The Quality of Mercy by Margaret Culkin Banning [epub, pdf, doc, kindle]

I found this book hidden among some others when my grandmother was moving into a small apartment. The other books had been her uncle's, and included works by O'Henry, Eliot, Keats, Shelley,and the like, so I wondered if this would be a gem of a find.

I tore through the first part, and plodded through the rest. It wasn't the gem I'd hoped for. It tells the story of a family through several parts. Beginning in 1910 we see a man who builds a hospital which will bear his name, but it cannot care for unwed mothers. The man's daughter is in love with a doctor who's patient dies in childbirth because they can't get into the hospital.

In the late 1930s we meet their daughter Pamela and the child of the dead mother, Stephan, both flying to England in wartime. Neither knows the other. The rest of the story follows these two characters, though with more of a focus on Pamela, who marries a young Lord in England and proves to be very charitable in her works. We also see Stephan and what he manages to accomplish in post-war England during. Of course, in the end in the 1960s, the old doctor crosses the Atlantic to see his daughter. He happens to meet Stephan and remembering the name, bestows upon the orphaned man the knowledge of who his mother was and what happened.

I kept hoping this book would go somewhere, but in the end, it was a flop. I was disappointed and felt that while the build up was good, it just didn't sustain and the end was too contrived, too neat and perfect, and nothing but a moral to the tale seemed to be the reason for the whole book.

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eBook info

  • Title: The Quality of Mercy
  • Author:
  • Publisher: Harper & Row
  • 297 pages
  • Archive include: ePub, PDF, doc, kindle versions