new motherhood, but she is still mourning the loss of her mother, Iris. When a box of Iris's belongings arrives on Sam's doorstep, Sam must confront secrets from her family's past.

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Reviews

Praise for Mercy Train

“Wonderful...A perfect book-club pick…What mothers leave daughters is loud and proud in this book…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

"Tender...perceptive...Mothers and Daughters should appeal to both of its titular groups, and may even spark the kinds of discussions and openness so uncharacteristic of many earlier parent-child relationships."—The Capital Times

“Mothers and Daughters 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.com

"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. Mothers and Daughters is 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

"A little girl boards New York’s orphan train at the turn of the 20th century and shapes generations to follow in this satisfying portrait of the many faces of motherhood."—Kirkus

"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

"An engaging story of three generations of strong women and the choices they make."—Library Journal


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About the Author

Rae Meadows

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.

Rae Meadows

Jefferson Wheeler
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Available Formats and Book Details

Mercy Train
A Novel
Rae Meadows

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
May 2012
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466817944
ISBN10: 1466817941
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 288 pages
$9.99

Unabridged Compact Disc

Unabridged  Compact Disc
Macmillan Audio
March 2011
Unabridged Compact Disc
ISBN: 9781427212610
ISBN10: 1427212619
Audio Run Time: 7:00
$29.99

Unabridged Digital Audio

Unabridged  Digital Audio
Macmillan Audio
March 2011
Unabridged Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781427212627
ISBN10: 1427212627
Audio Run Time: 7:37
$14.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
March 2011
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780805093834
ISBN10: 0805093834
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 272 pages
$25.00

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
May 2012
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250009180
ISBN10: 1250009189
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 288 pages
$14.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
March 2011
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429972390
ISBN10: 1429972394
272 pages
$9.99
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