**Spoiler alert- this is about the last chapter if you have not read it**
The ending to the novel came as a happy surprise to me. After having read the entire novel thinking that Florens’ mother would rather stay with her son than daughter, this chapter made me really emotional. For the longest time I just couldn’t fathom how a mother could choose one child over the other one. I found myself wishing almost that the mother had begged Jacob to take her so that her children could remain together. I was very pleased that I was incorrect in my assumption the whole time. In the end, a mother always does everything she can for her children. While this may not necessarily always be true, it is a common theme in novels and movies and other expressive outlets.
I truly believe Morrison did a great job with the character of Florens’ mother. Since readers do not have much time to learn about the character early on, it is almost implied that Florens was abandoned. This idea is further carried through the text by the Vaarks mostly taking in orphaned servants and slaves. All Florens knows is abandonment, not only through her own experiences but through those of the other women on the Vaark farm. By wrapping up the text with a chapter from the mother’s point of view, Morrison is able to bring the story back to the beginning but also allow readers a different perspective from which to reflect back on the text with.
My favorite quote from the chapter is: “I said you. Take you, my daughter. Because I saw [Jacob] see you as a human child…Hoping for a miracle. He said yes. It was not a miracle. It was a mercy” (195). I like this quote because it shows the true love that the mother has for Florens (plus, I love when the title appears in the text). She was praying for a miracle by God but instead received an act of compassion on the part of Jacob that will relieve her daughter from suffering the same fate as she. Florens’ mother begged to have her daughter taken from the place where she herself was tortured and raped. She tried to find Florens a way out by teaching her to read and write, through Reverend Father, but once Jacob stopped by D’Ortega’s, her one goal was to have Florens leave with that man. Ultimately, she sacrificed everything for her children (it was not safe for slaves to be literate) and I like to think that Florens’ brother had a similar experience. Perhaps the saddest part about this whole chapter is that Florens does not know how much her mother truly loves her and she will likely never have any idea.